Andy Egerton
  College: Grey College
  Subject: Chemistry
  Class of: 1998

For many students, choosing the right university degree can be difficult. But, if you already know where your passions lie, a degree offers the perfect opportunity to develop your skills and knowledge and set yourself up for the world of work.

After graduating from our BSc in Chemistry in 1998, Andy has since gone on to enjoy a successful career at Ready Steady Store. Starting out as an Area Manager to now being the Operations Director for 26 stores across the UK.

We asked him to share with us his career story, and any top tips he’s picked up over the years. Read on to find out more.

1. Why did you study chemistry?

I studied Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry at A-level so decided to stick with one of these subjects. I always found chemistry interesting so thought that would be the best degree choice. On reflection, I wish I’d studied maths, but I enjoyed the whole experience of University more than the subject itself!

2. How did your career change from Chemistry to Operations Director? – When was the shift?

I realised whilst studying that I didn’t want to pursue a career in chemistry, so when I graduated I got a job working for a photographic retailer franchise and soon became the Manager. I spent four years learning about retail management before moving into self-storage when I was around 25. Since then I have worked my way up to my current position as Operations Director and have grown with the company from seven stores to 26 as of today.

3. How long have you been at Ready Steady Store?

I joined in 2008 as an Area Manager for the Northern stores.

4. Do you apply any of the skills you learned in your degree to your role as Operations Director?

I learned a lot of life skills at University as it was my first time being away from home and living independently. I also managed one of the Grey College football teams and took some of the skills that I learned there into my first job in retail. Having studied chemistry and having around 37 hours a week of labs and lectures, I guess that I have taken that work ethic into my career!

5. What would you say to anyone who isn’t sure they picked the right degree for their career?

Not many people really know what it is that they want to do later in life, so I wouldn’t get too hung up on it. Learning skills like organisation, how to question the norm and how to apply yourself are much more important than the actual degree for most people. If you have the right attitude then it will all work out in the end!

6. What piece of advice do you wish you gave to your younger self when you graduated?

I wish that I’d taken a year out to travel the world as no matter how much you plan to do this, it really isn’t easy to do once you get into the world of work!

Find out more about our Chemistry Degree now.

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