I really enjoyed the process of thinking, going out of the way to create and capture value, constantly seeking out new opportunities and meeting new people.
With over 7 years of working experience, Levina Yulianti has earned a respected place high up in the corporate world.
Working in operations at the research arm at a leading integrated marketing consultancy, Levina shares with us how pursuing the Master of Science in Technopreneurship and Innovation has helped her corporate journey.
She tells us how each day presents a learning opportunity for her, and how, unlike what many people feel, corporate life has helped to bring out the best in her.
Hi there! Can you tell us about your role and what you do in your company?
LY: I am the Chief Operations at a social and marketing research business unit, specifically in building syndicated research about the Indonesian market and also support ad-hoc research team. I lead a team of 20 people, and each day is just as dynamic as the next.
Even as an employee in a large company, there is plenty of space to exercise innovation and entrepreneurial skills, on the contrary to what many people believe.
How has being an employee sharpened your entrepreneurial skillset?
LY: As an intrapreneur, I do everything as I can to help my company grow as an entrepreneur would, for his own business.
Many people feel that by working in a corporate company, you will slowly ‘kill’ your entrepreneurial spirit, which is definitely untrue. As an employee, it doesn’t mean that you have to leave your entrepreneurial skills behind. Being an employee has actually helped to bring out the best in me – I am constantly coming up with new and fresh ideas, breaking away from the established models and templates existing in the company.
From your examples, we can see that entrepreneurship is not something that is truly exclusive to entrepreneurs alone. To you, what does an entrepreneurial mindset entail?
LY: Entrepreneurship to me is all about being smart, creative and having the ability to not just identify but also act on opportunities. These are traits that can be exercised in every scenario, and certainly in a corporate setting.
At my company, creativity and productivity are of importance, as is a different perspective on things. When I was deciding between an MBA and a Master of Science Technopreneurship and Innovation Programme, my company supported me to go for the latter – from there, I was also very pleased to learn that they shared the same viewpoint as me, that entrepreneurship as a skillset that can be practiced by everybody.
So why did you take up an education in engineering at the undergraduate level instead?
LY: I chose engineering, more specifically industrial engineering, as I felt that it would equip me with the skills to get things done in not just the most efficient way but also in the smartest way. As an engineer, we look to simplify processes, and I think my engineer foundation has complemented my entrepreneurship mindset very well.
Was there a particular moment or memory in your life that actually kick started your fervent interest in Entrepreneurship and Innovation?
LY: I was actually very much influenced by my parents. My mom and dad are entrepreneurs too, having started a business selling and distributing snacks. Growing up, they have trained me in the ‘ways’ of the entrepreneur, and I really enjoyed the process of thinking, going out of the way to create and capture value, constantly seeking out new opportunities and meeting new people.
They have always challenged me to be entrepreneurial – from selling products to ideating for a charity fundraiser, Thankfully, all of these little lessons have shaped me into the person I am today.
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Levina Yulianti is the Chief Operations at MarkPlus Insight, the social and marketing research business unit of leading professional services firm MarkPlus Inc. Levina graduated with a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from the Parahyangan Catholic University, before going on to further her studies with a Master of Science in Technopreneurship and Innovation from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).