Claire Calvert, Graduate BSc Hons International Hospitality Management specialising in Events
How it Stated
After an evening of S’mores on the Beach at White Rocks, Portrush I thought to myself “It would be a great idea to create a gift box filled with everything you need to make S’mores anytime, anywhere.
After some market research and competitive analysis I very quickly discovered that this wasn’t something on offer in Northern Ireland. I arrived home later from work one evening, jumped into bed and started designing my logo, stationery and presentation ideas on my iPad. A few days later, ‘Get Toasted NI’ was established - July 2020.
How my Business Grew
From the beginning, my core focus was to ensure I had next to no start up fees and that each Toasting Kit was made to order to avoid waste. Implementing my passion for creativity, innovation, determination along with a sense of fearlessness, Get Toasted NI rapidly grew into an in demand small business venture.
Lockdown has had a very positive impact on my small business as my S’mores Kit is the perfect addition to date night, friend’s get-togethers, garden parties, BBQ’s or a family night-in activity.
As I currently sell my products through Instagram (@gettoastedni) and Facebook, keeping on top of the mass influx of messages and enquiries can be quite challenging and time consuming especially alongside a full time job. However, I am currently having a website designed – which will offer customers all over UK and Ireland to browse and purchase at their own leisure.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Ulster University, Belfast and graduated in July 2016.
Having the opportunity to undertake such a wide range of subjects, modules and additional activities allows you to understand and flourish within your core interests. Support, guidance and honest feedback was always available as each lecturer within my course always wanted to point you in the right direction of success.
There are a number of lecturers that I’m still in contact with and have learnt so much from their classes. I’ve been able to use this knowledge within my small business. In particular, Dr Laura Wells and the importance of marketing as this is a core element in any business and will determine a large part of its success. I am so appreciative and thankful for their words of encouragement throughout University and still to this day, nearly 5 years later.
Advice fo Students
Welcome opportunities, absorb experiences, showcase value & always express enthusiasm.
I honestly can’t express that enough – help out, volunteer, go the extra mile whenever and wherever you can. These experiences are so valuable and can turn into amazing prospects and build solid professional connections and relationships. Whether you choose a Business Plan or Dissertation for final year – do it as if it’s the real thing as there are so many elements that I guarantee you will use at some stage of your life or career.
What you put in, really does determine what you will get out.
There are so many different avenues to take after a degree and truthfully, you may not get your dream job straight away but how you use that time is key. After all University and Graduation is only a small part of your life but use that time wisely and it will set the right path into motion and most importantly, enjoy every moment.
Why Choose UU?
The foundation to broaden your horizon, raise your ambition and determination to succeed.
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