Last week, we started a new blog series looking at what the SIE Interns get up to once they’ve finished their internship with us and university/college life ends. This week, we’re sharing an update on former University of Strathclyde intern, Rebecca Pick who is now the Founder of Pick Protection. Our current Strathclyde intern, Vanessa, spoke to Rebecca to find out more…
When were you a SIE Intern?
I was an intern during my 3rd year at the University of Strathclyde and I heard about it from the previous year’s intern. She said that it was a great opportunity for those wanting to get started in entrepreneurship so I was eager to apply for the position. I would always see her dotting around campus in her orange t-shirt and thought it would be great fun to give it a try.
What did you do as an Intern?
I did a whole range of things whilst being an intern. Probably the best one was when I teamed up with the Glasgow Caledonian intern to organise a pub quiz. It was really good because we managed to get people from both our universities to attend. We also got the people that were just at the pub anyway. It worked really well and was loads of fun.
What was the best thing about being an SIE Intern?
The best thing about being an intern was getting to talk to people. Whenever you were promoting SIE you would hear people’s ideas and it was really interesting and started sparking my own thinking. Also, I got to know the people at Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network and if it wasn’t for SIE that never would have happened. That has led to lots more opportunities. Being an intern also looks really good to future employers as it shows you’re proactive during your time at university.
What have you been doing since?
When the internship finished I was then eligible to apply for competitions within SIE so I applied and managed to win the Young Innovators Challenge. That gave me enough money to start my business, Pick Protection. Since then I’ve really been focusing on getting my business up and running.
So, what exactly is Pick Protection?
Pick Protection is bringing a new personal attack and lone working alarm to the market. It’s basically a really small, discrete alarm that, once activated, can send the police your exact location, send a text to your friends and family letting them know. It means everyone knows about the situation and can get to you as quickly as possible. It also records the dialogue, which can be used in court to get a conviction if necessary. We have managed to raise investments and are hoping to launch the product in late spring.
What’s the best thing about running your own business?
I think the main thing is that it’s really exciting. There is so much potential and I don’t know what’s going to happen whereas in a graduate scheme that wouldn’t be the case. I get to do whatever I want, when I want. No one really tells me what to do so that’s quite nice. It’s also given me the freedom to bring something to market that I’m really passionate about and that will make a difference. It definitely takes a lot more time but it’s a lot more rewarding.
Would you encourage other students to apply for the internship/become an entrepreneur?
Yes! Definitely, I would tell them to do both. Being an SIE intern creates a really good platform for you to launch your own business. You build a great network and you have lots of people to go to for advice. It also makes you aware of all the resources available to you because you have been telling everyone else about them. All that together gives you the confidence to go start a business. So, go and do both!
This article first appeared in Ignite Magazine, Issue 14.