Last Friday the Ministry of Sound’s CEO Lohan Presencer returned to interview another alumni student of the University of Southampton Kevin Craig, CEO of PLMR.
After growing up in South London in a school where being academically inclined wasn’t viewed as a positive by peers (and throwing chairs in the classroom was common), Kevin didn’t believe he had the grades to go to university so almost accepted an apprenticeship in graphics. Luckily after an interview at the University of Southampton and being accepted to study French Kevin’s future was dramatically changed.
You could tell from Kevin’s stories about his time at UoS that he really enjoyed every moment of university life and was very grateful for all the opportunities he was given whilst he was there. From his placement abroad teaching English in France to being President of the Student’s Union, he spoke very passionately and fondly of the university which gave me a new appreciation for it.
Hilariously, and much to the confusion of his parents, Kevin signed onto the dole and became an unpaid volunteer for the local Labour MP. It was a strange change he told us from “waltzing around and managing multi-million pound budgets” but it was another big step in his political career.
I had absolute admiration for Kevin when he told us that not only was he involved in the legislation that worked with the House of Lords to change cigarette packaging to plain, but also that he helped set up the 1st phone line for veterans suffering with PTSD. Its hearing stories like these that remind me why I enjoy these talks so much.
For those wanting to follow in the aspirational footsteps of Kevin, he had the following 6 pieces of advice that he believed were vital in anyone’s journey:
- Be curious
- Take risks
- Build your network (what he would have done if LinkedIn was around whilst he was at university!)
- Be creative
- Maintain multiple areas of interest
- Don’t lose your empathy
A huge thank you again to Lohan for interviewing our guest and Kevin for travelling down to entertain us with his stories about his old stomping ground and experiences that got him where he is today.
Sadly, the Business Stories series is taking a break now but will resume at the beginning of the next academic year. Follow @SotonWSI or check #SotonStories to find out when the next talk takes place.