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Science meets business with Master of Entrepreneurship graduate Ella Buchanan

Tuesday 14 December 2021 9:31am

Ella Buchanan image
Ella Buchanan

Master of Entrepreneurship graduate Ella Buchanan shares how she found her perfect place at the intersection of science and business and wants other students to know that not all university paths are the same.

“Having two different areas of expertise makes me feel like I can go out and do anything when I apply for jobs because the skills I have learnt are so transferable,” Ella says.

With a BBiomedSc degree from the School of Biomedical Sciences and a master’s from the Otago Business School, Ella says the marriage between anatomy and entrepreneurship is more suitable than one might think.

Coming out of her Anatomy degree, Ella struggled to identify employment options that interested her and was unsure how to use the skills from her degree effectively.

“My favourite thing about the master’s program was that we were all in the same place because, in undergrad, people are often trying to find themselves as they should be, but at a master’s level everyone is working towards the same goals and so it creates a great sense of manaakitanga with one another.”

She took the leap and completed the 15-month-long Master of Entrepreneurship, where she gained a variety of skills from the advice of real-world entrepreneurs.

“The master’s showed me just how transferable my skills were in different jobs and that becoming a doctor wasn’t the only pathway my Anatomy degree could take me down; it put into perspective the things I could do beyond hospital, academia and lab work which was an exciting and invigorating idea,” Ella says.

There was great diversity in the programme, with people of all ages and stages enrolled, but each was committed to the goal of growing their passions.

Ella even elected to move back to Dunedin for the thesis portion of her qualification, having completed the first half via distance from Queenstown, so she could join the rest of her cohort in a shared environment of motivation and support.

“Being a full-time undergraduate student is very different to a full-time postgraduate student where it can be a challenge to motivate yourself on your own,” Ella says.

“My favourite thing about the master’s program was that we were all in the same place because, in undergrad, people are often trying to find themselves as they should be, but at a master’s level everyone is working towards the same goals and so it creates a great sense of manaakitanga with one another.”

Ella is glad to have learnt the intricate crossovers between business and science, remarking that “most of the time the people running hospitals aren’t even doctors but are businesspeople.”

She says if there’s one thing her story is a testimony too, it is that careers aren’t a one-size-fits-all scenario and that students need to know that there are a myriad of other opportunities out there to be explored.

“With some business discipline and scientific problem solving, you can do anything you can put your mind too!”

Kōrero by Kelsey Schutte, Communications Adviser, Otago Business School

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