Testimonials and Success

Former Head Girl and Momentum participant, Matt Bates has an article published on the Mirror online in July 2016.

Former Head Girl and Momentum participant, Megan Davies has an article published online for TBE Magazine in July 2016.

Joe Cliff

I remember when Rob and Megan came to the Academy to give the presentation on what the Momentum scheme was and all that it offered. It was really quite exciting as I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to get out of the following year so it was a great opportunity to gain some insight. I tried to do some more research but struggled to find much about the programme so I resorted to asking previous participants and they explained how much this opportunity would help us out especially with regards to networking. I was determined from this point on that I was going to get through the application process and try to learn as much as I could about the working environment.

We were kept informed with emails providing more information, however, the majority of information arrived quite close to the start date. This was a blessing in some respects as it gave us the chance to concentrate on our studies without extra information niggling our brains, but on the other hand it was somewhat frustrating to the most impatient of us candidates.

Megan and the team gave clear instructions on times and places with regard to the journey to London, where shortly after arrival we met up with Rupert. He gave us an idea of what to expect of the coming weeks before another brief with Nick the following morning. Work at Darwin began on the Tuesday morning and there was already a sense of teamwork with everyone frantically helping each other get ready for the tube journey ahead. We met some really interesting people that day and that was to set the tone for the following week. They brought in a wide array of guest speakers that could appeal to each one of us differently and there is no doubt that we all met someone in the field that interested us most. We were also put into groups to complete a live project which was exciting as our ideas may potentially be used in the future. It was tremendously rewarding to deliver our presentation to the other employees at Darwin and hear their feedback which we took on board to help us with our time at Balderton Capital.

At Balderton we were assigned a second project where we had to create a business plan for a restaurant in the King’s Cross area. We had very little time to work on this as we were moving between Rentify and Credit Suisse on two of the four days. At this stage you could see the motivation of hard workers coming out as some of us chose to head home early to cram in extra work before bed, turning down going out so as to be fresher at the office the following day. We managed to present this in front of Tim and his colleagues which again was very exciting because we were doing what so many successful entrepreneurs had done before us and it gave me a real sense that being one of these people is very much achievable with enough hard work. This is what is driving me on now to find some more work to fill in my gap year and my motivation to reapply to university for the year commencing September 2017.

The entertainment provided in the evening was second to none and I appreciate how much time and effort had gone into planning each night. At the time I was too exhausted to fully grasp what we were doing but looking back on it, I doubt I will ever be able to experience London like that again. My personal favourite was the National Gallery where I gained a real appreciation for the art work on display (something that has never interested me prior to that night). I am very grateful to have been offered a place on such a helpful scheme and I look forward to staying in touch and to seeing you all again next year.

Thank you all for everything that you have done for me.

Bradley Botha

Entering Momentum on 3rd July 2016, I had no idea what to expect. I had heard a little about previous years, but experiencing it first hand exceeded it all. The meeting with Charlie Coode was one of the most inspirational moments of the trip, he asked ‘what do we want to get out of this scheme?’ in my journal I wrote ‘I want to figure out what I actually want to do for a career and whether my current path was correct for me’. As I was writing this I felt as though I was being over optimistic, even so, I was determined to figure this out. I was lucky enough to have the chance to spend the first week working at Linklaters, as becoming a lawyer was my aspiration, this was an invaluable opportunity to see first hand what work within law would genuinely be like.

Working within the Tactical Opportunities team with Nick Sims was a lot of fun, although the members of this team were not directly lawyers themselves and the group weren’t tasked with the typical work of other lawyers but they had combined knowledge of a few fields I am very interested in, these being; law, consultancy and investment banking. So speaking to each individually about their past careers was extremely eye opening and made me really think about what I actually want to do. Although I didn’t directly work with lawyers, working in the environment close and similar to the lawyers working in Linklaters and even speaking to some of them, again had me dwelling on my answer to Charlie’s question. 

During the two weeks, living with such a large group of people was completely out of the ordinary for me. I have never really lived with more than a couple of people (My family members). So going from this, to spending every day and night with 10+ people was hectic. Even so, it was so much fun, the majority of the people from the Wellington Academy were already boarders and so live together in the boarding house and knew each other very well, but I only vaguely knew them. However, they didn’t hesitate to take me in like I was one of them and it created such a friendly environment and I got to know everyone so much more and made some lifelong friends. Also meeting so many extraordinary people, and getting to know them was incredible. Everyone one we were introduced to and worked with were so interesting and friendly. At no point throughout the two weeks did I feel uncomfortable with anybody we met, so widening my connections with these people has been life changing and I will definitely be keeping in touch with hopefully all of them and potentially do business with them in the future.

I have always wanted to work in London, even though I have never really experienced it my self. Having the chance to work there for two weeks was my first taste of what it is like and it lived up to everything I have always thought it would be. From the tube to the huge buildings, all of it was unfamiliar, nothing is quite the same where I live. Even though the tube was uncomfortable at times, it was all part of the experience and I loved every moment of working there. It has only made me want to work there even more than ever.

