From Saffron spice to Stamford Bridge, one Kingston University business management graduate has come a long way since calling the Clearing hotline in 2006.
At the age of 16 Anish Patel had an early taste of a career in business management when he landed a job in a Moroccan restaurant. Cooking up a career managing his own restaurant, however, wasn’t something he thought seriously about when he started a degree course in maths, finance and economics, but he soon realised that his chosen course wasn’t proving a recipe for success.
“I really wasn’t enjoying the course and it was too important a part of my life to ignore. I had to get onto a course more suited to me and my career aspirations, and the only way I could do this was through Clearing,” he said. Anish was slightly nervous as he had already been through the process once after slightly disappointing A-level results. “I did feel a certain amount of pressure to get things right this time.”
Anish had read that Kingston University was highly thought of for its business courses and so, with encouragement from friends and family, he decided to give the Clearing hotline a call. “I wanted to run my own business so I researched the business degrees available, looking particularly for practical hands-on modules,” he said. “There were three different courses to choose from at Kingston, and the phone operator helped me go through my options thoroughly, making sure that the course I chose was the right one for me.”
Anish chose to study business management and the three-year course saw him and a team of four other students setting up a business during their second year. “We took on the Young Enterprise Graduate Programme module and we were thrilled when the company we set up customising USB drives broke even,” Anish said. The team also won a special commendation for business excellence and the whole experience brought aspirations of running his own business a step closer. “It was hard work, but I loved it. It’s so rewarding to add other achievements to your CV and I found that I get a real buzz out of business,” he said.
Anish kept working while he studied and became a waiter in the hospitality lounge at Chelsea Football Club’s home ground, Stamford Bridge. However, the 22 year old from North Cheam wasn’t left waiting on the sidelines for long. “Within four months I had been promoted to back of house manager which saw me managing a team of 30 people including the chefs,” Anish said. “I enjoyed the challenge and I realised that my course and career ambitions had finally meshed.”
Anish graduated in 2009 with a 2.1 and is now busy looking for an assistant manager position. He’s also planning a well-earned holiday to Morocco where he’ll be gathering culinary inspiration for his next business venture. “I want to learn as many different aspects of restaurant management as I can, from kitchen to cashing up,” he said. “I know from the experience I have gathered at university and in the workplace that sometimes you just have to step in and do whatever job needs doing. A good manager can do that, and that is what I plan to become.”
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