Henry Sims: BA (Hons) Business Management and Sports Management 2011-2014 Associate Director at Studio 185

11 Nov 20
Four men in a football stadium

“I knew I wanted to be in London with friends, I just needed to get there. When you’re a graduate, just get out and get the experience. Even if you stay somewhere a year or less.“

Henry Sims went from being Vice President of Activities at the Student Union to running his own company. After graduating with a BA (Hons) Business Management and Sports Management degree in 2014, Henry has since gone on to work in both sports and business professionally. Henry used his time as Vice President of Activities to find the type of work that he wanted.

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do straight away, so I did a combined degree. I did want to play cricket professionally, but I am more than content with the way things have turned out for me.”

“Getting the Vice President job was the best way forward. When I took up the post, I introduced the opportunity for students to do multiple sports by varying training slots. This role also gave me a chance to apply for jobs as it acted as a buffer. I did this during my second term as Vice President – it was the perfect time to apply.“

Henry decided that he wanted to move after his time studying and working in Winchester. He got a job in London working at a green tea company. He stayed in the role for just six months but in that short time he learnt skills that have since helped him in his business career.

“I knew I wanted to be in London with friends. I just needed to get there. When you’re a graduate, just get out and get the experience. Even if you stay somewhere a year or less.“

“It taught me about timing, navigating and organisation. Working in sales also gave me confidence and meant I could flourish.

After this, Henry worked as a Commercial Executive for Millwall Football Club, then for Charlton Athletic before deciding to change career path and moving into the property market, working on business development for the branding agency Stepladder. This change of direction gave Henry the opportunity he needed to start his business that sat within the same company group, with the support of the Stepladder directors.

I had a terrible first year of learning the ropes and discovering property. I like to know what’s what, I’m inquisitive and I like to know the terms. I eventually started picking up the lingo in property and business development.“

“Studio 185 is a company specialising in design and production for commercial leasing projects and investment/sale marketing in property. We started from scratch two years ago and we now have six employees. My bosses are the directors of the Stepladder group and they put their faith in me to run Studio 185. I’ve not looked back since. During the pandemic, we were fortunate and did not furlough or lay off anyone working for us.”

Now that Henry has developed his career to become an associate director, he has some great advice for students wanting to start their own business once they leave university.

“It is all about meeting people! My career wouldn’t have gone the way it has if I didn’t meet the right people. Working from home is important due to the pandemic but it is not always a productive or beneficial way of moving forward. It is crucial that you meet people, network and immerse yourself in the specific industry.”

“I’m particular about details – you need a real business plan and to work on it for two to three months before mentioning it. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare. Share your business website and any updates with people who have no clue about what you do or about the industry. If they get it, you know that it’s really effective.”  

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