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Lewis Blakelock

Career Path: Assistant Investment Executive, FW Capital
Location: Newcastle, United Kingdom

I'm an Assistant Investment Executive for FW Capital, managing the North East Property Fund. I am responsible for sourcing, appraising, and delivering property development investments, in addition to providing operational support to the property team. The £20(m) residential and £35(m) commercial North East Property Fund is supported by investment from the North East LEP. The fund offers development funding to SME house builders, construction and property development companies to bring forward residential and non-speculative/speculative commercial development projects in the North East LEP area. This covers the seven local authority areas: Northumberland, County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland.

What are you doing now?Lewis Blakelock

I moved into the property industry out of an interest for investing and the property development market. I built up an extensive amount of business experience in managing KFC Franchise stores with 2 million annual turnover with teams of 30-40 staff as well as an SME property company of 150 individuals, 80-100 properties and 11 business projects simultaneously.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

Northumbria had a great reputation, and being on my doorstep, it was a no brainer. Reputation and standard of education was important to me in making the decision where to study, if I was going to invest 3 years in my education, I wanted to make sure I made the right choice. After reading up on all the local Universities, I decided Northumbria was the best choice for me.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

I chose to study Entrepreneurial Business Management, the course was attractive for its unique curriculum. I had a hands-on team-based approach to learning with aspirations and the opportunity to be your own boss. This innovative course gave me the confidence and skills to accelerate my career development and give me the potential to earn money while I studied, through setting up and managing my own and team businesses. It also offered business management experience that suited me if I want to work for a business upon graduation.

I was fortunate through my studies to participate in customer week challengers, real business consulting sessions, coaching sessions, team meetings, and academic lessons. These were all benefits of the course and give me a mix of hands on experience as well as theory.

How connected was your course with industry?

I worked on multiple projects through my course of study. I had the opportunity to work and collaborate with;

  • Student Law Office
  • Jump Marketing
  • Blue Sky Accountancy
  • City Breaks Newcastle
  • The Bayford group
  • Blue Kangaroo Design
  • Seedcell

I also travelled on learning expeditions, funded through the course to widen my business experience to the international teams who were also studying EBM. I had the chance to visit Berlin, Morocco, Finland, and Madrid to share best practice and work on some of their business projects.

If you took on a placement during your course how did you feel this helped you in your career/ with your studies?

Although I did not take a placement I was introduced to a local company, Seedcell, from the course staff. I worked for the company, gaining vital start-up business experience during my second year of studies. I was able to transfer what I learned into my business team and use the relevant knowledge within my academic work.

What was the best thing about your course?

The flexibility and unique approach of the course. The lectures were more collaborative by being run as coaching sessions. The financial incentive to create and build your own company to not only use as supportive evidence for your modules but to also keep as a reward. The ability to work as a team and on your own, having your results feed into your modules. The reflective nature of the course was also great. There was plenty of personal development, team and self reflection modules to help you further understand and improve yourself in work, personal life and learning environment.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

The course and teams that I was part of really helped me to frequently step out of my comfort zone. I participated in many challenges which helped me to grow professionally and personally. The main learning point which was drilled into me from our team and coach, Natalia was the belief in yourself to achieve great things. The course and its nature was so unique, I often found myself talking to prospective employers for hours throughout my career since graduating. Northumbria was the only local university to deliver the course I studied and I believe still is, employers or businesses (if you decide to create your own company) are often extremely intrigued in my experience I gained through EBM.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

  • Situational Leadership
  • Team Management
  • Personal Effectiveness
  • Leadership
  • Project Management
  • Business Management
  • Communication
  • Business Strategy
  • Financial Literacy
  • Marketing
  • Business Planning
  • Leading Business Impact
  • Entrepreneurship

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

The collaborative nature of the curriculum and approach ability of the team coaches and programme leaders.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

Read into what the University can offer and know that if you do chose to study at Northumbria, you will feel supported to be the best version of yourself.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Collaborative, memorable and enjoyable.

For more information about me visit:

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