Nicole Danielle and Whitney Papa
Nicole and Whitney met on the Master of Public Administration course at London Met. With the help of our business incubator, Accelerator, they went on to develop Oh Gee, Pie!, a charitable enterprise combining the creation of mouth-watering pastries with mentorship-led employability training for care leavers, winning our annual Big Idea Challenge in the process.
How has studying at London Met helped you get where you are today?
Nicole: When we started our course, Whitney and I were both in an area of our lives where we were starting to go after something that we wanted. Being two Americans, we connected in class and started to have our own friendship, which led to us sharing our ideas. Our business idea goes along with what the University endorses, which is helping to support young people and their ideas, helping them to grow and become what they want to be. That’s exactly what we want to do, to empower young people who maybe wouldn’t have had the opportunity elsewhere. That’s exactly what the University has done with us. It’s an amazing community, an amazing platform and it has so many different connections.
What support has Accelerator given you?
Whitney: Accelerator is an amazing community for us to belong to right now. Everyone’s very invested in our growth.
Nicole: Without London Met our business wouldn’t have happened the way it’s happening now. This is the best way. For over 10 years I’ve been thinking of doing this café. I think eventually it would have happened but London Met has really given us a better direction and a more realistic approach to building it.
What was the best thing about studying the Master of Public Administration course?
Nicole: I really liked the teachers on our course. They were invested in all of us. They knew where our passions were. I also liked having the opportunity to work at Help on your Doorstep for our work placement.
Whitney: The work placement was a real bonus for me. It was one of the big things that made me decide to choose this programme. I knew that I wanted to eventually work in some kind of charity so being able to get that placement meant a lot.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of studying at London Met?
Nicole: You may not realise it because you’re in your own programme but this University is such a massive organisation with so many different pieces and each individual piece comes together to help you get to where you want to go. Take advantage of everything that London Met has to offer.