Monday, 7 October 2013

A useful piece of small luck

Detail from a green iron fence - three circles and a downward pointing arrow.
I've blogged about various organisations that have helped Look-in-the-Bag in our 18 months of existence. There was the late, lamented Business Link, the bacon-scented Sheffield Enterprise Agency, and (by royal request) PRIME.  Somewhat unexpectedly, we also managed to get help from University of Sheffield Enterprise (USE). 

Around four years ago I completed a post-graduate diploma.  I began the course thinking that it would be interesting and would improve my career prospects.  I ended it feeling frustrated by the lack of structure and guidance, and with worse career prospects than when I began.  All in all, it seemed to have been a complete waste of time.

I was so disillusioned by the time I finished that I forgot to make arrangements to pick up the certificate.  Eventually I received it in the post and filed it away under "Useless Qualifications" (I have quite a collection!)

Around that time Neelam and I were in the early stages of setting up Look-in-the-Bag.  Someone at the university suggested I should check out USE. I did, and found that they supported students up to five years after graduation.  I graduated from Sheffield as a mature student in 2000, so assumed that I was well past their 'help-by-date'.  As an after-thought though, I mentioned my diploma, dated November 2011.  To my delight, I learned that, yes, it counted.  As a result, Look-in-the-Bag was entitled to use USE as its registered office, as well as gaining access to marketing and legal advice.  My certificate got refiled - away from "Useless Qualification" and into "Unexpected Business Opportunities".

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