Adam Taylor (MEng 2001-05) is an investment banker turned internet entrepreneur. His company, petshop.co.uk, is an online pet food vendor based at the Binley Innovation Centre. They have recently capped a fantastic first year in business by becoming the only online company to be offered its own stall at Crufts.
When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an investment banker.
What was the best careers advice you were given?
To find a job that you love, so going to work every day feels like a hobby.
Describe yourself in three words
Adventurous, energetic, determined.
What are the most challenging parts of your job?
Managing growth and expansion. Learning and understanding the dynamics of growing a company.
What do you do now?
I setup and manage an e-commerce business. petshop.co.uk focuses on home delivery pet food. We offer next day delivery throughout the UK providing 5,000 different branded products at the cheapest prices saving our customers valuable time and money.
What three things are you most proud of?
- Selected to be the 2006 “Real World” UK Graduate of the year finalist
- Achieving my childhood dream of working in Mergers & Acquisitions
- Setting up petshop.co.uk and awarded best new stand at Crufts 2011
What drives you?
To make a difference, help others and my family.
What single thing would most improve the quality of your life?
To employ talented recruits for petshop.co.uk to work alongside.
Where do you hope to be in 10 years’ time?
I would hope to have an international business and join my family in New York.
How would you like to be remembered?
As an entrepreneur for business achievements and philanthropy. I would also like to be the fastest person to have windsurfed around Great Britain!
What are your favourite memories of your university years at Warwick?
I loved my time at Warwick and I particularly have fun memories of Fresher’s term in Jack Martin 4; the Warwick Engineering School; the businesses I set up whilst studying and the lifelong friends made at Warwick.
Do you have any advice for students?
Make sure you are happy with your degree: I changed from Maths & Physics to Manufacturing Engineering. Although a daunting decision which set me back one year, it was one of the best decisions I made. I got a lot more out of my university experience and enjoyed my degree studies.
Make use of your spare time at university. Make yourself stand out, having a degree from Warwick is a good start, but get involved. I burned up year one partying with nothing to show at the end of it. I then made a conscious and radical change to get involved with the as many activities as possible. Some of the activities included: One World Week day manager, Warwick Business School Society exec, Entrepreneur Society exec, I set up three companies whilst studying and I was an Engineer Student Staff Liaison Committee member.
Apply for summer internships in the First & Second year: Email and call family friends, companies you have read about both small and large. Get something under your belt.
Do you have any advice for new graduates?
My advice, if you want to work in the corporate world would be:
Apply to both large & smaller boutique firms. There are great experiences to be learnt from both. In this current market I would put a great focus on applying to the smaller boutiques firms. In addition seek out specialist help and graduate headhunters e.g. Freshminds, eFinancials website and utilise LinkedIn.
If all the doors seem closed, applying for a Master's in the degree discipline for your desired job, can be a great way to give your applications a fresh make-over. Also take advantage and apply for an internship in between graduating and starting a Master's
Anything else you would like to add?
Warwick is a great university, it can be strange and daunting at first being on a campus university and I was initially not particularly happy having grown up in London. But take advantage of not having the distractions that other city universities have and focus on gaining life skills and getting involved with the Student Union & volunteering.
Adam Taylor: the facts
|Career||Entrepreneur - petshop.co.uk
Management Consultant - Simon Kuchers & Partners
Investment Banking - Lehman Brothers
|Education||1st Class Honours in Manufacturing Engineering|