Mathew Brace studied the HND Business Studies and graduated with a Distinction before progressing to the BA (Hons) Business and Human Resource Management (Top Up), which he also graduated with First Class Honours. Mathew has now started his own company, S2S – a mobile app for support Universities, allowing students to interact with support services from their mobile phones.
I chose to study at the University of South Wales after visiting a number of Welsh Universities with my partner, who was also looking to study a course. I didn’t have a strong academic background and therefore I was advised to apply for a HND. When visiting the University I met Paul Peachey, Course Leader for the HND Business Studies, and he provided me with all the information I needed, about what to expect on the course. Having dyslexia, I have never been overly confident with my academic ability, however Paul was able to reassure me that the HND was a good pathway for me to take and that I would be supported throughout my studies.
I loved studying the course and enjoyed being a student at USW. As the class sizes were smaller than the main degree route, I felt the tutors were able to provide each student with more one-on-one interaction. They were very approachable and provided many opportunities to ask any questions. My uncertainty in my academic ability was soon overcome through the support and encouragement I received from tutors on the course.
In my second year, I took part in the Young Enterprise program that is annually organised by Paul Peachey. This initiative gave me and several other students the opportunity to start and run a business on campus for a year. The group decided on a hamper company, and we sold hampers through a shop at our USW students’ union. This opportunity gave me a fantastic insight into what it would feel like to own a small company, and first-hand experience of the many challenges new businesses face. Importantly for my development as a prospect entrepreneur, was the realisation that mistakes are an opportunity to learn and move forward, and just how rewarding eventual success can be. The profit made at the end of the project was given to a local charity.
The HND was designed for students to gain real-life experience in business – which I’ve most certainly had. Following the course, I progressed to the BA (Hons) Business with Human Resource Management (Top Up), which I graduated from with First Class Honours. During my third year, I begun to set up my own business with my partner Elina Unterweger and my course mate Videet Mardania. We are no exception, some of my peers are also in the process of starting their own company after completing their degree and taking advantage of the support offered by lecturers and the enterprise team. My company is called S2S and is a unified software solution designed to facilitate student support systems at universities. The course and the University have inspired me in setting up my own business and I’m now putting every effort into making it a success.