In our ‘10 Questions’ series, KBS caught up with Sarah Grippay who recently graduated with a BSc (Hons) in International Business with a Year in Industry.
Why did you choose your degree?
I was born in Paris and lived in the USA, Brazil and Japan before moving to the UK to study at Kent Business School. I feel like an international citizen and I’m happy to move to a different country every few years, discovering new cultures and meeting new people. I wanted to choose a programme that was broad and would allow me to keep my options open for jobs wherever I’d end up after my graduation.
What have been the highlights of studying at KBS?
Definitely the people. I made a lot of friends from completely different backgrounds and coming from all over the world whilst at university. We formed our own tribe, studying together or meeting up for lunch after a lecture, and we are still in touch now. Almost all are working in the UK and I try to see them whenever I am here. My course allowed me to look at International Business from different perspectives and to analyse. The module on the EU was a real eye-opener – I knew nothing about the way the EU is organised and it really changed the way I looked at the institution. Steve Robinson was my favourite lecturer. He had a gift to make any subject matter interesting. His lessons were always very engaging and he encouraged us to speak up and share experiences.
Tell us more about your career so far?
Since graduation, I feel I could go anywhere in the world, but I realise that I have to commit to one place for now. I have decided to stay with my parents for a year in Dubai to work on my business idea Got You. Got You is a University search system, which can help students looking for a university decide on where and what to study, making an informed choice. I got the idea when I was looking into universities myself and realised many countries do not have a UCAS.
What are your future plans for your business/career?
I’ll use this year to conduct extensive market research and hopefully develop a university search app, possibly followed by a masters study in the USA.
What is your greatest achievement so far?
Taking the risk to go forward with the development of a business idea without knowing where it is going to go. A lot of people choose the security of a job after graduation – for understandable reasons – but I did not want to do that and then regret not having pushed this business idea – so I am going to give it a go!
What’s the best piece of advice you have received?
My lecturer Carmen Stoian advised me to enjoy my final year and worry about job hunting later when she saw me stressing about finding a job. I took her advice to heart and realised she was right. Don’t focus too much on what is coming after graduation, live in the now. Things will fall into place.
Do you have a mentor/role model who has inspired you?
Michelle Obama and her book Becoming has definitely inspired me, as she came from nothing and succeeded. Also, my Mum, who has always told me to go after my dreams, look at challenges rationally and not be afraid to fail. I try not to put myself down and push myself to achieve whatever goal I have set myself.
If you could have dinner with six people, who would they be and why?
- Olivia Pope from Scandal – because she has everything together and I love her work ethic.
- Michelle Obama – because I’d like to know what she is really like.
- Ellen DeGeneres – because one always needs some humour during dinner and she must have a lot of anecdotes to share.
- Bethany Hamilton – because despite her accident, she didn’t give up surfing and just seems to have a very positive mindset.
- Bill Marriott – because there is a lot to learn from his style of management including asking others what they think first.
- Timothée Chalamet – because each role he plays is quite distinct and I’d like to know what makes him choose.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself having completed my Masters. I honestly do not know what I will be doing – apart from being a KBS Alumni Ambassador of course!
Why did you choose to become an Alumni Ambassador?
I wanted to share my experiences with prospective students. It is through talking to people that you really learn about KBS and the campus.
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