Business Insurance

Student Interview Series: Q&A with Josh Blackhurst from Swansea University

Education is one of the most influential factors in determining a young person's future, and we want to share experiences of the up-and-coming generation of professionals. Our team at NimbleFins is conducting a series of Q&A interviews featuring top students at different universities across the UK. This interview is with Josh Blackhurst, who is studying Business and Entrepreneurship at Swansea University.

Tell us one thing about you that’s not on your resume.

I have rafted down the Colorado river, passing through the Grand Canyon.

What has your experience been like at Swansea University?

I have had an amazing 3 years so far at Swansea University. The university has a great balance of work, socializing and outdoor escapes. I have enjoyed the campus aspect of the Uni as a very sociable, relaxed working environment.

What other schools were you considering, and why did you choose Swansea University?

I considered some of the major universities in the north of England eg Newcastle, Liverpool. In the end I chose Swansea because it was on the coast, in a new country for me, and has a small city feel.

What influenced you to pursue the Business and Entrepreneurship degree course?

I was drawn to the practicality and hands on nature of the course. I am a doer rather than a learner in some ways and noticed that there was a lot of scope for it in the School of Management at Swansea Uni.

What has your experience been like with the programme? What did you find especially valuable about your degree course?

I have found that the programme covers a very wide spectrum, making you competent in lots of things and challenging you in areas which matched my weaknesses. Personally, the most valuable part came in Year 2 after a good baseline had been set. The Entrepreneurship in action and test trading modules, in which we had the opportunity to write a business plan and pitch it to a panel, before developing the business with funding.

What was your favourite class/module and why?

As above, the pitch and test trading. It has been my favourite because you get out of it what you put in. In my case I now have a fully functioning business which I have taken beyond academic means.

What has been most challenging about studying Business and Entrepreneurship? Is there anything you wish you had known ahead of time? In certain circumstances Group Work has been challenging. It is the preferred method of assessment for some modules. My advice here would be to get started ahead of time and try not to be in a group with friends.

Have you participated in any relevant internships? If so, where were they and can you tell us about your experience?

I haven’t participated in any internships. However, I have worked alongside my studies as a Barista. I would say that having a part time job (under 10 hrs per week) is very manageable with the Business entrepreneurship course.

What are your future career plans and aspirations?

I am currently in my third year and running a business alongside my studies. Letzee is an app and website platform which allows prospective tenants to virtually tour rental properties in 3D. I will continue to grow the business alongside my final year studies, making the decision of whether continue post university based on performance. As it stands, I am making profit, learning an incredible amount about how the real world works and developing how to communicate succinctly with other companies and customers.

What do you think are the challenges that young entrepreneurs face?

Without stating the obvious, it’s money. But apart from that, the barriers are astoundingly low. Once you have an offering with genuine value, you will be surprised how many adults and companies will take a passionate young entrepreneur seriously.

Have you overcome any challenges as an entrepreneur yourself? If so, can you give us an example?

I launched my business in January 2020. What a year it has been so far, due to Coronavirus, national lockdowns and ongoing local restrictions. Instead of shying away from the challenge of launching a business this year, I have embraced it, pushed forward and created a unique service and small but distinctive brand.

What is the best entrepreneurship advice you have received?

Someone once told me that successful marketing is just about making ‘noise’. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just generate noise, make waves and get people’s attention. Be persistent.

What advice would you give someone interested in your study programme or Swansea University?

What I would say is. Before enrolling onto a business course at Swansea Uni, be sure which area is of specific interest to you. Think about your core strengths and weaknesses, and how these could apply to each Business pathway. As for Swansea itself, go for it, best decision you will make!

Do you have any favourite books, websites, or media that you would recommend for someone interested in your field of study?

Great books for entrepreneurs:

  • Rich dad poor dad
  • Never split the difference

Anything else you’d like to share?

Please take a look at what I have achieved whilst at Swansea and keep up to date with the progress of my business Letzee. On social media also!

Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the Founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team. Read more on LinkedIn.