My name is Vaiva and I run a business consultancy and advertising company called Starq Productions whilst also studying Media and Spanish.
Date: 10 April 2019
Most people will probably agree that living in London whilst working and studying is not always easy, especially if you’re working for yourself. I’m always reminded of that when I’m talking to my family and friends, both in London and Lithuania. While they’re travelling around the world, going out and meeting friends, I’m usually meeting clients and organising shoots or writing essays and preparing for exams. My mum is a doctor and even she always says that I work more than her or anyone else in the family even though I’m only 21.
Although I study part-time, I only have one less lecture a week than my full-time classmates. I started my business over two years ago and began studying just last year. For me personally, working in different fields and finding out what I really enjoy doing helped me a lot with choosing which course to study at university. I had many disagreements with my parents about studying too because in Lithuania, if you don’t continue your studies straight after high school, it is considered shameful for some reason. So, despite the fact that I was starting and running a business in London, my parents avoided talking about me with their friends and relatives because I wasn’t studying.
In the beginning, I only really started university to make my family happy but in the end, it was the best thing I did in 2018. People in business always say that when you’re creating your future, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. So, even though the knowledge you acquire at university is definitely valuable, the friends you make there will show you the wonders you can achieve when you’re surrounded by the right people. A perfect example of this is that my classmate has now become my business partner for a company we opened together.
You're probably wondering how I manage running a business and studying at the same time. There are many things involved, such as time management, staying positive and being proactive and so on. This isn't all it's about though. Firstly, it’s all about what you think you can do, what you want to do and how much work you are willing to put in. I hear people say that, even though they would like to start their own business they just couldn’t cope with the stressful lifestyle or the insecure income. They’re right: if they think they can’t do it, they won’t be able to. For me, the difference is that I believe I can do anything I want. Not everything, but anything. Don’t forget that dreams only come true if you put the effort in.
To help me get through the hard times and stop myself wanting to give up, I think about my goals and the future and where I see myself in two, three or five years’ time. I also talk to the friends that truly support me, rather than just tell me to get a normal job. University brought a lot of positivity and joy into my life. Before, I was working many hours a day from my computer, sometimes not even going outside for days at a time and now that I think back on it, it was pretty depressing. I learned to value rest and to set aside time for myself and for seeing friends because the worst thing you can do is burn yourself out.
I would like to finish by saying that studying while running your own business is definitely not easy, but if you find something that you truly enjoy doing (not just work but anything else you set your mind to) it won’t ever feel like an obligation.
"Even though the knowledge you acquire at university is definitely valuable, the friends you make there will show you the wonders you can achieve when you’re surrounded by the right people."
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Did you know?
London Met runs Accelerator, which offers a range of help, support, advice and events for those interested in going into business for themselves. In addition to this, if you’re a student of London Met or a graduate from the past five years, we can give you the opportunity to discuss your business ideas with a professionally qualified business adviser.