9 March 2018 - 9:32 am Enterprise Education: Enterprise 101

My interest in Enterprise was sparked when I started my undergraduate degree at The University of Sheffield. I was continuously reminded of the importance of developing enterprise skills and usefulness of these to my university & career life. As an Enterprise Intern at USE, I have been motivated to develop an interactive workshop to help students understand the importance of integrating enterprise into education. I challenged myself to break out of my comfort zone, and you should do the same! Continue reading “Enterprise Education: Enterprise 101” »

5 March 2018 - 9:15 am Three Reasons Why you should go to BME Take the Lead.

Three Reasons Why…

You should go to BME Take the Lead.

1 / It provides a unique opportunity to meet other BME students who are interested in leadership and networking. Also, you can talk to and get advice from BME student leaders and external speakers.

I went to BME Take the Lead in 2016/17 and the guest speakers were Shamila Akhtar and Ade Solanke. Shamila is an author, as well as a disabled rights activist who was awarded a place on Northern Power Women’s Top 50 Future List in 2017. She also founded InspirAbility, an initiative working to raise awareness of the issues faced by disabled individuals within the Muslim community. Ade Solanke is a playwright, screenwriter and the founder of Spora Stories and Tama Communications. Whilst Spora Stories was founded to support the telling of stories from the African diaspora, Tama Communications is more general, instead focusing on offering writing and publicity services.

In terms of student leaders, both myself and Rishabh Kumar took part in the panel discussion. I was the Chair of the BME Students’ Committee, as well as the BME Students’ Representative Councillor and the BME Representative of the Women’s Committee. Rishabh was able to provide an insight on entrepreneurialism and leadership, as alongside his role as the Vice-Chair of the BME Students’ Committee and the Chair of the LGBT+ Students’ Committee, he was also the International Entrepreneurs Lead for University of Sheffield Enterprise.

Ultimately, the point of speakers was so that we could share our experiences of being ‘leaders’ and what that realistically means. You can definitely get some tips on how to handle those haters and be more confident in yourself and your own abilities.

2 / It’s super unique. Literally, I’m not joking.

While the University of Sheffield’s Students’ Union has been the number one Students’ Union in the country for a while, the number of events specifically created to focus on and support BME students are few and far between (excluding the events set up by BME students themselves). Therefore, it is important to take advantage of this opportunity and use it to your advantage.

There’s a focus on self-reflection, in terms of your own achievements and what you hope to achieve in the future. The activities and discussions are there to start up conversations about how you can take the lead in your own life and in your future career. If you’ve never thought about leadership before, I guarantee you’ll start thinking about it at this event.

3 / Snacks + the people

No, I have not run out of reasons why you should go. I just really enjoy when people provide snacks at events. The fact that they thought about whether I’d get peckish or not is indicative of how much they care.

You meet so many cool students, from so many different backgrounds that you can’t really regret going. Even if you don’t like the speakers, and Oreos aren’t really your vibe, you will definitely meet at least 3 people you’ll be really glad to have met. I was really stressed when I went, partially because I was helping to set up and was getting sweaty, but also because it was a Saturday morning and I didn’t think anyone would come. But people did turn up, and they liked the croissants, and the whole thing was probably one of the highlights of my year (I was in a group shot with Ade Solanke, please, I would have cried).

Give it a go, I mean, what have you got to lose?

(Shot of the day! I actually don’t know who took it, I’m sorry. Ade and Shamila are on the bottom right)

27 February 2018 - 3:30 pm Graduating – What do I do?

What do I do? Where do I go?

With only a few months left until graduation, questions have been popping up in my head. What do I want to do? What will I become? What if no one wants to hire me?

But I do not think that it is just me. Within the first few years of university, I knew what I wanted to do and what I wanted my future to look like but it wasn’t until the past few months when everything changed. I can no longer see myself living the life I used to dream of. I stopped knowing what I wanted to do. I could not see where I was going.

Continue reading “Graduating – What do I do?” »

11:41 am Lessons from drafting a business plan

Developing a business idea can be a lot of fun and excitement. But it can also be a lot of toil and tears when it comes to writing it up in a business plan. I wish I would talk from real experience, from actually starting a business myself. But actually, I talk from another kind of experience, an imagination game (well, it’s not so much a game as it is an assignment for my studies but anyway).

One of my modules requires me to work in a group to develop a business idea finalised with writing up a business plan and proposal. The creative brainstorming part was great: we looked at problems in the world, at our vision and values, at our impact on society and so on. We had a pretty good idea at the start but we ended up with this complex mammoth of a concept that seemed to tick all of the USPs on the market. And we were quite excited about this idea, until we started writing up our business plan.

Continue reading “Lessons from drafting a business plan” »

31 January 2018 - 10:01 am 5 skills needed to start up your own business

Today I’ll be talking to Stuart McClure, the co-founder of a company called on skills you need to start your own business. I’ve been inspired by what Stuart has shared here today and will definitely be applying this to my own entrepreneurial projects!

