Interview with Ben Solomons
Name: Ben Solomons
Home town: Ilford
Uni: Leeds Metropolitan University
Degree: English & History
Employer & Job description: The Uni Vibe Ltd (UK) Director
How long were you at uni?
What are your best memories of uni?
Fresher’s week and just all the nights out I had with my mates from home and new friends I made whilst at uni.
Do you think you are better off having gone to uni:
- Personally: Yes. I have become more independent because I lived away from home and I feel I have become more social due to meeting so many new people.
- Professionally: With regards to how I deal with people, yes, because of the amount of people I met, but the experience didn’t really set me up enough for the working world. It was a big culture shock when I started dealing with people who had been working for years.
- Financially: Not really because of the debt that comes with being at university. However on avergage graduates earn more money so in the future I feel it could benefit me.
- Other: The life experience of going to university is one I wouldn’t change. It’s an amazing experience and brings so much more than a degree.
What advice do you have for prospective students considering university study?
Make sure you get on to the course you really want to do but also don’t just go to a certain university for the course or the city. Weigh up both options because they’re both important. Try and do a course that leads to career opportunities. Balance your social life with work otherwise you can get caught up in the social side of uni and not get the grade you should, or you’ll put yourself under enormous pressure to get a good grade in the third year because you didn’t do that well previously. However don’t only think you’re at university for a degree; enjoy it as well because it only happens once.
What did you learn the most at university?
I learnt to take responsibility for my own life; if I didn’t motivate myself to do the work then I’d do badly. It was as simple as that. I learnt how to look after myself e.g. cooking, washing up etc. I learnt how to look after my money and budget with it e.g. holding back money to pay bills.
How has your time at uni helped you in the workforce?
It’s helped me come out of my shell and gain confidence as a person. Also, I am running a website for students so the experience I’ve gained from being at university has held me in good stead. I know what students want and I know how they generally behave. Studying English has helped me write for the website as well.
What do you wish you had known before graduating?
How hard it was to get a job with good career prospects. I didn’t take in to account how many other people go to university. Unless you’re doing a specialist subject, a degree doesn’t always get you ahead.
What advice can you give current students who will soon have to embark on the ‘real world’?
Make sure uni is definitely what you want and you’re not just going because it’s fashionable amongst your friends or because there are no jobs about. If you’re heart isn’t really in going to uni it can become an expensive mistake.