Samuel has studied at the Loughborough and London campuses, graduating with a BSc in Information Technology Management For Business in 2012, and from London with a Masters in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management in 2017.
Samuel is an Alumni Advisory Board member representing Loughborough University London and works for J.P. Morgan Asset Management as a Strategy & Business Transformation (Senior Associate).
Why did you choose to study at Loughborough University and then to continue your studies as the London campus?
When I first started looking for Universities at the age of 16 or 17, like most other teenagers, I really didn’t know much about the process. After looking through prospectuses, I decided to focus on Business & Computing courses which offered a sandwich year – i.e. a year on placement with a company, between years 2 and 3 of the course. Shortlisting 5 Universities, I visited them each one by one, with Loughborough being the last. As soon as I stepped onto campus at Loughborough, although it sounds cliché, I felt at home. I made the University my first choice and never looked back, starting a degree in Information Technology Management for Business in September 2008.
My journey to Loughborough University London was quite different. I’d been working full-time for 3 years at J.P. Morgan, and feeling settled in my role, felt I could do more in the evenings and weekends to build my experience. I hadn’t heard about the London campus until I saw a Facebook advert, announcing the inaugural launch, including Scholarship opportunities. After researching, I decided to apply for the MSc in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, specifically through the Dean’s Scholarship Award. Fast forward, I found myself completing the course part-time over two years as part of the Scholarship cohort – a challenging yet very rewarding experience.
Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to prospective students?
Get involved. As part of my placement year, I visited over 35 Universities, and can honestly say I did not find one that had more on offer than Loughborough. Outside of direct academic studies, there is sport, volunteering, fundraising, societies, clubs, committees… the list is endless. I genuinely feel it’s these opportunities that stretch you further than just academics, that makes you a true Loughborough graduate. From an employability perspective, these extra-curricular activities allowed me to stand-out from competition, and now as an employer, it’s something I specifically look for in potential candidates.
How did it feel to be awarded a prize for your studies at Loughborough University London?
It was a shock. As a part-time student, it was sometimes difficult to build relationships with fellow students, particularly as I wasn’t on campus a lot. However, for the Collaborative Project, the flagship module at the University, I really did my best to integrate fully with my team. As a group, we delivered a solution for a real-life client which was highly commended, and I can honestly say it was my favourite module across my studies. It was great to then learn I had won the ‘Impact through Collaboration’ award, and I’d like to thank my team, tutor, fellow staff and our clients for a fantastic experience.
How are you looking to represent London graduates on the Alumni Advisory Board?
I joined the Alumni Advisory Board with a strong intent to represent the London campus. Attending both locations, I do feel I can offer a unique perspective. The experiences I had at each, although fantastic, were completely different in nature. I think there are opportunities to learn across the two; at Loughborough University London, there is a chance to champion the community evident at the main campus, whereas Loughborough would do well to welcome the diversity and culture thriving in London.
How did your part-time postgraduate studies fit in with your career?
It was challenging, but looking back, I’m really glad I did it the way I did. Taking my Masters part-time over 2 years instead of the usual 1 year full-time, meant I could split the workload across semesters. I decided to do 75% of my course in the first year, and was able to do so by working for four days a week over a period of 8 months.
This meant that in my second year, I could return to my employer full-time, but still have enough time to complete my modules. That being said, I had to use my annual leave on numerous occasions when I had deadlines approaching, so it’s now nice to look forward to holidays which aren’t spent studying!
When leaving Loughborough in 2012, I never thought I’d be returning to complete a Masters just a few years later, but it’s something I’m really pleased I can now add to my CV.
Can you tell us more about working for JP Morgan?
J.P. Morgan is one of the largest companies in the world. I joined the Asset Management business in 2012 on a graduate scheme, rotating across roles in Client Service, Sales and Technology. I’ve now settled in a Program Management role, in a team known as Strategy & Business Transformation. What I like most about J.P. Morgan, is its truly global presence across every function you can think of – the opportunities are vast and this makes it an extremely exciting place to work. Not to mention, the company really does value its employees, and I therefore feel very supported.
What does the future hold for you?
When first leaving Loughborough, I was young and naïve. I thought I could be a Managing Director by 30 years old, and this meant that I became easily disappointed. Over the last few years, I’ve matured, and although cliché, I’ve realised a career really is a marathon – not a sprint. For me now, my focus is on building a career where I’m enjoying myself, whilst also making impactful change. I’d love to live and work in an international city in the next five years, perhaps New York or Hong Kong. Following that, although I don’t have a timeline on it, I’d like to setup my own business and test some of that entrepreneurial spirit I’ve built on across my time at Loughborough.