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Ollie Simpson

Career Path: Company director - The Sole Scene
Location: Teesside, UK

For as long as I can remember, Ialways wanted to work for myself. I enjoy the flexible hours and seeing the direct benefits of hard work. Since the age of 13, I have bought and sold footwear. Initially, it was just to fund my own personal collection however it became a bit more about the money when I started sixth form at 16, but it still was just a bit of pocket money each month! The Entrepreneurial Business Management course allowed me to carry on my education whilst supporting the (official) set up and running of my business. Since graduating from Northumbria, I have been able to spend more time working on the business which has allowed for bigger growth. 

What are you doing now?

I now work full time with the company.


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

I enrolled on to the Entrepreneurial Business Management course as I knew my passion laid with entrepreneurship and it was a safe environment to test the water with the business whilst gaining a backup plan in the process.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?  

The lecturers and team coaches have a wealth of experience between them. Some are more academically focussed, and some are more business focussed. The diversity between lecturers allows for varied learning and being able to discuss ideas with someone who has real-life business experience is a big advantage for students.

How connected was your course with industry? 

Being on the course and starting your own business provides real-life self-employed experience. Assignments are often based around your business / business idea which gives you a push to be more proactive.

What was the best thing about your course? 

Being able to carry on education at the same time as pursuing your chosen career path.

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

The importance of having a good grasp on finances.

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

The social life!

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

Do it! It’s a great university and an even better city to live in.

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

Fun, challenging, enjoyable.

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