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Balancing university and running your own business

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Published: 26 July 2021

Student's writing in a classroom

One of the best things about the students at the University of Sunderland in London is their entrepreneurial spirit.

More than a few of you are dedicated to the idea of working for yourself and are well on the way to achieving your goals.

But decided to start your own business and trying to complete a degree at the same time can be challenging.

That’s why we wanted to give you some advice on how to approach balancing the two and even using what you’re learning in both worlds to support the other.

Make the right choice

If you’re currently considering whether to apply for the University of Sunderland in London, make sure you think about your business.

How will what you are hoping to study help you become a better entrepreneur? What are the skills you’ll be learning?

You might find you were thinking about doing a BA (Hons) in Business and Management but the BA (Hons) Business Management and Entrepreneurship (Top-Up) is better for your needs.

If your course comes with optional modules, think very carefully about which will be of the most use to your company.

If you’re not sure, you can always speak with your lecturers for a bit of guidance.

How do you work best?

Next, you’ll need to think about how you can get the most done.

For example, do you work better in the Library where you’re surrounded by other people or in the relative calm of your own room?

Are you a morning person or are you productive late at night?

Use that information to decide when to do what work, whether that’s answering emails or starting on your next assignment.

Use your time

It’s extremely tempting to avoid writing your next essay until the very last moment.

But if you really want to work and study you should take advantage of the time you have got.

It’s common to get your assignments at the beginning of the module so make sure you’re giving yourself as much breathing room as possible and complete them before the deadline.

Schedule everything

If you’ve got a lot on, it helps to have a set plan of what you are going to do and when. That’s where scheduling comes in.

You’ve got a starting point because you know the times of your classes are and deadlines for your assignments.

All you’ve got to do then is fill in time for your business and study.

But importantly, make sure you also schedule in some rest. Looking after yourself will help to avoid burnout in the long run.

Make lists

This bit of advice goes together with the last one. Lists are a useful way of seeing everything you have to do in one place.

Write it all down and tick it off when you’ve achieved something – it can be a really satisfying feeling plus it’ll help you see that you are achieving something.

Prepare your list first thing every day. You can even colour code them, say green for university work, red for your business.

That way you have a visual representation of where you spend most of your time.

Running your own business can be an incredibly rewarding thing to do. But you need to make sure you’re doing it right if you want it to be a job that takes you into your future.

Use your time with us to not only learn the knowledge you’ll need to be a top entrepreneur, but also get the skills that will last you a lifetime.

Whatever you decide to do with your future, the University of Sunderland in London Careers and Employability Service is here to help.

To have a one-to-one chat with them, book a meeting through Compass.

Alternatively, email careers-london@sunderland.ac.uk or visit the website to find out more. Find out more by following #WeAreSunLon on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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