Warwick Kickstart is one of the fastest-growing societies on campus. Their aim is to help Warwick students gain insights in disruptive industries, offering them job opportunities, knowledge and skills that will help them kickstart their career in the industries of tomorrow.
We talked to current president Jaimeen Shah about the benefits and amazing opportunities the society offers. Watch the video interview below.
Read the interview below:
Jaimeen Shah, president of Warwick Kickstart Society.
So Warwick Kickstart is an entrepreneur society, we focus on disruptive industries and enablers of disruptors – so what that includes is Fintech companies like Monzo or Revolut, as well as VCs, accelerators, these people that enabled that disruption to happen in the first place.
Our core focus is to educate students, bringing speakers in to educate, learn about the processes that these companies have, providing career opportunities to help them break into these fields. We really believe that supporting student start-ups is important, but not all students have that entrepreneurial idea, so actually getting a job in these industries and start-ups, or VCs, is a great segue into that.
Also it helps the work ecosystem as a whole, because then they actually see what’s going on in these industries, they can bring that learning back and then become part of societies in the future, that can help build the whole ecosystem even further.
I think it’s definitely a learning experience more than anything else, you learn about what’s going on. Some of the events that we’ve had in the past are Deloitte ventures and BCG Digital ventures, so these are companies and these are divisions of these really big companies that everyone at Warwick knows about – everyone knows about Deloitte everyone knows about BCG but they don’t know that these companies actually have divisions that focus on an entrepreneurial side – you can actually get into corporate life and also follow your passion as an entrepreneurship at the same time.
So that’s really where the education part of it comes in, and just some guidance as well because these industries aren’t like: banking, financing, consulting there’s no set cycles for applying to jobs, there’s no set routine, there’s literally, nothing is set right. The whole start-up role is ‘Adapt As You Go’ so we want to show students – okay what’s the right way to actually go about it and actually start to understand what’s going on. So you can explore yourself.
Honestly Warwick Kickstart’s open to everyone, whether you’re an undergraduate student, a masters student, MBA, PhD – it really doesn’t matter, as long as you’re interested in these industries and just want to learn about them. Anyone and everyone is welcome to come to literally any of our events – whether it just be a simple networking event, a speaker event, or some of the careers events that we’re going to host – for example the careers fair that we have in March.
We actually have six different teams – you have your regular teams focusing on corporate relations, careers that kind of thing, but what I really want to talk about is the main activities that we have – we have three different aspects. I’d say first we have the events, so we bring in speakers, who are experts in these different industries. They actually provide their knowledge, what we tend to do is start with their journey and then what they do, and then how students can do the same thing and replicate the same kind of experience that they had, and that’s what our events are all about, actually meeting people and learning from these experts.
The second thing is content – so we actually have articles and podcasts that we do, firstly about what’s going on in these industries. With the speakers that we bring in, we tend to do a podcast with them beforehand, we have our very own podcast on Spotify called KickCast, so a play on the name as well, so that’s really interesting. I really recommend it because there’s some speakers and some contrast back from first year as well, so definitely a good listen.
The last thing would be definitely our careers fair and our careers aspect – So we always make posts on our LinkedIn, primarily LinkedIn about job opportunities.
One thing to note is that we’re open and we are a diverse community, we have a woman in Kickstart team that entirely is focused on females in these industries, as well what are their successes – for example we had a talk from a Warwick alumni Jessica Rasmussen from Two Magnolias at the end of last year and even a speaker from Westport as well this year, so I definitely think it’s worth, no matter what your background is you’re always welcome to come join us, it really doesn’t matter and that’s the best thing about the entrepreneurial world – it doesn’t matter where you come from or who you are, everyone is welcome to come learn and make a difference.
I think for me when I was in my first year here, I’ve been with Warwick Kickstart for three years, and one thing I definitely learned is don’t be afraid to message people on LinkedIn, don’t be afraid to go and talk to them. We as a society try to be a very approachable group, so students can come talk to us and just see what experiences that we have and that we can share. I really think that the main thing is just honestly talking to people because especially in the Start-up and VC world networking and knowing people just having relationships and building those relationships is so important.
Other than that I just say come and see what it’s like. Everyone here harps on a lot about finance, consulting, banking all of that but you never know what else is out there, and an important thing is like companies like I mentioned like Monzo, Revolut, those are companies that are challenging the traditional banks now, so you want to know what’s happening in these disruptive industries, that are changing an entire landscape of how something works. So if you know about that then even if you do go into banking, consulting and choose that route, you already have the knowledge and know where to get the knowledge, what are things that are going to change my current industry and the landscape that I’m working in. How can I adapt in my team to stand out and get that ahead of everyone else, and get ahead of the competition.
We’re actually having a start-up in VC careers fair at The Shard – I mentioned earlier there’s no real structure to getting these internships and getting these jobs, so the opportunity to actually network on a one-to-one basis and meet these people can actually give students some more guidance of, what was your journey like, how did you get in, was it through networking, was it through a job post, what part of that job post, how did you respond to it, and those are things that we want to actually show students at the event.
Also we differ from a regular careers fair. We have the whole thing where you have different stalls at the event, and all the companies are there so you can talk to them, but we also have two panels on the day – one is Start-up Career Insights and the other is VC Career Insights – that way you can actually listen from a mixed bag of individuals with tons of experience about how did they break in, how do they help others break into these kinds of industries.
The third thing and the one thing that I’m really most excited about for the event is that all attendees actually send in their CVs beforehand, companies can review them and then book one-to-one sessions to talk to them on the day, so not only do you get to talk to these companies, if they find you really interesting you even get the opportunity to have a one-to-one sit down with them in a private room on the day. So we really try to just make Warwick Kickstart specialised.
At this moment we’re going into a new exec so the next round and the next year we’re going to have a lot more really interesting activities, we’re going to build on everything that we did this year. I think one thing to talk about is one of the events that we had was a Meet Your Co-founder event, we thought was really interesting. Students got the opportunity to come. We had people from a technical background and people from a business background, and if you had a business idea but you didn’t have that technical background you could find someone at Warwick who did have that background and meet them. It was an entire speed networking event that we did and we had 13 different societies we partnered with all at The Climb, and we had 50 plus students at the event.
So I think there’s definitely some really great things that we’ve done this year that I know for sure that the next exec are going to build on and make it even bigger. So I definitely think it’s worth you know following us, and just keeping up to date with all the activities that we have going on because I can guarantee you it will be definitely worthwhile.
Learn more about Warwick Kickstart society here: https://kickstart-warwick.com/