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December 07, 2004
" the plucky young man who has been largely responsible for revolutionising the student events scene in the UK "

More on turning your hobby into your career, from last Saturday's Telegraph:

Six months into to his first year at Leeds University, Nick House ran out of money. He'd blown all his grant on partying, hanging out on the burgeoning Leeds club scene and throwing the odd party.

So, like any desperate but resourceful student, he went to see his bank manager to appeal for an extension on his loan. "I remember being handed a form," says House, with a wry smile. "It said something like 'reason for loan (tick box) books/education/training/computer equipment/other'."

House ticked "other" and added the explanatory couplet "nightclub promotion". Needless to say, he was refused a loan.

But the plucky young man, who during the past few years has been largely responsible for revolutionising the student events scene in the UK, wasn't to be deterred.

House looked at Leeds's lively network of 20-30 nightclubs crammed at weekends, rattling the rest of the time and dreamt of filling them with the hedonism-hungry student population. He hired a club and raised the cash for his own off-campus, exclusive NUS night called "In Your Dreams". Investing £1,000 of his own money, he printed flyers and hired a DJ. More than 400 Leeds students turned up and had a great time, but House lost a small fortune.

"I was too emotionally involved," he says. "I had fun, got a huge ego boost and gained lots of cred, but I lost money because I was a naive 18-year-old. I knew nothing about print costs, venue hire, distribution, DJs or profit and loss. They even charged me for the hire of the lighting rig, which is a joke."

House learnt from his mistakes. These days his student promotions outfit, Come Play, lures about 20,000 students into nightclubs across the country every week of the term.

And of course this story is also a reminder that as higher education gets to be a mass experience and not just an elite experience, that makes the student a major entrepreneurial target.

One thing puzzles me though. At the top of of the story it says that Nick House ran out of money. Yet later he manages to invest £1,000 of his own money. What gives? Or more exactly, who gave?

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 10:18 PM
Category: Higher educationLearning by doing

It may well have been borrowed from friends, or the proceeds of his student loan (which would not have been available when the encounter with the bank manager occurred.

It is also possible that he financed himself from the drug trade, something a lot of students have experience of.

Comment by: Slowjoe on December 9, 2004 12:13 PM

Assuming the loan system still pays out in the same way six months in would be around Easter so he probably still had the Summer Term's loan installment to come. Which would be around 1100-1200 ish. Let's hope his mum paid his rent.

Comment by: Sarah on December 10, 2004 10:13 AM
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