LovetheSales is a website that aggregates sale items from 100’s of retailers into one website, helping consumers to find the best deals on products they want.

He has 14 years experience in digital marketing and business management and, before starting his company, worked in a number of multi-million pound businesses in senior positions.

Starting your own business is tough. It takes a lot of hard work, effort and emotion, but most people understand that the rewards of doing so outweighs the toil of getting there. And that’s a good thing. It’s that spark of recognition that keeps you going when times are tough.

I have been through that process myself at my startup, And still am in many ways. You never stop learning or working hard!

I’ve been luckey enough to get the opportunity to share some of my thoughts with you on the top 5 skills I think are paramount to successfully starting your own enterprise, large or small.

Often these lists contain fairly useless ‘skills’ such as ‘Leadership’ or ‘Project Management’ – I am going to try to give you some practical suggestions that will help steer the way you look at yourself and your business, that drive success. Rather than a list of nonsensical suggestions.

Continue reading “5 skills needed to start up your own business” »

9:56 am CHANGE – Women in Leadership

CHANGE - Women in Leadership course (poster)

CHANGE – Women in Leadership course (poster)

One shiny morning, I woke up to the realisation that I have never tried listening to podcasts before on my way to work or school. So, I took my phone out and I started browsing through an endless list of options, when I discovered Revisionist History by Malcolm Gladwell. Malcolm Gladwell is an exceptional storyteller and the very first story he shared was about a woman, named Elizabeth Thompson, a British painter.But not just a painter, since Elizabeth Thompson is the first woman to be nominated for election for the Royal Academy, as you might expect, a male-dominated world. However, whilst this was a great feat for women around the world and art in general, Gladwell argues that the appreciation of the Roll Call painting, that brought Elizabeth’s fame and her nomination, has also brought her downfall. Why? You might ask. How can her talent be at fault?

Continue reading “CHANGE – Women in Leadership” »

28 November 2017 - 11:09 am Why USE an idea?

With the new academic year in full swing, we have a fresh new intern team here at the University of Sheffield Enterprise.

Get to know them each a bit more and learn what Enterprise means to them. Take it away Aleena, Ana, Asma, Hemanshi and Pauline!

2017/18 USE interns – from left to right: Asma, Aleena, Pauline, Hemanshi and Ana. Continue reading “Why USE an idea?” »

11:09 am Learning, Connecting and Growing with NACUE

What is NACUE?

Nacue is a charitable organisation dedicated to supporting student-led societies and student entrepreneurs. They work with college and university students and provide young individuals with opportunities to boost their skills, confidence and aspirations through student-led enterprise societies, practical programmes and inspiring events.

Continue reading “Learning, Connecting and Growing with NACUE” »

11:06 am Millennials are killing social enterprise… Oh, wait…

Dear reader, you might be familiar with the classification of generations, or, at least, you might vaguely be aware of the existence of a Generation X, called the Baby Boomers, and their children, Generation Y or the Millennials – those born between the 1980s and the 2000s. We’re closely going into Generation Z – the post Millennials. But, since these latter ones are still in schools, and Generation Y is not yet obsolete, we are going to focus in this blog on the Millennials and the intriguing aspect of their ‘killings’.

Millennials have been accused in too many articles of killing something, being art, brunch, the career ladder, restaurant chains, politics, beer, food etc. They have also been accused of being too self centred, too lazy, too privileged with their avocados and Eggs Benedict . Too technology focused, too entitled, too DIFFERENT. And truth to be told, we are different. But the question is: different compared to what?

Most parents and children who have conflicting opinions blame them on something called the generation gap. A difference between generations. Children believe their parents to be narrow minded and obsolete. Parents believe their children to be rebels and disrespectful to authority and experience. Who is right? All generations create their set of norms that they respect, all generations should have the freedom to enact on their adopted norms. These norms are susceptible to change with a new generation. Change is positive for society! But older generations might not want to accept these changes. Conflict is created. Judgement is created. Accusations are created.

Screenshot of my search starting with ‘Millennials are…’

Continue reading “Millennials are killing social enterprise… Oh, wait…” »

10 October 2017 - 2:42 pm How I raised £10K for a student-led project

This is a story about how I raised funding for my student-led project and how YOU can help me do it again.

Last year, I co-founded and led a team of students to enter the MATE ROV, an international competition to design and build a remotely operated underwater robot. The aim of the competition is to get students into marine technical fields and to give them a chance to learn more about enterprise in an engineering context.

Each year, the competition is based on a new theme, which relates to the location where its held. The teams are presented with a set of real-life problems given by a “client,” given in the form of a brief. The teams have to then act as a company and design & build a “product” in response to the client’s need. In addition to engineering their robots, the students are required to prepare technical reports, poster displays, and engineering presentations that are delivered to working professionals who serve as competition judges. This allows teams to experience a very realistic simulation of a real-life engineering project. Continue reading “How I raised £10K for a student-led project” »