MonthJuly 2016

Getting Ahead With Callum Coles

Getting Ahead With Callum Coles…

Managing Director of SoberDrive, University of Bath Computer Scientists, and the first teenaged guest on the show! Callum talks about his view of tech and business and the important overlap. He also shares his experience being a teenaged entrepreneur and how it has been beneficial being young. To round it off, Callum shares his tip for Getting Ahead!

Russia and the Olympics

This week the Russian Olympic Committee and 68 Russian Athletes failed to overturn their suspension from the 2016 Rio Olympics.

After claims of state-sponsored doping programs involving Russian athletes were revealed, the IAAF suspended Russian Track and Field Athletes from competing. A situation that is very unique due to the scale of the suspension. Individual athletes being suspending for drug and doping related offenses is, unfortunately, common. However, a nationwide conviction is rare. This is what happened –


What do I think? I’m glad and far from surprised!

Widespread drug use and doping will be common!

I feel it is naive to believe a sport is clean. The incentives for top athletes is far too great, the pressure from governing bodies is far too immense, and the hunger to win is far too powerful.

I don’t believe all athletes are cheating, I am confident many are 100% clean, however I’m sure they know that their competitors are gaining an unfair advantage over them! I also believe that sporting bodies know what’s happening!

So why don’t they speak up?

Wide spread convictions will ruin a sport!

Look at the story of Lance Armstrong. Comes back from cancer to win the Tour de France 7 times!! What a powerful story to build the popularity of the sport. What a strong idol for juniors to follow. The sport grows, generates more money, and gets more coverage and so on.

Revealing that Lance was cheating would destroy the fairy tale. Instead it wasn’t until he retired and there were new idols that the truth came out.

Athletes taking drugs improve their ability, improves the standard of the sports making it a better spectacle. This benefits of this are obvious, and so turning a blind eye to it allows sporting bodies to grow the sport.

It is improving

I think now sporting bodies are beginning to reveal the truth and punish those cheating. The Russia case confirms this. So what needs to be done next?

Well, I think national bodies need to step up. The Russian scandal was state sponsored. If national bodies are implementing programs the cover up for athletes then sporting bodies begin to lose control. However, again, with aims to meet such as gold medals at the Olympics, jobs, reputation and pride are on the line and drugs and doping are the easy way to try and gain that all important advantage.

Getting Ahead With Oli Monks

Getting Ahead With Oli Monks…

Co-founder of BagSee, a charity man, TedX speaker, and all-round good guy! In this full version Oli gives an insight into the workings of BagSee and their future plans. He also shares his views on University and whether it is worth it. We also delve into Oli’s fundraising efforts with Nine for Nicky and his motivation to help others. Finally, Oli shares his tip for getting ahead!

Are Plans Necessary?

Whilst recording a podcast earlier this week (stay tuned for it to be released next week!) I asked the question about the value of University. The response surprised me a little, my guest spoke about the need to have an aim, purpose and plan for what you want to accomplish and do at University. It makes sense, right? Yet, I found it almost impossible to do this when I look back. I didn’t know who I’d meet, what I’d do, what I’d like and dislike, and so to be able to have a clear aim before arriving seemed pointless.

It’s made me think, how important are plans? One of my first ever blog posts was about this – Plan to Act.

This coming Monday I’ll be starting my placement, a big change and a new challenge, and this has made me rethink about this topic.

Here’s what I think now…

1 – Plan by thinking

What is a plan? You could say it’s a list of aims, set of objectives or steps.

But what if you don’t know what can be done or achieved?

I believe ‘planning’ could just be thinking. Take University, before you start, have a think about things that would be good to try, skills to learn, places to go… They might not be possible, also there will be new things to see and do which you can’t actually plan to do before arriving. Therefore, think about what you do know and have an idea of how to approach the challenges.

However, it’s unlikely that you can literally plan steps to achieve things, sometimes an ambiguous aim is all you can have, but it’s better than nothing.

2 – Be flexible

Don’t be afraid to change from day one!

New people, information and thoughts. Be flexible to change your aims straight away! Each day, in a new situation, will teach you something new about what’s possible and so you’ve got to use that to help you plan. It can be ever evolving.

3 – It doesn’t have to be formal!

When you tell someone to plan, they think of lists and mind maps and time spent doing nothing other than making notes to finalise later on.

A plan can be a small thought that comes to you at any time. You can plan by talking to others, by hearing from others and asking questions. You don’t always need a long list of steps, a plan can be a single sentence – “I want to leave University with a first”.


To return to the point made at the beginning, do you need a plan, aims and a purpose before starting something new? Well not like you think… it doesn’t have to be big or complete, but make sure you do know why you’re going. If you have a why you have a reason to do things and make the most of it.

Getting Ahead With Manit Sethi

Getting Ahead With Manit Sethi…
Founder of Impact, a social enterprise that sells unique phone cases with proceeds going to a good cause. In this podcast we discuss Impact, his time at University and the support available in Manchester – including Manchester Entrepreneurs.

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