Where do our graduates go?
Before university, I was at school doing my A Levels. I also had a part time job at my local Waitrose store and spent a lot of time doing my passion of horse riding. I have had a horse in my life since the age of 4 and now it’s a lifestyle for me. I actually wanted to do Economics at university but as I hadn't done A Level Maths I couldn't find a suitable course anywhere. To me the next best thing was business; I wanted to stay as local to home as possible to ensure I could keep my horse without compromising on the quality and reputation of the university so I chose Loughborough.
Where are you now?
Now I work full time for my Mother's business. She runs a company who designs and produces merchandise for various equestrian events and associations as well as creating ranges for anyone who gets in contact. My role is very varied, which is what I really enjoy. I can be promoting the company via social media, updating the website, designing garments to organising the set up and running of our trade stand at the events we attend. I love what I do as it is in an industry that is so close to my passion. I get to travel around the country meeting many different people, equestrian and not, I have even taken my HGV Category C licence to drive our lorry around the country this year on route to our events. Within my first few months of working at the company, I gained a new contract, which I am really excited about seeing its progress through 2017.
How did you get there?
As it is my Mother's company, I was very fortunate to not have to apply or go through an application process. When I initially started university I wanted to get on a graduate scheme at somewhere like John Lewis.
In second year, I was applying for placement roles and ended up taking a role in IT. Although I learnt a huge amount from that year, I didn't really enjoy it. I wasn't excited by it and it wasn't particularly interesting to me. This made me change direction and look for companies in a sector that I was more interested in.
Over the summer between my placement and final year I was researching companies in the equestrian and agricultural sectors. I saw the careers service a few times and a lengthy one on one appointment did really help with where to look for information about these sectors. As final year kicked off, I was sending off applications to these companies. However, on New Year's Day 2016 I had a fall from my horse landing me in hospital for 5 days. I missed my winter exams and I was quite down and feeling as if I had lost control. Not being able to do what I loved and had done for the past 17 years i.e. horse riding totally knocked my confidence all round, not just riding. I didn't feel like myself for a long time.
This made me realise that you never know what could be round the corner, it could be positive, negative, it could make life easier or completely turn it upside down. For these reasons I was really keen to find work that made me happy, that made me excited passionate and that would allow me to continue my passion of horse riding.
Where are you going?
At the moment I don't see the need to be looking too far ahead. I am only 22 and I just want to enjoy what I am doing. As a business, we are always seeking new contracts and ways to promote the business. We are in talks with what could be very big events for us should we win them. I would love to take over the business eventually and take it even further than my Mother has managed to so far, but I don't think she'll want to give up any time soon!
What advice would you give to a student studying your subject at university now?
I did really enjoy my degree. I would suggest to take time in making option choices, don't just read the first sentence and go ‘looks ok I'll choose it.’ If you aren't happy with a choice you have made then do try and change it, but don't be put off by the first lecture if you can help it. The first lecture is always nothing like the rest of the year. Pay attention to whether the module is exam or coursework and whether its group work or not. Working in a group with your friends isn't always the best idea and even though you might have done better on coursework in the past don't choose all your modules to be coursework ones because as a close friend of mine did, you'll be snowed under with research and work.