After setting up his own successful business, a De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) graduate is offering placement opportunities to the current generation of DMU students.
James Beddows studied Marketing Management at DMU and started his own bicycle hire business after finishing second in the university’s Fox’s Lair competition for aspiring entrepreneurs.
The Dragon’s Den style scheme is run by DMU’s Leicester Castle Business School and gives students the chance to pitch their business ideas and develop their business skills.
With the support of DMU’s Enterprise team, James’ ‘Bright Bikes’ idea flourished and he sold the business when he graduated in 2013. He has since set up a thriving new start-up company called RideTo, which is an online platform for motorcyclists.
As his business continues to grow, James has now enlisted the help of current DMU students by offering placements through the Graduate Champions programme.
After a successful first placement last year, recent Business and Management graduate Benjamin Opoku is now spending six weeks working with London-based RideTo to support the marketing side of the business.
James believes there are a number of benefits for both the company and the DMU students who have the opportunity to work there.
He said: “They are able to help us out but they can learn a lot as well. Having Benjamin here brings a lot of fresh ideas and new ways of doing things. He’s very innovative and hard working so it makes a big difference having him here.
“It’s nice for me to still have a tie to DMU. When Benjamin found out I was a DMU student and knew more about what I‘ve done he really liked that because it was so relevant to him. He saw that I’d gone through the journey that he wants to go through in the next couple of years.”
In such a competitive jobs market, Benjamin has enjoyed the opportunity to gain relevant experience working at a growing company.
Benjamin said: “The work experience has been really valuable, it has made me grow in confidence to be successful in this field, especially with interviewing people. It puts things into my own hands.
“When I found out James was a past DMU student it made everything seem more relatable and it has inspired me more to start my own business in the future”.
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DMU has recently launched the DMUworks programme which aims to give students the necessary skills and qualities that employers look for. The programme hopes to ensure that all students receive work experience during their time at DMU so they can be work-ready when they graduate.
Benjamin added: “DMUworks has been really helpful, the team at DMU have helped with finding experiences as soon as possible and never gave up with helping me to find something suitable.”
After the success of the first two placements, James hopes to expand the opportunities his business offers to DMU students and strengthen his links to his alma mater.
He said: “I hope that when we grow in scale we can take on graduates in full time roles. I’m keen to keep the ties wherever we can and we’ll be expanding into Leicester this year so there might be ways we can do more.”
Posted on Tuesday 27th February 2018