Erika Damayanti Simanjuntak

The road to innovating your own start-up

Studying the MSc programme in Innovation and Industrial Management was a way for Erika D. Simanjuntak to develop her company. When starting her own business, she realised she was lacking the knowledge the industry demanded. Her studies give her the right tools and knowledge to be a good innovator.

Before studying her Master’s studies at the School of Business Economics and Law, Erika D. Simanjuntak worked with Finance and Treasury Management for one of the biggest real estate developers in Bandung, Indonesia. With several years of work experience after her undergraduate degree in Economics and Accounting, she felt that her abilities and knowledge were limited to these fields only. 

"My job got less exciting and more of a repeated routine. Even though I enjoyed working and getting more professional in the field of finance and treasury, I wanted to change my career to a more exciting, entrepreneurial path"

I sensed that I needed to expand my knowledge

Together with two friends, Erika started her own business, a concept restaurant, to follow an entrepreneurial career path. The business thrived quickly, but their lack of knowledge became a barrier to growth. 

"My knowledge and ability to create something new and manage a business were very lacking. We were barely able to manage our business and innovate to fulfil the market demand was very difficult. I sensed that I needed to expand my knowledge"


A Programme for Understanding the Market 

Erika’s decision to study the Master of Science programme in Innovation and Industrial Management was a way to develop the qualities needed to manage businesses and meet market demands. Sweden became a top choice as one of the highest-ranked innovative leaders in the world with plenty of innovative founded companies. The Master programme’s rich range of courses emphasising innovation management, strategies, business and professional development suited her perfectly. 

"Learning the latest topics and material from my courses is very interesting to me. I can learn what steps I should take to do innovative works, manage innovation, make a sustainable business model, or how to be a good innovator. The courses cover a multi-dimension of innovation and management that help me develop my innovative side. It feels gratifying because the content in the courses is very practical and convenient for working as an innovator or starting your own business" 

The courses cover a multi-dimension of innovation and management that help me develop my innovative side

The programme’s close interaction with the industry and relationship with alumni (former graduated students) have influenced Erika a lot. In several courses, the programme addresses practical cases closely linked to the School's collaboration with companies and the labour market. 

"In one of the courses, I got the opportunity to read the start-up thesis of the bioinc company CELLINK, in which the founder was a student from the School. I got very inspired to start a new company with a more sustainable focus and get funding from angel investors in Sweden. I think that learning by doing is the most important when studying"


Become a Good Innovator

Erika has one year left of her studies but is very optimistic about the future. The survey from 2019 shows that 95% of graduated students found employment after graduation, including jobs such as management consultant, account manager and innovation developer at Google, Accenture and Volvo Group. In Erika's case, she has already begun her journey to founding a new start-up. 

"If I work, I want to work in the Research and Development field, to innovate and introduce new products and services in Sweden. However, my biggest current goal is to innovate and establish my start-up here, which I am currently doing now. I found that living in Gothenburg during my studies have been exciting and lovely"

Her best advice for students who want to become a good innovator is to make good use of time management and plan your study, work and relax time, but at the same time take the chance to start and develop your innovation. 

"If you are an international student, it is great to think about what Sweden has that your country does not and vice versa. Use the knowledge from the courses to equip you to be a good innovator!"


Erika D. Simanjuntak from Indonesia studies the MSc programme in Innovation and Industrial Management. The programme equips you for a future as a potential manager in organizations operating in an increasingly uncertain and complex world, with rapidly changing technologies and markets.