ALumnus OF THE MONTH -  March 2019

richard cummins (bsc business it, 2004)

Richard

Read how Richard began his career in the tech industry and how he now works in Google.

"I chose to do the Business IT course at LSBU as it combined my personal interests of wanting to pursue a business related career with an emphasis on the role that technology plays in it. I had heard from an LSBU alumni that the course was highly recommended and the faculty was well supported by experienced lecturers, which made my choice even easier.

Someone from LSBU I will never forget is Jeffrey Chang, my course administrator in my final year. Although Jeffrey had only recently joined the university at the time, he was knowledgeable, approachable, and supportive throughout my course, and I owe him a lot of thanks.

I didn’t stay in halls while I studied, this was so I could continue working and support my immediate family members. I held a variety of jobs while I studied, but my main role was working for a computer retailer in Central London. This introduced me to the world of both B2C (business to consumer) and B2B (business to business) sales, and provided me with the skills around laptop/desktop building and repairs, I really enjoyed this role, I always worked whilst studying so I had no problem with the job market when I graduated. I had a part-time 1st line IT support role in my final year so this naturally turned into a full-time role as soon as I finished my course.

IT Support roles were the 'go to’ role as an entry point into a professional career into professional careers in IT for many people when I graduated. A lot of us didn’t have much of an awareness of the full breadth of careers available. My first IT support role provided a good foundation by exposing me to real business issues and threats, as well as equipped me with applicable skills which I learnt on the job. I switched career industries once I found out about Advertising Operations, which combined my interests in tech, and also passion in Digital Media. Prior to working at Google I gained valuable employment with Virgin Media, Discovery Network Int'l, and a start-up named Base79.

While working at Google, I am constantly challenged to learn new skills and product features. The product features we use and industry landscape in which we operate is constantly changing so it's a requirement that I stay up to date on these changes and adapt as required. It’s a positive challenge. To me, career satisfaction means being recognised for my good work, whether it be an industry award or simply a thank you from a colleague.

Keeping a connection with LSBU is very important to me. I’ve participated in alumni panels in the past, which have allowed me to engage with current students. As a lead of an Employee Resource Group, I regularly hold inspirational Tech-focused events at Google which I have had the benefit of being able to invite LSBU students to as I know how much I would have appreciated an alum doing that for me when I was a student.

I want my legacy to be known as someone who helped and assisted the next generation of people, especially those who are from a similar disadvantaged background as myself. The reminder of where my parents came from and my upbringing keeps me motivated, so the advice I would give current LSBU students is to network, engage, and take risks!

I beleive it's so important to keep learning, the last book I read was Limitless by Ajaz Ahmed. It explores the leadership styles which influenced the formation of Ajaz’s company at the young age of 21. Working in the same industry as Ajaz, I can draw parallels between his vision and simplicity for Tech, and take many points of inspiration for founding my own company in the future."

Find and contact Richard on LinkedIn.


We feature alumni each month who have had an interesting journey. To nominate someone email alumni@lsbu.ac.uk.

Visit the LSBU website to read more profiles of LSBU alumni.

 

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