Richard Cummins, alumnus, BSc Business IT
I chose to do the Business IT course at LSBU as it combined my personal interests of wanting to pursue a business-related career with an emphasis on the role that technology plays in it. I had heard from an LSBU alumni that the course was highly recommended and the faculty was well supported by experienced lecturers, which made my choice even easier.
Someone from LSBU I will never forget is Jeffrey Chang, my course administrator in my final year. Although Jeffrey had only recently joined the university at the time, he was knowledgeable, approachable and supportive throughout my course. I owe him a lot of thanks.
I didn’t stay in halls while I studied so I could continue working and supporting my immediate family members. I held a variety of jobs while I studied, but my main role was working for a computer retailer in Central London. This introduced me to the world of both B2C (business to consumer) and B2B (business to business) sales, and provided me with the skills around laptop/desktop building and repairs. I really enjoyed that role.
I always worked whilst studying, so I had no problem with the job market when I graduated. I had a part-time first line IT support role in my final year of studies, so this naturally turned into a full-time role as soon as I finished my course.
IT support roles were the 'go to’ role as an entry point into a professional career in IT for many people when I graduated. A lot of us didn’t have much awareness of the full breadth of careers available. My first IT support role provided a good career foundation by exposing me to real business issues and threats, and it equipped me with applicable skills which I learnt on the job. I switched industries once I found out about Advertising Operations, which combined my interest in tech and my passion for digital media.
Working at Google
In my current role at Google, I am constantly challenged to learn new skills and product features. The features we use and industry landscape in which we operate is constantly changing, so it's a requirement that I stay up to date on these changes and adapt as required. It’s a positive challenge. To me, career satisfaction means being recognised for my good work, whether it be an industry award or simply a thank you from a colleague.
Connection with LSBU
Keeping a connection with LSBU is very important to me. I’ve participated in alumni panels in the past, which have allowed me to engage with current students. As a leader of an employee resource group, I regularly hold inspirational tech-focused events at Google. I have had the benefit of being able to invite LSBU students to these, as I know how much I would have appreciated an alum doing that for me when I was a student.
Assist the next generation
I want my legacy to be someone who helped and assisted the next generation of people, especially those who are from a similarly disadvantaged background as myself. The reminder of where my parents came from and my upbringing keeps me motivated, so the advice I would give current LSBU students is to network, engage and take risks!
The last book I read was Limitless by Ajaz Ahmed. It explores the leadership styles which influenced the formation of Ajaz’s company at the young age of 21. Working in the same industry as Ajaz, I can draw parallels between his vision and Simplicity for Tech and take many points of inspiration for founding my own company. It’s always important to keep learning.
Connect with Richard on LinkedIn
Richard Cummins has been profiled as Alumni of the Month for March 2019. Check out our current Alumni of the Month.
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