School of Cultural Studies and Humanities

Award winning entrepreneur inspired by Leeds Beckett English lecturers

English Literature graduate, Laurence Grant, accredits much of his successful career to the mentorship and patience of his tutors whilst studying at Leeds Beckett University. Inspired to push boundaries, Laurence has gone on to start two companies in his home town of Croydon. Laurence tell us what attracted him to study English Literature at Leeds Beckett and offers advice to new students starting out on their own journey at University.

Laurence Grant

“Having reviewed the modules for the English Literature course – saturated with rich international subjects – I knew that it would provide me an opportunity to focus on what I loved most: writing, learning about new cultures and perspectives, and thinking creatively to form ideas and theses.

Without a doubt, one of the highlights of my time at University was studying in Budapest for a term on the Erasmus scheme. This was a chance in a lifetime and it allowed me to enjoy a rich, diverse experience of Europe that I would never have otherwise experienced.

The Erasmus scheme, coupled with years of independent living in a vibrant city such as Leeds, allowed me to explore and discover my own interests, as well as opening my eyes to the true diversity of professional options that are on offer, both in the UK and beyond.

I also really enjoyed the Creative Performance Nights, "Juice", as the events provided a space for myself and fellow students to better get to know our lecturers, such as James McGrath and Emily Zobel Marshall, who both continue to inspire me!

After graduating from Leeds Beckett, I became an Editor for a publishing house. I went on to start my own networking business, where I was awarded the Best Young Start-Up Founder in London for 2017. I then became the runner up for 'Best Entrepreneur of the Year 2018' award in the London Federation of Small Businesses, and went on to win the Young Inspiration of the Year 2019 award for the London Borough of Croydon with my second business.

Shortly afterwards, on the back of a private contract with the University of Sussex, I was commissioned to create a brand new investment arm for the institution: Suss Ventures. I have since been placed as the Head of Investment Projects at the University of Sussex’s Innovation Centre.

Essentially, all of my progress is owed to the institutions and people that have refined my abilities to communicate effectively, clearly, and persuasively. Leeds Beckett played a major part in that.

With the mentorship and patience of my tutors, there was always an element of character-shaping that sat alongside the academic journey. These unofficial mentors are the people that test and challenge you to explore your own capabilities and boundaries.

Without the course, and the people that passionately delivered it, I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today.

The advice I would give to a student about to begin studying at Leeds Beckett is take every single opportunity that the University is offering you. To try everything. To fail often. To explore things that scare, disgust, anger, and excite you. To aim to be a more-rounded person when you graduate, and grasp all of the opportunities that are on offer to you at University. You’ll never have more time and energy at your disposal!”

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By School of Cultural Studies and Humanities
02 Aug 2021
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