Throughout the trip I experienced so many things which I have never experienced before. First of all, I was lucky enough to go to Lord’s to watch England vs Pakistan. Although I have played a lot of cricket in the past, I have never been to watch an actual match let alone watch England play at Lord’s! This was a once in a lifetime opportunity which I will never forget. Also, being able to watch a South Bank show was completely new to me, but nevertheless, was so much fun and I hope to have the chance to go there again in the future. Furthermore, one of the most memorable activities was having private tours of both the Halcyon Gallery and National Art Gallery, both of which were phenomenal and once again were both experiences which I’m sure I will never have the chance to do again, which I am extremely thankful for.

Coming out of Momentum has genuinely changed my view on my future. Before I began the scheme I was set on going to university and studying law and then hopefully going on to work in a law firm. I have always had a burning desire to start my own company, but thought that maybe I’d need to have a career in law first, then do it. But after seeing everything throughout the two weeks, I learnt there are many other options rather than just going straight into a law firm. I have completely decided that I don’t want to work within law. I still want to study law at university as I believe it will be a great experience and I do also enjoy studying it as a subject, whether this will change in the next few months I’m not sure. But what comes after university has become a lot more open and I will now be more open minded to other opportunities which come my way. I therefore believe that I succeeded in answering the question set by Charlie Coode. And for that, I will be forever grateful.

 

Hazel Chalk-Pope

Momentum 2014 lasted for two weeks, and involved working with various companies completing a series of tasks within different deadlines.

Firstly, we spent a day meeting various business men and women. This was insightful as we were able to learn about different roles within the business sector and the different ways to approach the business world. We met with Charlie Coode, who explained the importance of first impressions, simple things such as firm handshakes, smiling and standing upon someone’s entrance. These things may have seemed obvious, but when you’re in the moment, you can sometimes forget. He taught us of the importance of appearance and mannerisms, which would potentially make us more approachable and employable. This was very useful and allowed me to reflect upon myself and how I would like others to see me.

We worked with a company called ‘Rentify’ for a couple of days, ran by George Spencer; this was an incredible experience as we were able to see how different offices functioned. We were then given a task to create a phone app in a day. This was a great yet challenging activity, as it meant we had to come together as a team to work towards a deadline. At the end of the day, we created a presentation and presented our app. I learnt how to pitch a business idea to an audience, and it gave me an understanding about business shares and how to go about getting funding for a new idea.

We worked in Balderton Capital for the rest of the week, who had a very different approach to business. Here we were given the task to create a business plan for a shop on the corner of Oxford Street. They gave us the tools we needed, including the correct outline for the plan. They provided us with our own office space where we worked closely as a team to come up with an idea and put this into action. To make the project more real, we visited the venue to see the location and the surrounding shops. We also asked members of the public which types of shops they thought were missing from such a high­end shopping street. We collated all of this information to then come up with the idea of “Baby Baby”­ an affordable baby enterprise. We put together a presentation, which we then presented at the end of the week. I learnt from this about formal pitches, and how to create a business plan.

The second week was very different, working with Future Cinema, a theatre company. This experience gave me the opportunity to strengthen networks and gain an insight into the professional performing arts industry, with a more hands­on approach. We worked with the company as volunteer actors in their show “Back to the Future”. It was an invaluable experience. I even got the opportunity to perform in the last three shows. The performance was incredible and it provided me with the contacts to potentially work with Future Cinema in future projects.

I was very surprised at how much I learnt over the two weeks, and how much I enjoyed taking part in the business elements of the scheme; it is definitely something that I would like to expand on and learn more about. Each company and person we met and worked with were very different in their approach to business and their role within the field. This gave me an insight into what I would like to do in the future and how I would like to go about it.

 

Ryan Littlefield

After the two weeks of the Momentum Scheme in July 2012, my whole outlook on where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do in my future career path changed. I was massively inspired by the businesses, how they worked and how their success has progressed. This gave me a massive encouragement and drive to not be afraid to go out there and start something for yourself. To not be scared to start something new, even if people put me down about it. When I got back from London I began to think about my future and made a promise to myself that I would start a my own company and see where it would take me – if it failed, at least I could say I tried and if it succeeded; well that speaks for itself. I went on to study a Bachelor of Science in Sound Technology at Portsmouth University. Within the first month of University I applied for a job with a Night Club Promoter company called Eskimo11 – this line of business has always been an interest of mine, so applying for it was something I was really hoping to succeed in. I was offered a Job as a Sound Engineer for the company, something I think was due to the Momentum scheme being on my CV. I loved the job, and learnt so much. In particular, I learnt the details of how the business was run, how they generate profit, how they market their products, what their expenditure was.

And with all the inspiration, drive and knowledge I learnt on the Momentum Scheme I decided to start my own Promoter company Fresh! Sounds. I began by learning everything there was in web design and created a website, along with Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud accounts. Within a few months, the website was receiving regular hits – and the Twitter page had over 8,000 followers. With this it gave me a great platform to begin setting up events and promoting properly. I began Co-Promoting events working with festivals like Bestival, Reading, Beach Break Live and others. I worked to generate ticket sales, receiving a percentage of the total tickets sold. Along with this in 2013, I set up an event co-promoting for a company called Loving Ibiza, which specialises in Clubbing Holidays. I used 15 reps to sell tickets, and market the product under the companies name for them to earn extra money (they earned 10% of each ticket they sold). Since the launch of the company in December 2012 I have made a profit each month, though it is small, it is still a profit – and the company has only been co-promoting, when I have enough revenue to set up events specific to the company then I will be earning a larger profit.