Nikolay Piryankov

"My experience at MMU helped me develop many practical business skills in strategy, management and marketing."
About my career

While I was studying at MMU, I started my own business selling custom designed engagement rings and fine diamond jewellery online. Now CEO of the business, Rare Pink, the company trades online at www.rarepink.com selling custom engagement rings and diamond jewellery.

My experience at MMU helped me develop many practical business skills in strategy, management and marketing at postgraduate level. I started to see how real companies were solving real business problems and have since often reflected on my studies at MMU when facing challenges at Rare Pink. I still rely heavily on the methodology towards problem solving I learnt during my course. Many of the larger obstacles we have faced while growing the business have required a systematic problem solving approach and I believe the way I handle overcoming these obstacles helps me to keep growing the business while generally making good decisions.

I did three placements while studying, each lasting three months. These were with Love Creative, Dabs.com and Expotel.com. Each one had its own challenges and I was able to broaden my understanding of how the "real" business world works while constantly relating back to my studies.  I admired MMU's initiative of involving graduates and students in placements and work experience programs, so much so that we have since followed a similar approach to hiring. We have had several interns from MMU and our marketing director is a MMU graduate.

I would advise students to spend more time doing work experience while studying. Doing this while still at university really helps to put your studies into context. The ability to link theoretical learning with practical experience is invaluable, for both personal development and what employers look for when hiring.

My top tip for students is…

My top tip for students is to consider alternative careers. These include self-employment, becoming an entrepreneur or working for start-ups. Small companies may have less job security at first, but they are also more dynamic, fun to work at, and can help you develop quickly. This journey continues to be very rewarding for me and I believe it can be for other student and graduates too.

I’m inspired by…

Senior Lecturer Angela Hall, who was really supportive during my time at MMU. She not only helped me personally, but also supported the business when we approached MMU to find students to work with us, one of which  became our Marketing Director.

Why I love Manchester Met

MMU is a place where ambitious young people meet to learn, develop as individuals, network and find their way in not only the academic world, but also the "real" world.