Each summer Endeavor sends a number of incoming and second-year MBA students, recruited from top schools, to work on-site with Endeavor Entrepreneurs on projects ranging from strategic planning to market expansion. The program is supported by a generous grant from Barclays. Following is a post from Abdul Basith, an MBA student at the Thunderbird School of Management, who spent the summer working with Endeavor Entrepreneurs at Turkey’s Artesis.
Leather jacket, jeans and boots – not the typical attire an MBA student wears to an interview. But that’s what I was wearing when I interviewed for my summer internship with Endeavor Entrepreneur company Artesis. On a holiday in Istanbul, I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to interview after learning about it from Endeavor. I met with Dr. Ahmet Duyar, the entrepreneur behind Artesis whose research has been funded by NASA. I was inspired by the vision he had for his company, the future of energy efficiency and how he hoped his start-up can contribute to improving energy efficiency in manufacturing facilities the world over.
It was a good fit for both sides. Artesis develops technology and software for maintenance and energy efficiency in Oil & Gas, Water and Automotive industries, and my prior sales experience in industrial control applications complements it well. As I seek exposure to emerging markets, experience in Turkey lends valuable credibility to my career. I am halfway through my MBA at Thunderbird – ranked no. 1 consistently for its international business program, and it is common for students to intern outside of the U.S.
I am tasked with marketing the company’s latest software that replaces expensive condition monitoring techniques. Although some responsibilities were outlined for me, the role was as entrepreneurial as one would expect in a start-up, I have added to areas outside my direct scope. Recognizing the need for a more user-friendly interface and a smooth purchase process, I worked with the development team to improve the user experience design of the software and the website. Having developed a pricing model, I am now building a digital marketing platform to integrate with traditional marketing methods. The experience has been rewarding – I have been able to learn and apply new tools on a regular basis.
Dr. Ahmet Duyar is a guiding force who always makes time for discussion and is open to ideas and suggestions from his employees. As a retired professor, he has a way of bringing out the best in the team. I see this as he critiques my proposals and challenges my assumptions, only to make me work harder and improve my work. Then he gives me the authority to make decisions, saying ‘You are the entrepreneur. This is your product’. It’s this “entrepreneurial” drive that makes my work really interesting.
Personally, too, the experience has been a rewarding one. For someone who loves food, culture and photography, I was not disappointed with Istanbul. There is so much to see and do that one summer just did not seem enough. With Turkey growing as an emerging market and the billions of dollars of foreign investment giving rise to quality jobs, I will happily grab another opportunity for a stint here.