Sprint Stories

Sprinter Story: Anna Swierta

Anna was about to begin her MBA, but wasn’t sure what to focus on. She joined a Life Sprint, thinking she'd walk away with some fluffy notions of what she wanted to do, and was surprised to end it with concrete steps that would allow her to develop her entrepreneurial side.

“It was the end of 2019, and I was feeling incredibly introspective. Not only was it the end of the decade, but I was also about to take a career break in order to do an MBA at INSEAD. My decision to do a business masters was fuelled by my desire to redefine my professional purpose and new career goals, as well as to push myself. When a colleague shared information about Life Sprint, I thought I would seize the opportunity to start my studies with more of an understanding of my own pathway.”

Anna joined our December 2019 sprint, and joined with a very open mind. During an early exercise - one using the magic future boards - it was very apparent that her entrepreneurial mind was full of ideas just waiting to be realised. 

“I’ve often had ideas, but rarely took them very far. Perhaps this is because - in my role as a consultant - I’m constantly helping clients develop and structure their projects, which I love, so I feel like I’m doing entrepreneurial work. But perhaps I don’t work on my own projects because of my self-critical voice, which has always talked me down from pursuing my own thing.”

“At the end of the first sprint session, it was apparent that I should push myself to start my own side hustle, an idea I’ve had for a while, that focused on a topic I’m really passionate about: improving people’s sustainability behaviours. I’ve put this topic aside before, but the best thing about Life Sprint is that it forced me to take action. I didn’t have time to stop and over question everything, I had to do!”

“A number of my Life Sprint cohort were from the startup and design-thinking fields, which was really helpful as I was able to apply new thinking to my project’s development. This group of great people also instilled a sense of accountability: I wanted to deliver on my promise to transform my idea into an MVP.”

In the three weeks following the Sprint, during the support phase, Anna successfully conducted and analysed interviews, and was able to create personas, allowing her to fine-tune her idea: the creation of a service that incorporates coaching with an app, to help people to easily change their behaviours into more environmentally-friendly ones.

She was excited to begin at INSEAD where she could continue to build her idea, but as we’re all very aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected most areas of life, and has caused Anna’s MBA experience, as well as her MVP development, to be very different from what she’d imagined.

“Sure, it’s tough being a virtual student, but I’m still so loving my time at INSEAD. I have developed a group of sustainability-passionate friends - both current and alumni students - who are helping further drive my idea into existence. We discussed the need for me to focus on a specific niche, and we realised that the one that made the most sense to begin with was helping people alter their eating habits. I’m really excited to grow this!”

“The push I got from Life Sprint, mixed with the knowledge I’m gaining from INSEAD, has made me feel very confident that, this time, my idea will become a reality!”

Anna is looking for beta testers at the moment: are you interested? Get in touch so we can connect you!

We are really looking forward to letting Anna help us become more sustainably minded! Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

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Are you - like Anna was - at a crossroad in your career, about to embark on a education journey and need help determining your new goals? We’d love to have you join an upcoming sprint!

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