An Interview With a Business Student Alumni - Chris Menning
We spoke to Eastbourne-native Chris Menning about his years spent studying at the University of Brighton and his cultivation of a personal business.
Did you always want to own a business?
Only when I began working in hospitality. I love the industry and food and drink has become a huge passion for me. One of the best things about hospitality is that a large part of the sector is small businesses and I've met some incredible people who have created their own bar or restaurant from scratch. I think this has really inspired me.
Do you feel that your degree helped you pursue that goal?
Running a business is incredibly challenging and there is so much involved behind the scenes that can leave some start-up entrepreneurs baffled. My business degree taught me how to break down a business into different segments and really gave me the confidence to run each part myself, whether it be finance, strategy or human resources.
Did you like studying at the University of Brighton?
I started at University of Brighton when I was 23, so at a later age than most, but it definitely has been one of the most rewarding experiences I've had. Brighton is an incredible city and I'm actually staying here now that I've finished.
What did you learn about yourself at university?
That I love to learn! It sounds funny but being in the library and reading hundreds of business articles will probably be the one thing I miss most. Never underestimate the importance of reading!
Did you have a favourite module at university?
My favourite module had to be globalisation. Learning about different ideologies and the political landscape of other countries really helped me to understand current affairs and how our world really works.
Now that you have finished university, what are your plans?
I work in a luxury boutique hotel now and my plan is to progress through the company learning as much as I can. I have a few business ideas that I'm hoping to kickstart but it's about choosing which one first!
Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
I'm hoping in 3 years time I will have a finished draft of a business plan for my very own boutique hotel. I want the hotel's restaurant and bar to be the main stars of the concept with a big emphasis on food and drink pairing.
If you have any advice to give to prospective students, what would it be?
Always have in the back of your mind why you're choosing university. Sometimes it can be quite daunting but you have to remember the reasons you have chosen your course and it should be for your benefit and future. But at the same time have fun! University should be a time of learning not just academia but about yourself too.
If you are interested in speaking Chris or seeing any of his entrepreneurships, you can contact Chris here.