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"I enjoyed learning and doing the work. I worked hard, especially in my final year, and I got the results that I deserve. I’m happy with that - really happy"

Connor Parry started in business at the age of 9 when he would gather the weekly egg output of his family’s 15 chickens, load them onto his bicycle and sell them to his neighbours in his home village of Llandyssil, Mid-Wales.  In his teens, Connor graduated to selling fresh, dressed chickens that he had reared. 

“One of my best customers was my maths teacher. I would deliver a dressed chicken to him at school before lesson started,” said Connor. “£10 for a fresh chicken was a good deal.”

In addition to his chicken business and studies, Connor also competed nationally in golf during his teen years. After his A-levels, Connor went to another university to study Sports Psychology, but left after one year.  

“I didn’t really enjoy my experience. I felt more like a number than a student,” said Connor, “but I realised that I needed to continue my education to have the career I wanted. My Mum told me about a new university in Shrewsbury, so I went in and talked with one of the business lecturers at UCS.” 

Connor combined his business background and love of sports into a degree in Sports Management at University Centre of Shrewsbury. 

“It was 100 percent the right decision. I feel like I developed a really good skill set that I can now offer to companies. I gained understanding and knowledge of business and sales, and I also gained academic confidence. I found a degree that I enjoyed and because of that I enjoyed coming to University, attending classes and meeting with my fellow students. I enjoyed learning and doing the work. I worked hard, especially in my final year, and I got the results that I deserve. I’m happy with that - really happy.

University has also taught me a lot of life skills. Consistency was the most important for me. University is not like running a race where you do it once and then it’s finished. You have to consistently put in the work every week, for months and years.  You have to consistently achieve at a high level to come out with a good grade. I commend anyone who’s finished a degree because I know the level of work they put into it. They should be proud of themselves.”

Connor began interviewing for jobs at the end of Year 3. His first interview process was arduous and competitive. He made it through two rounds of phone interviews to join an Assessment Day where he had to present himself to an audience and work on individual and group tasks. Ross Frisby, Head of Business, coached Connor through the interview process.  

 “It is really comforting to know that I have someone that I can put my trust in. Ross and I talked through the key areas I needed to cover in each stage of the process. When I phoned him to tell him I had made it through to the next level, he was elated. I was elated! Where else can you get that level of help? Developing those good relationships with your lecturers was UCS’s USP for me and I was right.”

 At the end of the day, Connor was one of seven to be selected and later one of three to be offered a job, which he politely declined. 

“Although I had planned to be one and done – meaning one interview, one offer, and done, I decided to continue to look for the best opportunity for me in a location on my short list.” 

After another successful round of interviews, Connor accepted a job at a tech start-up, Refract, in Newcastle. He began in July.

“It was important that I believed in the product and service, which I do. The people are really nice and transparent. Newcastle is a great city. I am really, really enjoying it!

 I’m confident now that I’ve got my foot in the door - I think it’s my time to shine.”