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Dan Janowski

Graduated 2014

Picture of Solent graduate Dan Janowski

How did university prepare you for your career?

Well, it isn’t handed to you on a plate, so just your degree alone will not guarantee you employment. However, it will present you with various opportunities to volunteer within your chosen industry – working with industry professionals at the highest levels – and allow you to research and understand the theories and underpinning knowledge to give you the solid foundations to become an accomplished sports coach.

This course is for you if you want to challenge yourself, if you want to learn from some of the best professionals in the industry and, most importantly, if you want to make yourself employable on completion of your degree. Sports coaching is about educating and inspiring others.

What's your favourite Solent memory?

Day one, we were asked a very simple question: “Who is here to graduate with a first-class degree?” I thought, absolutely no chance, not me; but what the heck, I stuck my hand up anyway. Only two of us in the entire class did this. Needless to say, we both graduated with first-class degrees. Self-prophecy, perhaps – or just hard work?

In one sentence, what is sport coaching?

The capacity to inspire and educate anyone through the medium of sport.

Tell us a little about your career story so far

I started my company, Active8 Minds in 2014 with a former business partner, on a budget of £5,000. Over the years my company has evolved from providing PE support and sports clubs, to wraparound childcare, community projects for the elderly, and setting up as a franchise. We employ over 34 members of staff, have turned over approximately £3.5 million since we started, and often surpass our targets. In April 2023 we sold our first franchise to the Winchester territory, and we are excited to announce that from signing the agreements and undertaking all training, building a website, plus so much more, it took eight weeks to secure the first contract for our franchisee.

Tell us about what you're doing now and what it involves

My current role as the company director has evolved over the years. In truth, the key to running a successful business is to have the right people in the roles and to develop, support and appreciate them. This allows me to reap the rewards of being a business owner and not having to work every hour of every day.

What’s your career highlight so far?

Being able to provide a good life for my family is very important to me, as is providing an exceptional service to the community. 

What tips would you give to someone wanting a career in your industry?

Don’t give up when the going gets tough. Attend every seminar, practical and lab session. Volunteer and help out as much as you can. What I will say is that with failure comes success! Every ‘No’ is closer to a ‘Yes’, and what challenges you most will make you more accomplished in your field. ‘Look smart, be smart.’