The Story Before Gleem – The Startup Serial #2

Before Gleem – Before Becoming an Entrepreneur


I graduated from the University of Leicester with a first class degree in BSc Economics. Ironically, I did so well because I was finally somewhere without pressure to perform, giving me a drive I’d never experienced before. This was very different to the Joe that had blagged his way through school – barely working – and who lucked his way into his first choice university even though I’d dropped 3 grades on the entry requirements (4 grades after I returned from my gap year).

In the final month before my exams I witnessed my friends performing a juggling act: revising for the most important exams of their lives AND applying for any and all graduate schemes that they could. I just didn’t know why! I knew l wasn’t ready for the world of work, so I focussed on doing well in the exams and fortunately it paid off.

Once I had my results, I jumped on a plane to New Zealand in time to watch the All Blacks winning the World Cup on home soil. I spent a year living in hostels and a van, working and travelling. I saw some beautiful things, learnt the value of a hard day’s work (vineyard labour) and about sales (turns out, I’m a pretty capable door to door milkman).

Once New Zealand was over, I was back in the UK but found myself with itchy feet. South America was my next calling and I spent the best part of a year teaching English, working in zoos and an animal refuge, as well as looking after orphans. It was an eye opener to life in less-developed countries – previously I had only seen places as a longterm tourist, and hadn’t given back to the less fortunate.

Like most, I have many travelling stories so please feel free to ask me if you’re interested: the monkey refuge in the Amazon basin, being held up at gun point in Bolivia, and 10 days trekking in Morocco with French people (I speak very little French!), are a few of my favourites.

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