Innovation Funding Specialist: Ixion Holdings
Alumnus Daniel graduated from Loughborough University in 2012 with a BSc in Sport And Exercise Science. Daniel now works as an Innovation Funding Specialist at Ixion Holdings, and loves the challenges this job brings.
I chose to study Sport And Exercise Science for several reasons:
1. I have always been a physically active person. My passion has always been football. Exercise was always an interest of mine.
2. I thought Sports Science was a relatively new field and will therefore mean an opportunity in the future.
3. After deciding I wanted to study Sports Science, then Loughborough University was the best choice.
Loughborough University has educated numerous people who have made great achievements and created significant positive impacts in many ways. Such reputation for academic and professional excellence is in itself an inspiration which greatly motivates me to progress my career.
Loughborough University has also helped me land my first corporate job in the UK through its career centre and I am deeply grateful for such opportunity.
Finally, my BSc from Loughborough University has undoubtably been an essential qualification that has helped me secure several jobs.
Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to current or prospective students looking to study the same course that you did?
To find as much as possible about future career opportunities before an during the degree. Loughborough University is extremely good at exposing students to potential employers and its staff. Academic staff can provide useful advice, too. Also, to study and learn as much as possible because three years is not a very long time!
Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities during your studies? If so, how did this impact upon your Loughborough experience?
Yes I did. I was involved in the following extra-curricular activities:
1. Culture in the Community - This was an Action group which its aim was to increase cultural awareness in the local community. As an International Student, I represented Ecuador and participated in numerous events to teach the community about my culture.
2. Language Support Scheme - This was another Action group which its aim was to help students improve their language skills through language exchanges and social events. Both "Action Groups" helped me improve my communication skills, boost my confidence and learn more about the local community and other cultures. I ended up becoming International Students Coordinator which meant I had to manage both groups and this allowed me to become a better leader and communicator whilst supporting the local community which was a rewarding experience and made me feel valuable.
3. Vollyball Mens 2nd team - I played in this team during my three years of study. I met lots of great people and the expereince challenged me to learn a new sport while keeping me fit. I also travelled a bit throughout the country which allowed me to know more places.
Ixion Holdings is a non-for-profit organisation which helps individuals and businesses grow through workforce skills development, contract management, skills training, and innovation support. Ixion Holdings' parent company is the Shaw Trust which is a major provider of the social services listed above. Ixion employs over 200 employees who work in several offices across the country while the Shaw Trust employes over 1000 employees. I specifically work in Ixion's Innovation Division where we help secure significant grant funding for innovative businesses to help them grow and create global economic, social and environmental positive impacts.
I have worked in the following positions and geographic locations so far:
1. Financial Language Analyst at FactSet Inc (Manila, The Philippines). My main tasks included reseach and analysis global financial market information relating to Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) and Provate Equity transactions. My focus was the Latin American, Spanish and Italian financial markets. The end product was a comprehensive software platform which helped institutional investors and wealth managers make better investment decisions. FactSet is a global financial software company.
2. Strategy Innovation Consultant at Opinno SA (Madrid, Spain). My main tasks indluded providing consultancy services to major local firms to help them design new products, services or processes. Particular tasks included delivering innovation bootcamps and managing training programmes to help out clients become more innovative businesses.
3. Innovative Funding Specialist at Ixion Holdings (Melton Mowbray, UK). My main task is to provide business consultancy services to our clients to help them secure grant funding. I work across a wide range of industries and I can help businesses secure grant funding to meet their needs throughout the whole product cycle from concept development to market-readiness.
I love my job because I get to work with exciting businesses which possess the latest technologies across an extremely wide range of industries. This means that every project is different which keeps things very interesting but also challenging which is another aspect of my job which I love. This is a job for creative, persistent and highly motivated people. I wouldn't want to do a job which does not challenge me.
I currently forsee the following options for my career in the future:
1. Continue working as an Innovation Funding Specialist and increase my work experience in this role.
2. Look for a similar position in another company in the UK or abroad.
3. Work as a bid manager in another company in the UK or abroad.
4. Look for a completely different job in the business consultanct world.
5. Look for a completely different job in a completely different industry (e.g. sports industry).
6. Start a PhD.
Whatever pathway I end up pursuing, I am confident I will secure a great endeavour.
In less than 2 years, I have personally secured over GBP4 million in grant funding. In the grant funding world, this is a great achievement to have made in such short period of time. As a result, many companies have been able to launch new products and services which have created significant economic, social and environmental benefits worldwide.