On the up · 11 December 2018

Is it possible to be an entrepreneur, have a part-time job and study at university all at once?

What are the secrets to managing multiple projects at once?

Funny you should ask – the answer is yes. I am proof that this is possible. Anything is possible if you work hard enough at it.

‘‘’WOW…you never stop, I don’t know how you do it all.’’ ‘’I wish I had your work-ethic’’.

A few weeks ago, a friend suggested to me writing a blog about my business, career and university life, and how I do it. “That’s pathetic, no one would want to read that’’, I thought. Yet not too long after, my boss suggested the same idea, so I became inspired to do so. So here it goes.

My Name is Rebecca Dunne, a nineteen-year-old student from Hertfordshire. I attend the University of Hertfordshire, studying a BA (hons) Management degree and I can honestly tell you that I love it – making the choice to go to university, here and on this course, has benefitted me greatly.

Alongside my university course, I have three part-time jobs, all in which I thoroughly enjoy. I am a restaurant and bar team leader at a local hotel, a party host at a local soft play centre and a freelance writer for insolvency practitioners, KSA Group, London.

And most recently, I have started to set up my own company, Dunneys Food Delivery. The idea arose from my father’s FMCG Company, Mostell Foods Ltd, which imports poultry to the UK, and delivers to food suppliers. Dunneys Food Delivery delivers premium quality frozen chicken to its loyal customers.

So far on my university course, I have taken modules in marketing, economics, accounting, employability, law and human resources. Through doing this I have learnt a variety of skills and became more business aware. Setting up Dunneys Food Delivery allowed me to apply what I was learning throughout my studies, into reality. I have been able to create my own cash flow forecast, budgeting sheets and other essential financial documents.

Additionally, I have seen methods of marketing and how to apply business law to a current business. Having learnt the content and watching it come alive allowed me to get first-hand understanding, as well as make use of my degree.

My new business fits in around this, as I deliver when suits the customer, so plans do have to change and be flexible. ‘University Study’ includes lectures, tutorials and being at university, as well as doing work from home. It therefore explains any type of task university related.

I bet I know what you are all thinking, A crazy busy week? Right? Well, very true – but my reason for doing so – enjoyment. Being busy is what keeps me going, staying focused, being productive, all motivating to me.

So, what is the secret?

  1. Do what you love to do…

I love learning, I love working and I love helping others – so what do I spend my days doing? This of course!

Throughout my studies, jobs and business career, I have learnt a range of skills and knowledge that has and continues to help me throughout life. The skill to learn really is amazing.

A particular skill I utilised at KSA Group was analysing data. This was exciting, and as much as it sounds “geeky”, I enjoyed doing it. I was tasked with analysing data of four million insolvent UK companies to find out if more female-run or male-run companies became insolvent. The results of my research can be found on www.companyrescue.co.uk . This is a prime example of “doing what you love”. When you enjoy a task, your maximum effort is put in, hence maximum results. So why waste time doing something that makes you unhappy?

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  1. Have a structure

Lists, diaries, calendars – you name it. Without having a daily structure, it’s easy to fall into the “typical lazy teen” lifestyle – watching TV all day, doing nothing, moping about. Have a purpose. Make each day count. By having a structure, you know that your day will be productive, and everything can fit in. Having responsibilities really allows you to see how crucial this is.

Organisation is vital. I continue to achieve top results in my University studies, obtaining the equivalent to a first-class degree in my coursework and tests so far. Without being organised, and staying on top of things, I wouldn’t be able to do this.

I remember the time I had an in-class test for university but was working the night before at the hotel. I achieved 97% in this test – and how? Well, of course some luck, but most importantly, I had organised my revision. I knew that I had to work, so I carefully planned and structured my week, to allow enough time to fit everything in – and this obviously paid off.

  1. Ignore negativity from others

Many people criticise my work-ethic, saying how pathetic it is, how crazy and abnormal I am. My advice…ignore anyone who tells you this – they are just jealous. When people try to set you down in life, don’t let them. The number of times I have been told not to get another job, not to take something else on…if I’d have listened to them, where would I be now? Well, most definitely not this successful, hardworking and driven.

I got told that setting up my own business was going to be too much, that I would not have enough time for it, that I wouldn’t know what I was doing. Well, with applying what I had learnt from university as well as seeing what my father does, and with some common sense, a business with sales, loyal customers and opportunity was created. And is it too much? No.

So, whatever you want to do, focus on yourself and do it for you. If you think it is the right thing – who cares what other people think!?

  1. Have a break

This is quite contradictory of me to say, as those who know me, know I do not take breaks or rest – ever. But I do believe, a requirement to succeed, is to take time out. Take time to focus on yourself, catch up with friends, speak with family, go for a walk – this is what keeps you healthy. We all need a break sometimes. Do not forget this.

So here are my tips for success. Is it possible to be an entrepreneur, attend university and have three part-time jobs? Yes – remember, anything is possible if you work hard enough at it.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Rebecca Dunne is the freelance writer for KSA Group, Licensed Insolvency Practitioners in the UK, established in 2000. KSA Group runs www.companyrescue.co.uk which contains over 2000 pages of useful information for struggling businesses.

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