Pursuing the dream of running his own business, Raphael jumped at the chance to study at a forward-looking university close to home. Supported by lecturers, he focused his studies on his personal goals. After graduating, Raphael has launched five businesses and works part-time at the University as an Entrepreneur in Residence.
Here Raphael tells us how his experiences at University of Plymouth influenced his career.
“I chose University of Plymouth so I could commute from home and because it offered a two year degree, so I could minimise debt and get into the business world as soon as possible. The degree suited me with its fast paced and high intensity design, giving me the drive and momentum to springboard straight into setting up my own business. I also wanted to learn the principles on which I could base my ideas and aspirations – the course gave me the confidence to reach for career goals I didn’t know were possible.
The best and most vital parts of my degree were the personal relationships I built with my lecturers, which really enabled me to take different aspects of the course and make sense of them in a personal way.
I started my business two days before handing in my dissertation, purely because that was how the timing and my first contract turned out. I’ve also been asked to sit on the Young Alumni Advisory Board for University of Plymouth , which I’m very honoured by, and through that I’ve built close relationships with the University and many members of staff. Additionally, I’m now employed part time at University of Plymouth as an Entrepreneur in Residence. These roles combined help me towards achieving my goal of helping future start-up success stories.
I feel that taking that first terrifying step into setting up a business and making it successful, has been my biggest confidence boosting achievement. This has largely been due to the help and support of many people, as well as University of Plymouth . Thanks to this course I gained vital confidence, and I still use many principles and concepts that I learnt every day.
I’ve never come across so many people that care about the futures and successes of students, than at University of Plymouth . Alumni programmes provide connections and support that can really make a difference to graduates’ careers, as well as friendships. University of Plymouth has such a huge range of ties and support networks, making it really worthwhile staying in contact.
My advice for future students? Make good, honest, lasting relationships, both privately and in business. It’s those links and ties that make or break almost any business.”