Why did you choose to study at EBS London?
I decided to study at EBS due to its proven track record for preparing its students for a life of commerce within a high tech business world in which we live. Another reason was to follow in the footsteps of my sister, after witnessing first hand the extremely positive impact on her life.
What are your favourite memories of that time?
My favourite memories are without a doubt the friends for life I gained. With such a diverse group of nationalities it provided me with a unique perspective on the opinions of different cultures. However an opinion we all shared was the unique privilege it was to attend EBS London and the tremendous opportunity to prepare ourselves for later life in such an exceptional environment.
What ambitions did you have for your career during your time as a student?
I had held an ambition of pursing a career in the City within a bank or investment house but my learning experiences coupled with the numerous contacts I made, ignited a burning desire deep to start up my own business from scratch. I gained the belief that working for myself was a viable option and my studies provided me with the skill sets required to do so. Equally important was the contacts I made during my time at EBS London who have been extremely supportive and useful in setting up my own business
What have you been up to since you graduated?
Since graduating I have created a property rentals business, and have been successfully running it for over a year. The idea for the business stemmed from my time at EBS London, when many of my fellow students would arrive to London all sharing a common dilemma of where to find a suitable apartment. Usually they would approach a local estate agent, who would struggle to find a suitable property to meet their requirements particularly within a short time frame. This is why I created my business, Capital Retreat, and we have been successfully relocating students for over a year. We have a network of close contacts within central London giving us access to the most in demand properties and the ability to secure the best price possible.
What have you found to be the main difference between working for a large company and establishing your own business?
I have never worked for a large company I am unable to compare it to establishing my own business; however I am able to compare my work life to that of my peers, who do work for large organisations. Working for yourself is far more stressful and time consuming than working for an organisation, in my opinion. You bring your work home with you and there are no definitive working hours, you carry on working until you’re finished. As everything within the company is your responsibility, you will experience many sleepless nights and anxious moments, which is something my peers at large organisations do not experience.
What is your next goal? Where would you like to be in five years time?
My next goal is to develop purpose built accommodation for international students and young professionals. These developments will be conveniently located, provide flexible lease terms, come fully furnished and the option to be fully serviced. I believe that there is a severe lack of this type of property in central London, and within five years I wish to fill this gap.
How has networking helped you develop your business?
The network I have achieved at EBS London has been the driving force behind the success of Capital Retreat. It was my network while at the college which gave me the fundamental idea and has provided me with much of my business since graduating. The network is unlike other networks. It is extremely close knit and there is a much greater sense of camaraderie when compared to other networks. I believe this is partly due to being an international student in London, which seems to be a distinct and close community.
As an alumnus of EBS London, what do you think are the benefits of being part of this dynamic network?
I believe it’s an extreme privilege to be an EBS London alumnus. It carries tremendous benefits and has proved extremely useful in both my social and business life. It is important to remember that by being part of such an incredible network, it’s essential to give and not only to take. I feel that the most important benefit of the network is the experiences shared from being part of a network filled with members from the international community. The diverse sets of individuals provide you with a global insight and experience which would be hard to emulate elsewhere. No matter where I travel in the world, there always seems to be a friend close by.
In next edition of the EBS London magazine We will also be celebrating the success of our entrepreneurial alumni, like Jonathan, and their many achievements.
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