Jack Preston, Notonthehighstreet.com graduate scheme
How did studying at Pearson College London help you get into the world of business?
My time at Pearson College London was thoroughly enjoyable, but importantly, it also put me in a very strong position when I did head out into the ‘real world’. In fact, the great advantage I feel that Pearson College London gave me was to actually break down the barrier between education and the business / ‘real’ world.
The value that visiting different businesses, working on real world projects and starting my own company has given me is immense, which you don’t realise until you are sat in that grad-scheme interview, and your main problem is cramming all your experience into those 60 minutes.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently at Notonthehighstreet.com on their Technology Grad Scheme, where I’m working through four, six-month placements within different teams. Since I started in June 2016 I’ve worked on a wide range of projects, such as; making traffic predictions for Black Friday, developing new features on the site, and defining key success metrics and monitoring ROI of these.
What lessons have you learnt during your time studying and your time working in business?
I have learnt to be patient when faced with a new challenge, sometimes all it takes is time and a bit of head space to find a solution.
What was your favourite part of studying at Pearson College London?
Pearson College London has a great bunch of staff and students, who are all determined to create a completely unique educational experience. This positive culture is one of the most valuable assets the college has, as it touches every part of student life.
If you had to sum up your time at Pearson College London in one word, what would it be and why?
Inspiring. The most valuable thing that Pearson College London has been able to provide, has been to opportunities. I wouldn’t have bothered to spend the time writing this if I wasn’t hugely grateful for the opportunities which they’ve provided. In my three years at Pearson I met a wider range of people than I suspect most do in their lifetime. The opportunity to learn from such a wide range of people and try out different roles in different industries has really helped me to find what I am passionate about.
What's your favourite brand and why?
“Virgin” and the “Richard Branson” brand is so powerful and intimately linked that most of Virgin Group Holdings and Branson’s wealth is dependent on the brand.
One of the reasons that Branson’s brand impresses me so much is that beneath the veneer of a socially conscious, charismatic, environmentally friendly brand is a man who lives as a tax exile that often appears shy and wants to send the rich and famous into space. Despite all this being public information, many of the public (including myself) still inexplicably love the Branson and Virgin brands. - May need to remove the tax exile bit?
Virgin is also particularly impressive because, especially in the UK, we often view failure as a bad thing, Virgin has managed to fail over and over again, with cola, cosmetics, limobikes, and vodka but the brand is still has incredible power. They have had spectacular set backs and even tragedies such as the Virgin Galactic plane crash and yet this has not tarnished the Virgin brand image.
The final reason that I find Virgin impressive is that the brand stands for subtly different things in different markets, Virgin Holidays and Virgin Trains carry many of the same brand perceptions but some that are distinctly unique to each business.
What course did you study?