Final-year marketing student Philip Pryce is living proof that taking a risk or two can reap positive results.
In 2015, the West-Londoner launched his own digital marketing company and started studying at Nottingham Trent University between 2014 and 2015. But months into his accounting course, he became disillusioned with the university and the course and opted to end it after a year there to study at GSM London instead.
“I felt that the lecturers and senior staff members at GSM London were more invested in their students,” he said.
Philip recalls this time as a negative period in his life. “I had left Nottingham Trent University and had gone back to live with my parents, while my peers were continuing with their education and progressing with their lives. It was while I was contemplating my future at home that I approached Pro-Provost and Executive Dean Christy Traore who suggested I explore the range of business-related courses at GSM London.”
From his interaction with Christy, Philip opted to study a BSc (Hons) in Marketing. The 21-year-old recalls reading every book he could find on online communication and digital marketing and made a point of keeping in contact with staff. Within weeks of him visiting the campus, he had secured a year-long internship in September 2015 with the marketing team at the College’s Greenford campus and by 2016 had started an accelerated BSc (Hons) Marketing degree course. During his internship, Philip did everything from writing blog posts, to creating social media messages and managing photoshoots, which eventually led to him gaining paid employment with the College after his year internship was up.
“People think that I got my opportunities because my dad [also called Philip Pryce] is a lecturer at the College,” said Philip. “But this couldn’t be further from the truth. I have taken a very proactive approach to building my contacts and developing my business and that is what has helped me get where I am.”
He soon became a poster boy for the College in more ways than one. Those of you familiar with the Greenford campus will see his image in the College atrium and in the College prospectus. But Philip is also a familiar face in the local area.
“I am known as Mr GSM in the local area and that has come about because of my interactions with local business owners and entrepreneurs,” he said.
The exposure coupled with the Philip’s academic and College work helped him develop his company Pryce Business Services and grow the blogging, website development and social media management services he offers. Through this insight, he has built up a portfolio of clients particularly within his local Greenford area but also in the wider London catchment. He has also been able to guide budding entrepreneurs within the College and provide them with practical help to bring their business ideas into action.
The support he offers within the College goes even further as Philip took on the role of Student Faculty Adviser – assisting in getting student voices for academic leads to enhance the learning experience at GSM London. He has also taken part in various student ambassador activities during his internship year, although he was not an official student ambassador. And once he finishes his degree, he is mulling over the possibility of joining GSM London’s Teaching Fellow programme to be able to share his experiences and knowledge with students.
“I really want to be able to help students integrate and adapt to life in Higher Education. I believe that there is a lot of opportunity within GSM London and a lot that fellow students can take advantage of but I just don’t think enough of them are are putting themselves out there,” he said. “The College has a lot of mature students – many from across Africa – who have been out of the education system for a long time and may not be used to the UK education system. I know what that feels like because I was born in Jamaica and spent my formative years schooling there before coming to the UK when I was around eight years old and there was noticeable a difference even at that age.”
He believes that being a student is not a reason not to explore entrepreneurship. “His advice to would-be entrepreneurs is simple: “Don’t be afraid to get involved because you don’t know where it will take you.