Thursday, 07 September 2017
A group of Year 12 students were introduced to one of their new subjects by Old Girl and entrepreneur Ingrid Murray, who joined them for their first ever Economics class. Three fellow Economics students from Year 13 also attended the lesson to benefit from Ingrid’s insights and advice.
She began by giving a brief explanation of economics as the study of how money moves around a system, whether it is at the scale of an individual’s finances or looking at a whole country. She then talked about her career, starting with her A Level subjects and her Business Studies degree. She went on to talk about some of the businesses she has started, including We Buy Nearby, an online marketplace for local produce. She focused on the lessons she learned from setting up and running We Buy Nearby, and why she eventually stopped the business rather than selling it: she explained that she didn’t want someone else to take over the business only to make the same mistakes and lose money.
The girls and staff were then invited to ask questions and one of the first things they asked Ingrid to talk about was her involvement with setting up price comparison website Confused.com. She described how Confused.com came about and how connecting the insurers to the website “was easier to say than to do”. However, Confused.com ended up with eight of the top ten insurers in its system when she sold the company to Admiral!
Ingrid was also asked about her predictions for the future of business. She answered that data and the use of data has skyrocketed in the past decade and is continuing to do so. However, she also outlined some of the problems faced by companies who want to make use of customers’ data, referring to changes in the law and the fact that some people feel “stalked” when their phones know where they are and what they are doing! She advised that the key to this is doing it to serve the customer, not for profit.
In addition, Ingrid discussed work experience with the Sixth Formers and shared some of the benefits she gained from her own early jobs as well as encouraging them to share. She talked about making a CV stand out in the pile and showed an example of her own: bright, colourful, and easy to read in a logical fashion.
When asked for some final advice for the students, she referred to the ‘Hedgehog Principle’: finding the perfect intersection of what they are passionate about, what they are good at and what pays well.
Later on in the evening, Ingrid was the guest of honour at the Girls’ Division Presentation Evening: she handed out the awards and certificates and gave an inspirational and engaging Address which can be viewed in full here.
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