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The most successful students in the country

The most successful students in the country

While most of us can barely get out of bed in time for our 9 am lectures there are some super productive students out there running successful businesses while still studying for their degree, putting us lazy lot to shame…

The Illustration student

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Polly Vadasz, an illustration student based in Leeds, has been running her business since she was 15. Polly started out by posting her doodles on Instagram and after receiving lots of positive feedback from her followers she took the plunge and set up her online shop Sighh.

Now, from her little studio bedroom, she creates everything from phone cases covered in sassy statements to motivating desk planners, witty mugs, pretty pocket mirrors and cool pins, all whilst doing a degree! We envy her productivity (and her pretty illustrations) so check out her Instagram for more Sighh prettiness.

The Law student

Law student Yasmin admits it can be difficult balancing her uni work, social life and online consultation service Consult My Baby.

“Sacrifices have to be made. Sometimes that sacrifice is food, conversation, a good sleep, a shower, a social life, relationships, and very occasionally – study.”

Her top tips for setting up a business while at uni? “tell your parents you are now an entrepreneur and cannot be disturbed…”

But really, to help stay on top of things, Yasmin recommends waking up early, getting organised, planning out your study and work time and remembering to “put down the business” particularly around exam time.

Despite the challenges she has faced trying to maintain this balance Yasmin believes that it really is all worth it.

“My job is pretty awesome and pretty niche which means that I can profit well in this aspect.”

The Graduate


Paul Stewart set up his business in 2009 when he was starting his third year at Edinburgh University. Struggling to find a hassle-free way to get his things to and from uni Paul took matters into his own hands and set up Uni Baggage. His final 2 years at university were spent trying to balance his business and degree but he believes it was well worth it.

“University is one of the best places to start a business, you have more free time than if you had a full-time job, you have access to other students and resources.”

His advice to students? “If you are intending on going into business after Uni, you should start now, the sooner the better.”

“It can take many years to develop a substantial business so be prepared to be in it for the long game, don’t be in business just because it is currently fashionable.”

Of course, some things have to give if you’re determined to set up and run a successful business while still studying at university. So, if you fancy yourself an entrepreneur and have an idea for a business you’re serious about starting then it might be best to cancel your Netflix subscription and stop snoozing your alarm every morning …

Holly Smith Editor