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The path to entrepreneurship: Muhammed Ali’s story of leveling up as a professional

Muhammed Ali Kolak is an aspiring digital entrepreneur from Turkey. After completing his bachelor’s degree in Shanghai, China, Muhammed Ali was forced to seek asylum in the Netherlands due to the political turmoil in his home country.

Once he received his residence permit and found a place to live, Muhammed Ali turned his focus to his next step: becoming an entrepreneur.

The path to entrepreneurship

Muhammed Ali cites his father – who was a businessman in Turkey – as one of his inspirations for becoming an entrepreneur. While studying in China, Muhammed Ali also had the opportunity to do a marketing internship at Yotta Games, a video game publisher headquartered in Shanghai.

With a growing interest in marketing, entrepreneurship, and business, Muhammed Ali decided to join the ICE Academy program at Delitelabs, shortly after arriving in the Netherlands. He says, “One of my friends recommended that it would be a good idea to follow this program. I wanted to get knowledge of all the processes of how to build your own business at a professional level. It would also be a great opportunity to see the differences between the Turkish, Chinese, and Dutch markets, and this program teaches you foundational business skills.”

Building core business skills in a diverse environment

The variety of topics covered in the ICE Academy program turned out to be Muhammed Ali’s favorite part. From conducting marketing research to creating a prototype of your product to learning how to pitch business ideas. For him, the ICE Academy program is the ultimate, inclusive crash course in entrepreneurship.

“These topics are very crucial to learn in order to become a professional as well as to get some basic knowledge,” Muhammed Ali says.

The diversity of the class also contributed to Muhammed Ali’s dynamic experience. “All of our classmates share different background knowledge. For example, there were some people from Yemen and Syria, but also some Turkish people,” he tells us. “We had a chance to work with the faculty and other colleagues, who have a lot of experience. They helped us reach a professional level.”

Kickstarting a career in digital marketing with a short internship at Unilever

Muhammed Ali is committed to building a career in digital marketing. “I believe that digital marketing will play a crucial impact in not just the Dutch market, but in the entire world,” he states. “When I was in China, everything was becoming digital. Everyone needs to be able to adapt to these systems.”

Via the ICE Academy program, Muhammed Ali got an opportunity to do a short internship at Unilever in digital marketing. “Even though it was only two months, I had a really great experience doing that internship,” he says. “I learned about digital marketing, content management, customer journeys – which are all very, very crucial.”

Besides hard skills like data-driven marketing, Muhammed Ali also gained insights into what it’s like to work in a professional environment in the Netherlands. “I learned how Dutch people work in real life. In the program, I had the opportunity to experience the Dutch people’s approach to work and their way of doing business,” he adds. “That was a really amazing experience for me.”

Delitelabs and beyond

Muhammed Ali is planning to continue learning about digital marketing, whether it’s through formal education like a master’s degree or through traineeships in the field.

“I would like to become a professional in digital marketing within five years. That’s my plan,” he tells us.

Muhammed Ali’s participation in the ICE Academy program at Delitelabs has given him the boost he needs to succeed in the professional world, as he now has the fundamental knowledge and skills in entrepreneurship, innovation, and digital marketing.

One of my friends recommended that it would be a good idea to follow this program. I wanted to get knowledge of all the processes of how to build your own business at a professional level

Are you an aspiring businessperson like Muhammed Ali? Join the ICE Academy program to get the skills, knowledge, and expertise you need to create your path to building a sustainable livelihood.

Written by Sophie Poulsen

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