Patrick Ubuane from Nigeria is the Founder of mySkillConnect, he is currently studying MSc Business Analytics and also works as a Kent Business School Student Ambassador.
‘I studied an undergraduate degree in Business Information Systems in the UK, before returning to Nigeria.
Even with my First Class Degree, I was unable to get a job in Nigeria and so I decided to launch a fashion business.
I was trying to organise a fashion show for my business and needed models, photographers, and event planners. Because I was still new to the environment, I found it difficult to locate these skilled individuals. It was stressful, exhausting and time consuming.
That was when I noticed a gap in the market. I felt I could create a platform to connect likeminded people in the creative industry.
I created a proposal for a location based smart app that connects skilled and semi-skilled individuals to people that need their services within their geographical location. I called it myskillconnect.
Starting a business is daunting. Despite being armed with innovative ideas and enthusiasm, I faced setbacks, failures, and challenges.
One struggle was grasping data analysis and its impact on informed decision-making. That was why I decided to invest with a master’s degree.
I began researching various Business Analytics courses at different universities, I settled on the University of Kent. The campus immediately caught my eye – it was vast and had a serene environment that exuded peace and greenery. It felt like the perfect fit for me and never regretted that decision. I also read about ASPIRE, who assist student start ups and decided it was the right choice for my business, too.
I moved to Canterbury last year with my wife, it’s been a real adventure both academically and personally. I love Canterbury, it’s full of culture and history and the campus has everything you need all in one place. We enjoy walking down the city centre and really cannot wait for summer.
The course has been really challenging, but highly rewarding. By far my favourite area of study has been Advanced Spreadsheet and Decision Making. It’s really helped me to see patterns in data and use them effectively. I also enjoyed Project Management with Prof Amgad Badewi, he is my favourite lecturer, his style of teaching is impactful.
University of Kent’s ASPIRE program is among the top features that drew me to the university. The ASPIRE team is dedicated to guiding entrepreneurs in launching their businesses through co-curricular classes and the Business Start Up Journey, culminating in a pitching competition.
I made it a point to attend ASPIRE sessions whenever my schedule allowed, and the experience was great. The program changed my perspective and helped me become a better entrepreneur.
With ASPIRE’s assistance, I came to the realisation that while my business idea was sound, I had not done sufficient market analysis to understand my market, my target audience and my customers did not fully grasp the product.
I was assigned a mentor, Jo, she provided invaluable guidance. Regular meetings with her helped me to stay on track. Additionally, Jonathan was instrumental in helping me with pitching, and I learned a lot from him.
I was really pleased to come runner up in the Business Start Up Journey pitching finals last month. The judging panel consisted of entrepreneurs with thriving businesses, which made the recognition more meaningful.
I am really flourishing as my degree continues and immersing myself into student life – working as a student ambassador at open events and outreach sessions. I am also aiming to boost my academic expertise further in the future, perhaps with an MBA.
At present, I am focusing on developing the MVP for mySkillConnect mobile application, applying the valuable lessons I acquired from ASPIRE and my mentor.
My goal is to launch a new product before the end of the year and I am actively seeking work experience in various industries, particularly the tech industry. My aim is to secure a position as a Business Analyst or Business Consultant.’