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Friday 20 March 2015

Solent marks its 10 year status with graduate impacts on the industry

This summer Southampton Solent University will be marking ten years of university status. As part of the celebrations we will be shining a spotlight on the impact our graduates are having in research, industry and our society.

Owner and CEO of Kru Live, Thomas Eatenton, hasn’t wasted any time on climbing the corporate ladder since graduating in 2003 with a BA (Hons) degree in Marketing. Thomas is currently making a name for himself in the events/ experiential industry.

His company recently won Gold for the ‘Staffing Agency of the Year’ category in the 2013 Field Marketing and Brand Experience Awards and delivered the largest team of brand ambassadors across the 2012 Olympics for Samsung.

As well as creating a business that employs 25 full time staff with a great internship scheme, a business started from just a couple of friends working in his student house, Thomas has many additional achievements including placing in the top 100 events professionals in the UK as voted by the industry in “Event Magazine”. We asked Thomas to tell us more about his time at Solent, his career and asked him for some tips on becoming a success.

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What is a normal day for the CEO of Kru Live?

‘On a normal day I will be catching up with my senior team from two of the divisions on existing and upcoming events. I will also be having client conversations about potential activities and building the latest industry knowledge.

It is important to enjoy what you do and look forward to each day, until that changes I will keep going.’

Thomas is currently developing an international network of agencies in over 30 countries, so much of the rest of the day is spent communicating with these agencies and discussing the setup of these new ventures.

Thomas loves the diversity of this career; ‘One day we are working for Samsung or Google- launching state of the art technology. The next day we are promoting a fashion brand like Keds in Hong Kong.’

 What is the most important advice/ knowledge you took away from University?

The most important advice I have ever been given is ‘pick something, work your hardest to become great at it. If you do this you WILL be successful.’

The skill I learnt which I benefitted the most from whilst studying was learning to present – to stand up and confidently talk about a subject. It comes naturally to some but I had to learn this. It is the thing that people fear more than death I am told, but it’s much like anything, practice makes perfect –and what’s the worst that can happen!? I just kept doing it until the nerves became excitement.

What advice would you give to current students?

‘Balance. University can be a great learning experience in every aspect of your life but graduation comes around faster than you think, so it is important to ensure you gain the best possible grade as well as having a great time doing it.

A lot of people, like me, go to university because they are unsure of what they want to do career-wise, it is important that you take the opportunity to learn not only academically but also how you will stand on your own two feet when you graduate.

My advice would be – plan ahead. You should be thinking about ‘what’s next?’ a year before you graduate.’

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