By Heemanshu Jain
As graduates of a highly respected school and rigorous academic program at the IS group, most graduates are destined for the corporate world, from the big consulting firms, financial institutions or technology behemoths. Academia claims many, who choose to answer the call of science, and go on to bigger and greater things. Yet some, such as Maximillian Schutz, take the road less travelled, of entrepreneurship.
Maximillian, a soft spoken tall man from Munich Germany, was studying finance and technology management abroad in New York. Interning at Bloomberg, the king of financial data, the topic of information appealed to him, as he realized the power of information. Bloomberg in New York was at the heart of the events that shaped our recent history. So he decided to search for a graduate degree program in Information Systems, and unsurprisingly chose the LSE Information Systems
and Innovation Group.
LISA Spoke to Max and here’s what he had to say:
LISA: Where did you do your undergrad? and did you work in between that and coming to LSE?
MS: I did my undergraduate (accounting & finance) studies at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, as well as a graduate degree in Technology Management at Technical University Munich & Columbia University. I did intern throughout my studies mainly in the financial industry.
LISA: So how did you find the program?
MS: Studying for the exams was hard but fun, we had study groups. I lived in the same student housing as my classmates, and we met every day, went for lunch, discussed, discussed and discussed. Without my friends I would have never been able to pass the exams. In comparison to my friends I was not too familiar with the subjects due to my background. My biggest challenge was to digest the massive amount of information, choose the points that meant the most to me, and try to argue them in the exams.
The dissertation was one of the best experiences, and I was awarded the highest grade of my class. Nobody has asked me about my grades really, and the LSE name speaks for itself.
LISA: What was your thesis about? Who was your thesis advisor?
MS: My thesis was about the convergence of technology in the automotive industry – the introduction of information technology to the car. So I did a lot of patent data analysis. The thesis was supervised by Prof. Jonathan Liebenau. Although I did write the thesis while I was working, I enjoyed it very much since it was a totally different to daily work and was the crowning of my studies.
LISA: Tell us about your life after ADMIS, your work, and your future ambitions and how you think Information Systems and the LSE experience will shape it (if at all!!!).
MS: Working for a startup, life starts before LSE ends, and I was already working while writing my thesis. I joined a startup with old friends from University. As a venture-capital-backed company we develop fully electronic fitness machines and we began selling our product line a few months ago. The first months were pretty unstructured and the office was similar to a work shop / construction plant; metals and wires everywhere [pictured]. My task was to build up sales, which was pretty difficult without a functional prototype. We weren’t taken seriously by the industry at first. However, a few months down the
line, we are being asked for interviews and exclusive publishing rights for our products.
What an industry! We only have one competitor in the market, whose machines are comparable to
ours. Of course they are not as good! You can imagine that they are not amused by our emergence
as their competitor, as they’ve enjoyed a monopoly so far. Recently though, I decided to start my own venture in the field of access security. The idea is sharing property should be as easy as sharing a picture with a friend! You can get access anytime anywhere with using Kisibox, which is the company name.
At first, the current idea was only a spare time project. It started to get serious after we won several
innovation competitions and received first money. With a close study-mate from New York, I now work
on the project fulltime and have left eGym after gaining valuable experience. We managed to receive
funding and are very positive about the future. No day is like the other one!
Concerning LSE, I try to foster my LSE network as much as I can. Social media is a great tool to do so.
It is really nice to have a global network, in terms of cultural and news aspects. I traveled a lot in the last
few months, and managed to meet some LSE friends in almost every city! As Howard Davies once said
“…after graduation, you will have a bed in every single country!” This is somehow true.
LISA surely does not advise students to take on work during their studies, however given an opportunity to work for a startup gives great insight to a wealth of knowledge that can often feed in as
primary source for data. Not for the fainthearted, however for some people like Maximillian, it offers a great opportunity to be in the same shoes as the people they studied about.
To learn more about Max’s project,