case study
Published: 30 April 2021

Spotlight on Student Enterprise

Surrey Student Enterprise is a programme we offer to students from all disciplines across the University, helping them to boost their employability in the world of work and even allow you to start your own business. It can also help further your personal development and enable you to gain useful skills such as public speaking, business communication and idea generation.

James Buck

James’ story

"After our first year at separate universities, a friend from home and I met for a coffee to discuss an idea we had been discussing during our first year. Our experiences were aligned in that we thought students in halls could be better matched to improve their experience at university. With a massive idea and not a clue how to execute it, I sent an email to Surrey Student Enterprise.

Not sure what to expect as I was never aware of the amazing entity that it is, I had a meeting with the Enterprise Manager – Kat. Talking to a trusted person within the University was the first step to the path that we are now on. Within a week I was attending sessions with Vincenzo (the Entrepreneur in Residence) and a month or two later a 1-week bootcamp (with other likeminded individuals) that was tailored to starting and executing a successful business.

Since that week I haven’t looked back! I then pitched to Student Enterprise to win a part of a £9,000 Cube Fund funded by Santander Universities, and went on to pitch at various competitions for money, support and just about anything else I could enter for! It doesn’t stop there, I’m now pitching in national competitions with people from universities across the UK, meeting likeminded people and growing not only as a business, but as a person too!

With the support of Surrey Student Enterprise I approached my placement tutor and was the first student to undertake their placement on their own business.

Throughout the year I’ve been able to benefit from the experience of the contacts that Surrey Student Enterprise and the University have to offer. I’ve had constant support from mentors in different fields, the Students’ Union, funded interns, lawyers, the accommodation team, societies and many more!

Being in constant contact with people in and around the University over the last year, has allowed us to build an app that now has over 900 users in its first 2 months of launch and a very successful base on which to build on. I never knew what I wanted to do after I finished University, but that one email I sent in 2019, not knowing what I would get in return has been one of the best decisions I have ever made!"


If you're a final year undergraduate student, you can find out more about how to boost your employability and the support available on our Dear Class of 2021 webpage. 

Share what you've read?