"City University and the Business School specifically, has a wide range of support for social entrepreneurs and their start up seminars with guest speakers really gave me the confidence to start my own business at such a young age."
Country of origin: Hong Kong
MSc course: Marketing Strategy and Innovations
Graduation year: January 2020
I knew I wanted to start something of my own and I was very interested in the ever-changing world of marketing and how it evolves almost every day, so I chose to study MSc Marketing Strategy and Innovation. I read and heard that the Business School (formerly Cass) was a very good university for master’s and I was also aware of all their entrepreneurial support and programmes which eventually became very useful! I had a look at the modules and the diverse topics of storytelling, accounting & finance and entrepreneurship all felt very relevant and useful to what I wanted to achieve.
I loved the entrepreneurship modules and storytelling modules as they taught me and prepared me for pitches with my business venture Leiho. I became very familiar with the different techniques of how you can inspire, encourage, and persuade others through the art of storytelling. I also found the practical work very useful. It is one thing to learn something but it’s another thing to put what you’ve learnt into practice because when you go out into the real world it’s not exactly essays and exams anymore, you’re facing real life with real skills and experiences.
City University and the Business School specifically, has a wide range of support for social entrepreneurs and their start up seminars with guest speakers really gave me the confidence to start my own business at such a young age. It was amazing to see all the different companies with their different ways of making the world a better place and I wanted to be a part of that. I have always wanted to start something that helped people in need and my master’s helped me explore those opportunities and, in many ways, guided me with different ways I could do that.
Leiho is a lifestyle brand that connects products to supporting social causes. Our journey began with socks because clean socks are one of the most requested items of clothing at homeless shelters. For every pair of socks sold, we give another pair to a homeless person. In a year we’ve managed to donate over 2,400 pairs of socks to 16 different homeless shelters and organisations. We want to be able to connect everyday products (such as socks) to fulfil the needs of vulnerable communities.
Almost every day was a memorable experience in all honesty! I’m not saying I loved going to lectures all the time, but I loved spending time with the new people I met and being able to work on my business during my master’s (as a project) just gave me a kick-start. Also, most importantly I met my business partner because she was doing the same course as me and going to the same start-up seminar talks! If I had not studied MSc Marketing Strategy and Innovation, I would not have met Thuta and quite possibly wouldn’t have started Leiho!
If you have the opportunity to study your master’s at the Busines School, do it! Completing a master’s puts you in a scenario where you are connecting with people of different backgrounds and age groups. It truly is a different type of connection, it’s not like undergraduate studies where everyone has just finished high school, a typical master’s lecture consists of people straight out of undergrad, people who’ve quit their jobs to further explore their interest, people who are married and have kids, people who have goals of getting more qualified in their current roles - it really is a very diverse mix and to be able to be in a situation like that and learn together is truly a very educational experience.