We are Birmingham Alumni: Daniel Bridgewater

I chose to study at the University of Birmingham because I've always really aspired to be there. I'm from Birmingham, I used to drive past it when I was younger and my parents used to say you know one day you can study there. So there's this aspiration and it's always kind of been in the back of my mind.

I also think the campus is amazing. I did look at other universities and the facilities and kind of resources that didn't really stand up to what we get at the University of Birmingham.

I set up my first business when I was 19, I was taking a year out and I sort of had this idea, started learning about entrepreneurship, and I just thought you know what, let's do it. When I was at university I actually carried on that business and it was difficult doing it alongside my studies, but it kind of worked and it helped me apply what I was learning from my course to kind of the real world. So when I left University everyone is ushered towards a grad scheme, whereas I didn't think that was for me. So I went to an event and I spoke to someone they said just do it, do it now, set up your own business - you've got nothing to lose - and that kind of really inspired me.

A typical day is not a typical day for me. I will do emails, I'll be looking over finances, I'll be doing a lot of strategy, so marketing strategies - big vision strategies - everything.

A few years ago I won an award from, at the time, David Cameron and the Home Office and as a result of that, every Christmas, I used to get a Christmas card off David Cameron. So for about three years, you know my girlfriend hadn't sent me one, my mum hadn't sent me one, I'd get this Christmas card in the post and it was from Prime Minister David Cameron.

I actually run another business and that business runs projects for young people. We do a lot of stuff around theatre and I remember the one time we'd work towards performance and we're at the theatre and the kids were standing on stage and I just sat in the audience and just took it in. You get a lot of moments like that as an entrepreneur, where you've worked towards something and you see the outcome and it's just amazing and it's one of the reasons why I decided to be an entrepreneur, and why I love being an entrepreneur. I don't think you get that with a normal job but it's absolutely incredible.

My fondest memories of my time on campus...honestly, it's the socialising, meeting new people, moving out of your home and moving into halls, just going out, going to [Fab 'N' Fresh], going up town. Those are the things that you kind of look back on and you do miss. So honestly, I'd say just make the most of them, make sure you can take every opportunity, make sure you go knocking everyone's doors and make friends and just make make the most of being around new and exciting people.

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