Ahmet Darcin

Country of origin: Turkey

Assistant Foreign Trade Specialist, Turkish Ministry of Economy

Ahmet already had a Business Studies degree and a Masters in Finance before he enrolled on the EBIN programme. After several years as IT and Marketing Director for a Turkish organic food company, he now works for the Ministry of Economy in foreign trade.

While we are witnessing extremely tough times for world economies, companies are striving to regain the ground that they lost during the financial recession. Innovation, as a result, has become more and more popular. Mastering the dynamics of innovation is in a sense mastering the contemporary form of commercial competition, and I believe that, in this context, the MSc in E-Business and Innovation (EBIN) was very successful in providing a practical course.

Back home in Ankara I had gained both a BSc in Business Studies and an MA in Finance before I decided to come to the UK to enrol on the EBIN programme.

The uniqueness of the course played a dominant role in my decision. Secondly, and almost of equal importance, was that LUMS is, in my view, one of the best management schools in the UK, on the basis of several factors such as rankings and research quality. I perceived very high service quality during the application process and the campus visit I made before the course began.

Tackling real-world problems via industry projects

What I like most about the E-Business and Innovation programme is its versatility and applicability to a vast field. Even though most of the curriculum has direct links to e-business and web technologies, integral subjects which are essential to make the intended skills practical are not neglected. First and foremost, innovation theory is applied to the core elements of the course. Secondly, modules like Managing Complexity and Strategic Management of IST complement the technical knowledge and skills that EBIN offers. Finally a company project allows us to tackle problems of firms in the real world, allowing EBIN students to draw on learning from all the above-mentioned modules.

For my project, I worked for a North-West-based SME, Meltech Engineering, a specialised manufacturer of industrial machinery with over 25 years of experience and 35 employees. Meltech commissioned a team of three postgraduate students from Lancaster University to investigate their marketing activities and information systems. The ultimate purpose was to provide the company with recommendations and a viable road map which would allow Meltech to better exploit market opportunities by using web technologies and to cope with customer data effectively by utilising appropriate IST.

Over the three months from May to August 2009 the project team completed the investigation and produced a comprehensive report for the client. The agreed scope of the project consisted of two main areas: an in-house IT audit of marketing activities and (my area of responsibility) the use of web technologies in relation to marketing activities. The project was very well received by the company, with the Marketing Director professing himself astonished and delighted by the quality of the report.