Ranked 1st in Ireland and 10th in the World for Entrepreneurship (Eduniversal 2021), the MSc in Entrepreneurship programme equips students with the specialist knowledge and practical ability needed to start or support new and existing businesses.
One of these graduates is alumnus Riccardo Patti from Italy, who now works as a Pre-sales Solution Consultant for Oracle. Riccardo talks about why he choose the MSc in Entrepreneurship, how it impacted his career, working at Oracle, and he also offers some tips and advice for prospective students who are looking to follow a similar career path.
Hello everyone, my name’s Riccardo and, as mentioned in the intro, I’ve been working for Oracle in Dublin for the past 2 years after graduating from Trinity Business School. I first started at Oracle as a Business Development Consultant (entry level sales position), then just a few weeks ago I moved back to my beloved Italy with a promotion as a Pre-sales Solution Consultant.
What that means, in a nutshell, is that I am responsible for assisting the field sales team in EMEA as an expert of the Oracle Retail Solution portfolio.
In my day-to-day I talk to Retail executives that are looking at projects in the omni-channel space and present them on how best our solutions can impact their businesses.
A fun fact about myself that not everybody knows is that I can’t stand crude olive oil in my food (despite being a seasoned cook).
Choosing Trinity and the MSc in Entrepreneurship
Some may not know this but Trinity fell on my lap almost by chance. I heard of the college as my partner at the time was studying her MPhil there and she suggested to me to check out the Business School as it was growing exponentially.
A few months later I met Dr. Giulio Buciuni, Director of the MSc in Entrepreneurship programme, at an event in Milan and, taking up on his offer, I travelled to Ireland to observe a few classes and talk to the current students.
Among those people I met some of my closest friends, like Kevin Sands or Max von der Heidt, and in them I saw the reasons why I wanted to join the programme.
Friends for life!
During my bachelors it became clear that I was not thinking on the same tracks as everyone else (get an internship, get a job, etc. etc.) and with me being… me, I decided that I wanted to build something, like my dad and grandpa before him.
The thing is, I was clueless about what to do, what to prioritise and what would be the things I needed to think about when establishing a business. As such, I wanted an experience that could start training me in becoming the entrepreneur I wanted to be.
That is why I joined the MSc in Entrepreneurship programme and I could not be happier with the result. My journey is still long, but certainly the experience in Trinity helped me get on the right track from the get-go.
Career Development with a MSc in Entrepreneurship
One thing to keep in mind when talking about entrepreneurship is that it’s not about business, money or fame. It’s about mentality.
Entrepreneurs differentiate themselves from the masses by the way they think.
If you don’t feel like you’re there yet, I have some good news: you can train your brain and your personality to become whatever you want it to be!
To me, the MSc was the place where I hardwired my brain to think in that “entrepreneur mentality”, and where I forged certain traits into my personality.
It goes without question that such things were an integral part of my subsequent achievements and I can say this particularly for this most recent promotion.
The “jump” I made was not even conceived possible before, as the Presales organisation within Oracle is made up of very senior and very knowledgeable people. I am neither by a long shot.
The reason I was able to convince the hiring manager, her manager and the global VPs resides in my behaviour and my mentality.
Giulio told me once about the figure of the “intrapreneur” as the employee that possesses the entrepreneur mentality. Now that I’m in the corporate world, that’s who I’m trying to be and so far nothing exploded, so I guess I’m doing something right.
Applying the MSc in Entrepreneurship in my work
I mentioned before how one of the main things the MSc in Entrepreneurship will teach you is the “entrepreneur mentality”. One of the facets of that is being able to deal with people you don’t agree with or see eye-to-eye with on certain issues.
In the corporate world it happens more often than not, and it’s a luxury afforded to a certain few to work in an environment they love. I am lucky enough to now be in that small number of people, but it was not always like that.
One piece of advice I’d give anybody is to think that regardless of how unpleasant or difficult certain situations may be, these still represent an opportunity for growth. As you develop a thicker skin and learn how to deal with challenging personalities, you’ll evolve as a person and as a professional – something that ultimately will serve you in getting out of that unpleasant situation and to a better place/position.
However, if you think like an entrepreneur, you’ll take these as learning opportunities and, because of it, you’ll be in a constant process of learning and growing, with little being able to stop you.
Talking about growth and learning, getting a job right after the master was to me entirely about that.
I wanted to get a taste of the “real world” and I wanted to train a specific set of skills (Sales), as I felt I did not possess them.
Oracle opened its doors to me and proved to be an amazing space to grow in and I am glad to continue my journey here.
To somebody looking at this company, let me be straight: it’s not a Silicon Valley experience like Salesforce, Linkedin or Google.
I had a truckload of responsibilities from day 1 when compared to my peers in other companies, and the entire organization follows a “Self-service attitude”.
What that means, in some basic terms, is that if you want something, you better move and go get it. Nothing will be handed to you, from training to promotions to anything else really.
I personally love both these things and I wouldn’t want them to be any other way, but if you want to learn more about the company culture and potential openings feel free to ping me on LinkedIn.
If you want to get into the Irish job market and you are somebody that goes out of their way to know people, create relationships and leverage them, then this Masters is good for you.
On the contrary, you’re better off doing another masters or saving the money and spending a fraction on 2 months of AirBnB here while you look for a job.
The MSc will expose you to many companies, people and realities. Giulio has done a fantastic job in ensuring you have, for a tiny window of time, an introduction to some very useful people. Have a clear picture in your mind where you want to go and use that window.
To those instead that were like me, thinking that an MSc in entrepreneurship is dedicated solely to people with businesses/ wanting to start a business, let me tell you you’re utterly wrong.
Keem Bay, County Mayo
Entrepreneurship is a mentality and this MSc will give you the foundation of that view of the world. Because of it, the programme is very accessible regardless of the background you’re coming from. There are no hard barriers for entry in terms of knowledge of a specific subject or degree – as long as your motivation is right and you have the right attitude, this MSc can give you something incredibly valuable.
When looking at what to do AFTER the MSc though, just look at the alumni.
Some people like Aimee and Will Ben set up their own company, my mate Kevin already had his and keeps working on it, and me and my best friend Max went into the Corporate world.
Options are there for the taking – it’s just a matter of whether you’re up for it and what do you want to do.
I’d like to conclude by sharing one last bit of advice and I put this last because it touches on everything I mentioned before and is probably one of the most important things you should keep in mind if you decide to enrol in the MSc in Entrepreneurship.
The name of the game is one: Network.
If you don’t know what that means or “how to network”, you better learn fast because the year will be full of opportunities and they will pass you by if you stand idle or just think about the party you’ll have on the weekend.
The dedicated postgraduate careers team, Denise and Mark, and the professors are amazing and will give you some tips on this whole aspect – go and have a chat with them if you’re not sure about what to do.
This MSc and this path is not for everybody but Giulio and the team at the Trinity Business School have created something of a gem in the rainy landscape of Ireland – if you’re in that percentage of the population that wants to create, innovate and break new frontiers, do yourself a favour and check it out.
You can contact me at the below. I’d be happy to connect with students and prospect students to share more about my experience and call out how you don’t need to be a founder to find value in this MSc!