You really need to plan to attend all sessions. The only leeway we give is in the final weekend when we know that some students have already started exchange programmes. But the block week and August weekend are mandatory.
It would be very difficult to complete both the ESS programme and a full-time internship properly. Both absorb your time – and just as importantly, your creative, thinking time. Part-time internships (say three days a week) seem to be more manageable (inasmuch as students have done so and done OK at ESS). If the internship is in a very similar sector to the ESS project then maybe you can combine but in that case I sure hope you’re disclosing your entrepreneurial ambition to the firm at which you’re interning!
Yes, we don’t assume that the idea will survive ESS in its original form. So apply with your ‘best guess’ and expect the idea to morph and iterate as you carry out your research. We’d go as far as to say that -hardly any ideas remain unscathed by ESS. Adaptation and refining is part of the process. You get to Plan B through plan A.
You are welcome to pursue any idea that you may have as long as it’s ‘meaty’ enough to form the basis of a thorough micro-level analysis. We ask you to commit to one then carry out a thorough macro level market and industry analysis which – if done properly – weeds out fundamentally poor ideas before they ever get to ESS.
The purpose of ESS is the test the viability of a business idea, and to see if the entrepreneurial life is for you. If you already have a thriving business, then ESS is not for you, because you’ve already decided that your idea is viable. ESS is for ideas that you want to be more sure about before investing more time, money and energy (as well as credibility!).
Yes – maybe you’re ahead of the curve and potential users cannot envisage the benefits of the product or feel the pain of a problem they’re yet to have. Businesses like this can be the best – though there are different problems of timing and accurate ‘futurology’ which makes such ideas higher risk.
You should not schedule any other activities during the Block Week, Long Weekend, or Presentation Weekend, as these sessions will run over the full day (with some social events scheduled in the evening). It is not necessary for you to remain on campus in the weeks between these sessions, however you will need to schedule time to complete the assignments.
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