Kickstarting Ideas: 10 Questions with…Daniel Warrington
Today we’re asking Final Year student and recipient of a Nick Sanders Kickstarter award Daniel Warrington of MasterMedPrep 10 Questions about his time at The University of Manchester and his entrepreneurial journey so far…
MEC : First of all, What course are you studying at The University of Manchester and what motivated you to choose this course?
DW: I am a final year student at The University of Manchester studying Medicine. I am the first person in my family to go to university and my reasons for choosing medicine were because it involves working with and helping people, it is an academic discipline, and there are many opportunities to take your career in different directions with a medical degree.
MEC: Alongside studying in your final year of Medicine, you’ve also started your own business! Tell us more about MasterMedPrep and how your idea came to be.
DW: MasterMedPrep is a business that, fundamentally, helps students get into medical schools in the UK. We utilise the best talent and the best technology to help us to achieve this mission. We aim to be the best bespoke provider of medical admissions coaching in the UK.
I never set out to start a business and actually I have been tutoring students in one form or another since I was 16 years old. During medical school, I started to help aspiring medical students get into medical school through working for large tutoring companies and through my own private students giving word-of-mouth referrals.
Ultimately three factors persuaded me to set up my own business – 1) Frustration with the lack of quality or care shown towards students by the big companies in this space, 2) getting 100% of my private students into medical school over several years and increasing demand for me personally, and 3) encouragement and funding from the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre and the Nick Sanders Kickstarter Award.
MEC: Great to see such positive outcomes with your tutoring inspired the development of your business. Just how do you juggle the demands of studying for a degree with starting up and running your own business?
DW: Coffee – lots of coffee!
On a serious note, it is a combination of several factors. Starting a business is brutal and you will have to sacrifice countless social events and work long hours; therefore, passion for your business is the most essential trait in my opinion. It is also imperative to manage your time effectively and to employ and trust the right people – you are only as good as your team.
The best thing that you can do if you are a student at The University of Manchester is to get in touch with the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre (MEC).
MEC: We’re happy we’ve been able to help you develop and grow MasterMedPrep! Did you face any barriers to starting up? If so, how did you overcome those?
DW: Any entrepreneur who answers no to this question is lying.
My main barrier to starting up was, and still is, time. It took me some time to realise that I cannot do everything myself and that I needed to learn to employ and trust the right people for my business. This is something that I continue to work on, but you must be able to effectively delegate. You also need to make sure that you have a good team and invest time in getting to know them well.
MEC: Has developing entrepreneurial skills helped you in your career/degree? DW: I am yet to start my career as a doctor; however, I am already seeing the benefits of developing entrepreneurial skills. Firstly, it has made me much better at networking which has helped me in my degree to engage with academics and be able to work on some amazing projects and research. Secondly, it has made me much more organised which has helped me in my revision. Thirdly, it has made me much more proficient with technology which I have found really helps with automating basic day-to-day tasks.
MEC: What are your aspirations for your Career and MasterMedPrep?
DW: I am fortunate in that I have secured a job as an Academic Foundation Doctor at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. I am looking forward to rotating through different departments.
My aspirations with MasterMedPrep are to expand our reach to more students whilst maintaining our razor-sharp focus on quality, our individual approach to each student, and our 100% customer satisfaction. I also want MasterMedPrep to reach a point in the future whereby it is financially viable to offer tuition to the brightest students from widening participation backgrounds. This is important to me as I am the first person in my family to go to university.
MEC: Fantastic news about securing your job – Congrats! What do you enjoy most about being an Entrepreneur?
DW: The people. I am motivated by the passion of my team and by the inspiring students that we tutor every year. I have also really enjoyed some of the networking and learning opportunities. I have met inspiring entrepreneurs and have learned so much about entrepreneurship… and I have much more to learn!
MEC: What does “Entrepreneurship” mean to you?
DW: Well as a teenager this probably meant “Dragons Den” or “Lord Sugar” to me.
Now I believe that entrepreneurship is simply having a passion about a particular thing and working as hard as you can, in collaboration with others, to make that passion a success.
MEC: Any hotspots or tips for potential students looking to study in Manchester?
DW: Buy a good umbrella!
My only advice would be to throw yourself into it. University is the opportunity of your life to try new things. Manchester has lots of societies, sports, and opportunities and you should try something new! In my opinion, university is really just what you make it, so it is important that you are proactive, and I am a big believer in trying to do things out of your comfort zone.
MEC: Great tip! Finally, what advice would you give to a fellow student looking to create a start up alongside their degree?
Do as much research for your idea as you can. Connect with people in your area of interest, research the competition, and if possible, try and get real-life work experience in your area of interest.
If you are going to work with another person or a group of people to start up a business, then make sure you know how they work and make sure that you are all clear about your responsibilities and what you want to get out of the process.
I am always happy to hear from Manchester students and I have found that if you are polite and passionate about an idea, people are generally quite open to giving you advice. Best of luck!
If you have an idea for a business, why not get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and consider applying for some of our exciting initiatives including Venture Further and the Nick Sanders Kickstarter Award!