MD says College lecturers key to her success

Mon 17 Feb 2014

One of Milton Keynes most successful entrepreneurs says she would not be where she is today without the help and support she received from the people behind her College education.  Vicky Beale is founder and Managing Director of sales and marketing support business, Rapid Sales Solutions.  Vicky says, “I really do attribute my success to the fact that they were so supportive.” 

Fed up with the corporate world and in need of a change in direction, Vicky studied hairdressing from 2005 – 2007.  During the course Vicky fell pregnant not once but twice, but she says the lecturers did everything they could to ensure she was able to keep up with her studies.  “They let me have extra deadlines on my work, helped at weekends and took so much of their own time to make sure that I passed.  I think it’s a brilliant college and the staff they bring in are second-to-none.”

Vicky ran a mobile hairdressing business for a while but eventually returned to the corporate world, this time as her own boss.  Her company offers a whole raft of sales and marketing related support services including telesales, new business research, training, recruitment and social and traditional media production.  She is also the driving force behind Business Expo 3.0, a massive business to business exhibition planned for Milton Keynes in March next year where five thousand delegates are expected.  She says none of it would have happened had the College not given her the mind-set of an employer rather than an employee.  It made her believe she could run her own company.   “Traditional education can teach people how to be in a job.  Doing what I did at the College made me realise that I could work for myself.”

Vicky was a guest speaker at the recent launch of the Business & Leadership Centre at the College’s Silbury Campus.  Her association is a continuing one.  Her company is intending to set up bespoke apprenticeship courses with the College to help train candidates in social media, administration, event marketing, telesales and recruitment resources.  “I see it as a great partnership to build on,” she says, “and I owe the College so much I want to support them in their efforts to close the gap between the corporate world and the education world.  Any customers I can bring to them I will – not just because I want to do them a favour but because I know those businesses will receive first class returns.”

Vicky’s own children are now sixteen, seven and five years old.  She says she would have no qualms if any or all of them decided that they too wanted to take the college route.  “It depends on the child entirely,” she says.  “Some people are better suited to following the school, A-Levels and university path, but some really aren’t.  Either way they have to be happy with the choice and parents should be careful not to push them in a particular direction which they might later resent.  What I would say is that if they show signs of being an entrepreneur, if they want to run their own business and have more control over their own destiny college provides so many opportunities.”

With all this going on it might be logical to assume that cutting hair was a thing of the past for Vicky but nothing could be further from the truth.   “I do still practice hairdressing and recently qualified in applying hair extensions and I have a plan to run my own salons.  I've recently agreed to go into partnership to open a vintage themed tattoo and hair and beauty studio.”  With or without scissors in hand Vicky says she will never forget the lessons learnt on her hairdressing course at MK College for which she will always be grateful.

Baby 2 and 3 were 'cooking' over my entire stay with the college and I do still practice hairdressing and recently qualified in hair extensions... The intention is very much still to run my own salons. In fact I've recently agreed to go into partnership to open a vintage themed tattoo and hair and beauty studio in Newbury Berkshire 2014 and Sheelagh Radcliffe of Working Solutions shall be embarking on an exciting venture assisting serviced office providers.

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