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Alumni profile: Sophie Klecha

Stories

2020 has been a year of surprises for Sophie Klecha, like it has been for most of us.

Now entering her final year of a combined Business and Innovation & Entrepreneurship degree at the University of Newcastle, she has had to pivot to find work in an uncertain environment after some promising work opportunities were cancelled by COVID. She’s now had worked her first ever night shift, entered the mining industry and continues to navigate the ever-changing regulations of the retail world.

But, as Sophie approaches the full-time job market, she feels confident that the experiences she gained at Sydney School of Entrepreneurship have prepared her for whatever comes next.

“SSE teaches you a whole new way of looking at situations and solving them with an entrepreneurial and strategic mindset,” she says. “It’s something that’s so applicable, especially at the moment.”

Sophieklecha (1)

Being from a rural town, people just think that getting into innovation and entrepreneurship is unachievable, but it’s not.

Sophie Klecha SSE alum and University of Newcastle student

Sophie, who is majoring in digital marketing, has found that studying at SSE gives her an edge in a competitive graduate market. “SSE helped me cement and apply my knowledge in a practical setting,” she says. “It teaches you the kind of creative, user-focused mindset that is absolutely essential in marketing and product development.”

Coming from the mining town of Singleton, she says that SSE opened up new opportunities and experiences to her that she wouldn’t find back home. “Being from a rural town, people just think that getting into innovation and entrepreneurship is unachievable, but it’s not,” she says. “It’s been great meeting and getting to know so many new people.”

When asked what type of student would most benefit from joining SSE, she says the skills she learned are applicable for anyone looking to do something different. “So many students would love it. I mean, normally you don’t come up with a whole new business idea in just a few days, but that’s what you do at SSE,” she says. “It pushes you outside your comfort zone.”

With an open mind and a wealth of innovation skills at her disposal, Sophie is ready to take on whatever the rest of 2020 (and beyond) throws at her. She only has one regret about studying at SSE. “I wish I had heard about it earlier,” she laughs.

Inspired? Find out more about SSE's range of short courses on our Units page.