"Technologists need a business perspective"
One might be very glad to roll into a job when finishing one's studies - only then to realise that another field of work is more interesting. That happened to Carmen. After her bachelor's in industrial electronics engineering in Madrid, she started working in automation. "I did not like that". She had to do something else.
Carmen had discovered during her bachelors that she liked embedded systems - in fact, one of her final school projects was based on them. And going abroad also appealed to her. So, she started searching for masters in embedded systems and quit her job. Now she is doing her specialisation year at University of Turku, after starting her EIT Digital Master School at the University at Eindhoven.
Why did you choose the EIT Digital Master School?
"When looking for embedded systems Master's, I found one at the University of Eindhoven. Here, I also discovered the EIT Digital Master programme for Embedded Systems. That appealed to me because it has an entrepreneurial part in it, which I think is very important for technical specialists. You cannot just focus on technology. You need a business view, whether you are going to have a startup or work in a company. It is good to have a vision to know how you can make business from technology."
What is the best thing so far about the EIT Digital Master School?
"The community - EIT Digital organises a lot for the students. I have studied in Eindhoven, am studying in Finland, I had a Kick-Off in Paris, and a Summer School in Estonia. I wanted to live abroad, and I live abroad. This is so not the same as in other Master's programmes. In Eindhoven there were a lot of EIT Digital students, we were a group together. At Turku, the student group of EIT Digital is smaller."
If you compare the EIT Digital Master School to other Master's, what stands out for you?
"Mainly the innovation and entrepreneurship part and the double degree. In the future, these will be relevant aspects of your CV - these are the things companies look for. I noticed that already when I was looking for an internship. Every company I emailed replied that they were looking for someone like me."
Where do you do your internship?
"I just started my internship at the Turku Intelligent Embedded and Robotic Systems research group at the University of Turku. We are trying to develop a localisation system based on a new technology called ultra-wideband - we are researching how to use it. I will be writing papers and publications. That could be good for my future; I might do a PhD. My supervisor and coordinator are willing to offer me a PhD. I do not know yet what I will do.
What are the main lessons you have learned so far?
"I have opened my mind a lot. In my studies, I met a lot of people from different cultures. I, for example, had never met people from India before, and now I have really good friends from there. EIT Digital has pushed us a lot to work on startups already in a school environment. This teaches you to think out of the box. The first year was challenging, but it helped me to prove to myself that I was capable of doing more than I thought. Before, I always got nervous to talk in public. Now, I have done startup pitches for investors. I realise I have improved a lot in very different skills."
Is there any message you want to say to students who consider applying to the EIT Digital Master School?
"Yes, if you are considering the EIT Digital Master School, then do not miss out on this opportunity. The programme is a really good experience. I would recommend it to everyone. If you are wondering between different programmes, pick this one. Having the entrepreneurial part and the skills you learn here brings you further in your future. It helps you to distinguish yourself from other tech or business masters students, because here you have it all."
How do you see the future with embedded systems and your role in it?
"Embedded systems are already everywhere. This technology has the potential to change lives. I like to see myself doing something relevant for the world. My dream job would be one that I enjoy so much that I don't hate Mondays. I would like to have a nice job that after one day of work I can think, I have done something good for at least someone. I like to see technology being used for the good. One day maybe I might create a startup, but I would prefer to do it with a team of people with different skills."