Opening the door to entrepreneurial learning
Jamie White, BA (Hons) Management, Technology and Enterprise, Glasgow Caledonian University
I’ve always been adventurous which has got me into trouble quite a lot of times. But it has always been that curiosity which has driven me forwards, curiosity about the unknown.
At school I adopted the role of class joker, I was a bit of a misfit and a miscreant getting up to nonsense and disrupting the class. After school I struggled to settle into anything. I tried a few different college courses and ended up working at McDonalds for about five years. Then I finally went back to College to do an Adventure Tourism and Outdoor Pursuits HND and I realised that I wanted to start my own business. That’s when the penny dropped and when my direction in life suddenly had a lot more focus.
Glasgow Caledonian University offers work experience for 5,000 students each year and has introduced a university-wide approach to employability and enterprise
It all started to come together and I thought if I’m going to do this I’m going to do it properly. I realised that I didn’t have any knowledge about business so I thought ‘I’ll go and study business then’. I slowly started bringing down the walls that I had put up against education. I was twenty-five when I finally made it to university. I had led myself there and soon realised that it was so much more than I’d anticipated.
I couldn’t believe it but it was testament to the fact that it was something I enjoyed doing. I enjoyed reading about it, researching it and then writing about it; it just sort of came.
I am studying for a Management, Technology and Enterprise Degree at Glasgow Caledonian University; it’s a really broad course as it covers different aspects of business management as well as the implications for technology. It was a module called ‘Entrepreneurship and Developing Organisations’ that particularly clicked for me. I realised that I could fit into the mould of an entrepreneur. I hadn’t written an essay in about ten years and I wrote one on ‘What is an entrepreneur?’ and about how they affect organisations by developing new ideas and approaches. I got 68% for the essay. I couldn’t believe it but it was testament to the fact that it was something I enjoyed doing. I enjoyed reading about it, researching it and then writing about it; it just sort of came.
The whole ethos is that anybody and everybody can have a good business idea.
I came across the Scottish Institute for Enterprise at the end of third year and that was another key moment. They’re all about business start-ups and ideas from within the student population. The whole ethos is that anybody and everybody can have a good business idea. So I applied for the boot camp and got accepted. That’s what brought it all together; it was the catalyst between the theory that I’d been learning and the aspiration of running my own business. I’m now an intern for the Institute based at the University. The whole point is to raise awareness and promote enterprise and business throughout the campus.
In terms of my own business, I’m now registered as a sole trader and have a few ideas I am developing based on the things I have learned. University has given me so much for the future. Without it there’s no way that I would be where I am today!