University of Portsmouth
Vincent was a professional football player who played for Juventus and at two Premier League teams. Unfortunately, health problems led to retirement at 29. Having no formal education to fall back on, Vincent was faced with questions about what to do next. He started an organisation to help support professional sports people deal with mental health problems, but a lack of formal business training meant he was making mistakes.
He decided to apply to the University of Portsmouth due to his previous positive experiences of playing football for the city’s club. At first he applied through UCAS and was declined due to his lack of formal education. However, by contacting the university directly, he was offered a place studying business.
During his study, with the support of lecturers and Portsmouth’s Innovation Space, he was able to put together a business plan and develop ‘What’s Up?’ – an app that’s all about asking ‘how are you today?’ Upon completing his studies, Vincent was able to leave Portsmouth with a qualification, two clients and links with partners such as Mind and the NHS.
Portsmouth didn’t just look at my grades, they looked at me, the person behind them. That personal approach was so important. – Vincent Pericard