When I started at NewVIc , I was sixteen and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. This was probably obvious from my A-level choices: Philosophy, English Literature, Classical Civilisations, Maths and Further Maths.
At a stage in my life when I didn’t want to close any doors, NewVIc was the perfect place for me. To a prospective student this was apparent from the unrivalled array of qualifications and extra-curricular activities on offer.
Once I started my studies it became obvious that this was just an aspect of a wider culture of offering students every possible opportunity, whether it be in form of abundant advice, resources, activities (tennis, chess and debating took up much of my spare time), or college trips (visiting Athens to study Greek Democracy and Philosophy was a highlight for me).
The importance of such a fountain of opportunity in an economically deprived place like Newham cannot be overstated.
My time at NewVIc paved the path for me to study Economics & Politics at SOAS, start a social enterprise, live and work abroad, and forge a career for myself in the tech industry.
Studying at NewVIc encouraged me to explore new things and develop the confidence necessary to take risks.
Straight out of college I signed up to teach in rural India for 10 weeks, that was an unforgettable experience that inspired me to return to India but this time to help social entrepreneurs as a volunteer for UnLtd Tamil Nadu. While I was there I ended up running a successful crowd funding campaign for a livelihoods charity and showcasing UK tech start-ups with UK Trade & Investment.
Currently I work for an innovative tech start-up called Squared Up – they provide cutting edge application monitoring and IT data visualisation solutions for organisations like the Bank of England, Ford and Deloitte.
For anyone who is interested in Social Entrepreneurship I would highly recommend checking out UnLtd (www.unltd.org.uk). They provide support, funding and connections to aspiring social entrepreneurs of all ages. They have a particular focus on solving the issue of unemployment and employability, if you have an idea for a Social Enterprise let them know!
I’ll always be grateful to NewVIc for the leg up it gave me and, more generally, for the positive impact it continues to have in the place I call home.
Nathan Coulson, NewVIc class of 2008
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