We recently caught up with Iva Dulkova, who graduated from the MSc Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship course in 2020, to reflect on her experiences.
Why did you choose to study this Master’s course at Alliance Manchester Business School?
“I have always been fascinated by technology - not just in the way that it shapes the world - but also how we can use it to make the world a better place and to help businesses to evolve, grow and develop innovation. So when I saw this course in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship, it just immediately appealed to me.
“AMBS is one of the best business schools in the UK and because I was living in Manchester, it just seemed like the perfect opportunity for me.”
What did you most enjoy about your time at Alliance MBS?
“A big part of it was the knowledge, expertise and the diverse background of the tutors that I came across during the two years that I was studying part-time.
“The other students were absolutely amazing too. There were people from all sorts of backgrounds and with very different experiences. There were a mixture of people working in family businesses, running their own businesses or working in companies. It was a fantastic experience to learn from everyone and collaborate with them.
“I developed an innovation mindset by learning and doing the course itself. It taught me a lot about how to work collaboratively and how best to work in creative teams, which was great.”
How did you combine your part-time studies as well as a job?
“It was a challenge as I was working full-time and studying part-time, especially in the beginning when I had a bit of a gap between my undergraduate degree and the Master's so getting on top of it and managing your time was quite challenging but I think it really comes down to being very organised and very disciplined with your time as well, just being able to make time to study specifically and sticking to it, I think that was really crucial.
“Sometimes life gets really busy juggling work and study. It is really important not just to hold yourself accountable in terms of being disciplined and managing your time, but knowing when to ask for help. My course leader was so supportive, especially during my first year. She really helped me to push through and to go into the second year with a positive mindset and good time management skills.”
What was your favourite programme module?
“The module that stuck with me the most was the entrepreneurship technology and society module. It really opened my eyes to issues that I hadn’t thought about before. For example, how society shapes technology or how technology has shaped society, the massive impact it has on the way we live our lives, and what kind of responsibility we have in making sure that technology is safe and governed in the right ways.
“The innovation management module was really fascinating, looking at the whole process of how you develop innovations that deliver to the bottom line or contribute to the user.”
How has your time at Alliance MBS helped you in your current role/with your career?
“I work for the British Red Cross as a digital manager in the commercial arm of the Red Cross. We deliver first aid and mental health training.
“I started this role during my second year of study and when I joined the department it was going through a lot of change. This meant a lot of the insights I gained on the course in terms of innovation and digital transformation, I was able to apply within my role quite early on.
“I wrote my dissertation on the dissemination of virtual reality and augmented reality first aid training for the use of the general public. I tied that in with a project that I was involved with at work looking at the development of an app for countries with limited medical resources to get access to first aid training. It was great to be able to apply my learning to a practical project.”
What advice would you give to those considering studying at Alliance Manchester Business School?
“I would say that go for it and you won’t regret it.
“Manchester is a really great university, I think the Alliance Manchester Business School course is fantastic in terms of the resources and the academics that you get access. The University and Manchester as a whole is a hub for innovation. There are a lot of start-ups and a lot of tech businesses being established here at the moment . It’s a really exciting place to be.”
What are your favourite things about Manchester as a city?
“It’s a really nice city in general. People are lovely and friendly which always makes a difference. It is a large city so you do have the option to go out and do a lot of different things but at the same time it's not too large. It has a great music scene. I'm a fan of music so for me that that's always been a plus and it just has a very specific vibe. It’s a really good place to come and study.”
What is your best memory of studying at Alliance MBS?
“At the time when I was studying, group work was tricky because I was working in the day and so stayed up late to do group work.
“However when I look back at it, that was probably the most fun time that I've had with a group of people working together on an important project , bringing different skills together, finding ways to collaborate and how to bridge different cultures as well.
“It was a really big learning curve and that's probably the best time that I can remember.”
Watch the full interview with Iva below: