Benjamin Burrage
Founder, New World Readers

Benjamin Burrage

MSTE
2013


Profile

Q: Why did you choose the MSTE program?

A: I chose the MSTE program for a variety of reasons but most importantly to have the opportunity to couple my pre-existing technology skills in Computer Science and IT with business skills taught through the program to create my own business. Another major draw was the wonderful entrepreneurial atmosphere of Northeastern as promoted by organizations like IDEA and the student-run Entrepreneurship Club.

Q: What kind of Development Project did you work on in the program? What did you learn from that experience?

A: I worked on a Children's eBook company called New World Readers that I had been thinking about prior to starting the MSTE program and my peers chose my business pitch as a Development Project. The idea stemmed from the changing times in media consumption from physical products to digital products and the new skills required accommodating this change.

Q: What did you learn from the Development Project?

A: The Development Project was a highlight of the MSTE program because it allowed concrete application of the learning that took place throughout the program. For instance, prior to the program I would have readily rushed to use my technology skills to build a product I thought had potential without first deeply studying consumer needs through marketing research and financial analysis to see if it could be a successful product. Even after one semester, I understand the importance of the careful orchestration of the many different skill areas required in entrepreneurship.

Q: What was the biggest take-away from earning your MSTE at Northeastern?

A: We are entering a period of time where cross-disciplinary skills are becoming incredibly important-- not only from an employment perspective but to create solutions to problems we are facing now that we have never encountered before. Learning to appropriately interweave these different lines of business thinking into my technology experience was my largest take-away from the program.

Q: What are your future career goals, and how do you believe your MSTE degree will help you to achieve those goals?

A: My future career goal is to run my own business that combines artistry with technology while doing work that is meaningful to me. Prior to the MSTE program, I didn’t have enough business knowledge to chart my own path in this regard. Now, with my MSTE degree, I feel I am ready for this new challenge.

Q: What do you know about entrepreneurship today that you didn't know before you started your MSTE degree at Northeastern?

A: There are four real dimensions that an entrepreneur needs in order to succeed that should begin with personal introspection; The passion and drive to create something truly special, the understanding of multiple channels of business, the guts and focus to carry the idea to fruition and beyond, and the self-made luck to create a network of individuals that will help and support you throughout your endeavors. If you find yourself needing bolstering in any of these regards, the MSTE program has something that will aid you in becoming a stronger, more confident entrepreneur.