Su Lyn Cheng from Singapore and Canada, now doing a PhD in Management at EMLyon
How did you find out about Lund University?
"After having lived in Singapore and Canada, I came to Sweden with my husband who got transferred here two years ago. I thought things would be easier if I would learn the language first, so I took a one-year intensive Swedish course at Lund University. It was only then that I found out how well-known the University is. It was always my plan to obtain a Master’s at some point, so I enrolled and I got in, which I honestly hadn’t expected because of how competitive it is."
Why did you choose this programme?
"I started my own business in Singapore when I was 19, so I got my first taste of what it is like to be an entrepreneur then. I learned a lot from that experience and that’s what motivated me to apply for this programme."
Does the programme live up to your expectations so far?
"Yes and no. I had no clear expectations before I started and there are some aspects of the course that I find a little bit difficult. It can be a bit disorganised at times because everything happens in real time and it’s intensive when things change at a very quick rate, but that’s entrepreneurship in a nutshell. You have to take what comes and you have to learn how to manage it and maintain an open mind, look at the positive side of things and try to learn from everything that happens. It’s challenging for the programme to make the ecosystem of guest lecturers, professors and students function and entrepreneurship is so broad that it’s very hard to create and cultivate a curriculum around it, but I think they are trying to give us the most realistic and holistic education they can. I think it’s been very eye-opening for me for that reason. It’s been a cool journey so far and I’ve learned a lot, not just academically, but also personally.
Do you have any favourite course so far?
"I think Entrepreneurial Marketing was my favourite course because we did a feasibility analysis, which I feel was very valuable because it gives you a platform to analyse and critique your concept. You learn to be a bit more objective."
How common is it for you to have guest lecturers in this programme?
"We have a lot of guest lecturers who are entrepreneurs themselves. We can tap on their experience and that helps you overcome a lot of the preconceived notions of what it’s like to start your own business and accept that every entrepreneurial journey is different, every person is different and failure is not something you should be ashamed of. That has been a very good take-away for me as well."
Do you get a lot of support from the programme?
"Yes, our professors try very hard to give us as much feedback as they can. They are very responsive. Whenever we need external help, for example if we need to interview someone for our project, they are there. Each one of us also has our own personal mentor from the business world who provides us with support, which is a good feature. It is up to us how we want to utilise that."
Do you get many opportunities for networking?
"Yes, you’re never short of entrepreneurial events and networking sessions. The programme kind of leaves it up to the students whether or not we want to go and that’s why you have to be disciplined and well-organised if you want to make the most out of it."
What do you think of the entrepreneurship infrastructure in the Lund-Malmö-Copenhagen region?
"It’s booming, especially because Malmö has such close proximity to Copenhagen. There’s never a shortage of events or people to speak to about entrepreneurship. A lot is happening in Malmö as well and there are also many university-driven entrepreneurship events. As an entrepreneur, you have to build your network and we definitely have a lot of options to do so."
How international is your programme?
"Very. The programme teaches you how to work together with people from different cultural and educational backgrounds. When you bring this mix into an entrepreneurship context, you get so many different ideas and the evolution of these ideas is what makes the programme exciting."
What’s the main reason for prospective students to choose this programme?
"Networking and personal growth. You’ll be working with really talented people from all over the world, so you’ll be exposed to different cultures, perspectives, opinions and ways of doing things. Learning to utilise that is a great strength."
What is studying in Sweden like compared to studying in your own country?
"It’s very different. Singapore is more theory orientated and much more competitive. Here, there is much healthier competition and more support. That said, a good thing about Singapore is that we had many more international professors from all over the world. I think the study environment in Lund is also more Europe-oriented compared to the more globally-oriented perspective that we get in Singapore."
Do you have any advice for future students of this programme?
"I can’t emphasise enough how important it is that you’re not just in this programme to absorb things like a sponge. You can’t really expect a one size fits all model of what it’s like to be an entrepreneur or how to become a successful entrepreneur. It’s essentially your own personal journey. You have to make the decisions whether right or wrong and learn from them. All the school can do is to provide you as much support and knowledge as possible. If you’re that kind of very determined, persistent, self-motivated person, then this is a perfect programme for you."
What is the social scene in Lund like?
"I think it’s amazing. I am based in Malmö, but if I was based in Lund, I think there would be no shortage of social activities like going to bars, making dinners together and having corridor parties. There’s always so much to do."
Are there any highlights of your time here so far?
"Learning Swedish. The whole process was awesome. It almost feels like a light switch has gone off: the whole world is unlocked. Also, I’ve met lots of people that I would have never met if I hadn’t moved here and being exposed to all these different European cultures is another highlight."
Do you have any advice for students considering to come to Lund?
"Just be open-minded to learning new things and growing as a person. Be prepared to work hard and be disciplined and motivated. Also, start planning your travels. There are so many travel opportunities and when I first came here, that was the most exciting thing for me."