Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University



APU MBA students intern at Australian Centre for Entrepreneurial Research and Innovation


Nov 22, 2019

For undergraduate and graduate students alike, internships provide a valuable opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge they have learned in the classroom to a wider, real-world context. Through industry, academia, and government collaboration, APU is able to offer a wide range of meaningful internship opportunities to our students.

In a first for APU and the Centre for Entrepreneurial Research and Innovation (CERI) in Australia, two MBA students from APU, Joseph Kannampilly (MBA '19) and Islam "Rofiq" Rofiqul (MBA '19), participated in a summer internship at CERI in Western Australia before graduating from APU. During their internship they worked on projects from resident early stage companies at CERI to progress their commercialization strategy and market research. Joseph and Rofiq also devised financial analysis templates for early stage start-ups, and participated in CERI education modules including the 2 day Entrepreneurial Mindset Boot Camp.

Pictured, left to right: Dr. Carolyn Williams, Islam Rofiqul, Joseph Kannampilly, Amy Oliveira, Michael Roelens

Before establishing this internship, Dr. Carolyn Williams, CEO of CERI, visited APU to serve as a judge for the 2018 Global Business Case Challenge. "As a result of my visit to APU I came away with the goal of connecting the talent within the 'global village' based at APU with the founders and innovators within the CERI community." Reflecting on the work of Joseph and Rofiq, she commented, "This has been a rewarding experience for many of the CERI related founders, not just in the exchange of knowledge also in the connections with cultures. The depth of relationships being created have the potential to generate business opportunities on a global scale and for CERI and APU to enable the global leaders of the future."

Islam Rofiqul (L) and Joseph Kannampilly (R) at the CERI Expo.

Asked about his experience, Rofiq commented, "This has been a lifelong experience for me where I had the scope to interact with many talented entrepreneurs, mentors, and other facilitators in the start-up ecosystem." Thinking about the value this opportunity could offer other students, he said, "This type of internship empowers MBA students to challenge their knowledge for business problems. Those with a specific interest in entrepreneurship and with a problem solving mindset may be better suited for this program." As for the future, "I hope this program will continue to create mutual value for both APU and CERI."

Joseph during his internship at CERI.

Joseph was equally appreciative of his experience at CERI: "Applying the knowledge and skills I have acquired at APU through hands-on experience working with start-ups and potential unicorns at CERI has been extremely valuable. I have also been able to expand my networks through building new, lasting friendships." He sees a link to his future, as well: "As a whole, I believe that this internship was successful in furthering my knowledge and helped me gain a mindset to create a difference in my life."

Dr. Williams sees more potential for further APU-CERI cooperation. "As a pilot study the CERI Team and our community feel this has been a very successful endeavor, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with Rofiq and Joseph and to welcoming others in the future."

About CERI
CERI was established in 2015 to help facilitate the development of a sustainable economy in Western Australia, which has historically been disproportionately dependent on natural resources. As a social enterprise, CERI focuses on early stage innovation attracting, supporting and inspiring talent while creating the mindset and providing the knowledge needed to successfully commercialize those ideas. Implicit in CERI's mission is enabling the industries of the future to be established—which in turn will create the jobs of the future while helping to establish a diversified economy that can deliver sustainable prosperity.
For more information, visit https://www.ceri.org.au/ (site available in English only)

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