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WGU ten years
In the Zone for Entrepreneurial Thinking

In the Zone for Entrepreneurial Thinking

I was asked recently, “What makes students want to get involved with Zone (our student and graduate hub at Wrexham Glyndwr)?

It may seem like a simple question, but I often find it comes with further assumptions such as:

  • You need to be on a business degree.
  • You need to have ideas about setting up a business.
  • You need to be ultra-competitive and very driven.
  • You need to have ambitions to appear on Dragon’s Den or The Apprentice.

If you fit into any of the categories above you'll probably have no qualms about visiting Zone and we'll welcome you with open arms but the reality is that the university’s enterprise hub, based in the Edward Llwyd Centre, is open to all.

We hold a number of events and activities and I’ve seen students from a wide range of subject areas get involved.

For instance, we took part in a challenge against other universities at the Flux Event in Lancaster and students that participated were from Fine Art and Engineering courses, as well as our Business programmes.

Our business networking events, in conjunction with Big Ideas Wales, regularly see students from a wide range of courses as it's a great way of making contacts, and get yourself ready to secure that job after graduation.

One of the regional Big Ideas Wales role models is actually a graduate from a WGU Computing degree, and we have another from Illustration.  That sort of diversity is great because they are learning from other students who think differently.

Our Enterprise Lounge, a hive of new business activity, has had students and graduates from Computer Game Development, Sports Science and Business renting the spaces to work in. We currently have a graduate from Fine Art working on our Zone blog.

Student support

If you don't have a need to start a business, or any of the above reasons, what else would make a student get involved with Zone?

Well, some students come to ask me about what others have done in order to help with their own career decision-making – there’s never an obligation to set up your own business. We have students come in out of sheer curiosity; they have seen our Social Media and blog posts, or posters around campus and just want to know how we can help or how they can get involved with our events. 

Some students have business projects as part of their course work, so may need help with things such as how to write business plans, so I have pointed them in the right direction to get started.

Develop your skills

If you think about the events and challenges that Zone gets involved with, essential skills could be developed such as being able to demonstrate innovative thinking, creative problem solving, resourcefulness, having an ability to see the bigger picture, collaborating with others and negotiating – ALL students at university, no matter what the subject is, should and could develop these skills and abilities during their time here. The skills are not only essential for business start-ups, but also within organisations you might be employed by in the future, so by getting involved with Zone, adding evidence of these skills to your CV, applications or business proposals is going to be a deal-closing, high-flying, win-win.

About the author

Judith Alexander

Judith Alexander

Judith is the Zone Manager at WGU Careers and Zone and has a background in creative arts.  Judith has over 10 years experience working in enterprise and entrepreneurship education and works with students on a 1-2-1 basis and in groups to support and develop ideas and opportunities.

Visit The Zone's website for more information.