Alumni share their stories of failure with Kingston University students

Posted Friday 7 April 2017

Six Kingston University alumni returned to campus last month, to share their stories of failure with current students.

The event aimed to teach the students about the different paths to success, preparing them to expect hurdles and challenges along the way.

Alumnus Moses Sangobiyi, who studied Computer Information Systems Design at Kingston University, hosted the event at the Business School. Moses left university in 2010 with his heart set on becoming an American football player.

"It was the first thing I was good at," Moses said. "I worked hard, but in many ways success felt inevitable. It was what I was training for and I pursued it single-mindedly."

Moses spent over ten years dedicated to the game. He represented Team GB, captained the National Champions and received a scholarship offer from the USA. In 2014, Moses took part in the NFL trials. However Moses' dream of becoming a professional athlete was shattered when he wasn't selected for the next round.

"This was the first time I'd experienced failure and I knew I had to turn things around," Moses said. When approached by Chelsea Football Club to lead one of their community programmes, Moses was delighted to find he could apply the skills he'd acquired through Football to a different field. The programme was a success and led to further mentoring work nationwide with Premier League clubs.

In turn Moses created The Successful Failure, a platform that sets out to challenge societies understanding of failure.

Doctoral Researcher Roxanne Persaud, who studied Economics at Kingston University, helped deliver a workshop with Moses, alongside nurse and founder of the award-winning Neo-Slip Neomi Bennett.

The workshop involved the students working in groups to define and choose the most crucial factors of success, and describing how it felt to fail.

Nursing graduate Neomi discussed the time she once received 18 rejections from one tender for Neo-Slip, the practical solution that aids the application of hospital stockings. "I knew I had to keep going", Neomi said. "I just kept telling myself I was going to get through."

Neomi succeeded and Neo-slip currently supplies 34 hospitals across the UK.

Students had the chance to quiz alumni during a panel session, featuring Neomi Bennett, Aaron Christian and Cat Turner.

Aaron, who graduated in Film Studies and Media and Cultural Studies, is a digital filmmaker and former Senior Video Director for MRPORTER.COM. Aaron is also the founder and editor of the men's style website, Individualism.

"For me, doing something where I find myself in my element, and waking up loving what I do, that is success," Aaron said.

Law with European Studies alumna Cat Turner co-founded the award winning Creative agency Cult LDN in 2012. Cat oversees the running of the 35-strong agency covering everything from marketing the business to new clients to hiring talent into the organisation.

"You don't wake up one morning and think, I'm successful," Cat explained. "You take every achievement and keep looking forward.

"Failure is not being able to get back up when you've been knocked down, Cat added. "We're here because we've kept getting back up."

Business Information Technology alumna and motivational speaker Faith Ruto closed the day by sharing her experiences of failure. Faith set up her company Transformation21st in 2012, a personal development consultancy that helps professionals and business thrive during change.

"Set yourself high goals as navigation for your life, and don't be afraid of failures as these are simply a stepping stone to something great," Faith said.

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