UCL Advances welcomes new Deputy Director
4 October 2012
UCL Advances has welcomed Gurpreet Jagpal as its new Deputy Director this month.
Gurpreet, or Gups for short, 31, joins the university’s centre for entrepreneurship from the University of Birmingham, where he managed the entrepreneurship team on a day-to-day basis and launched a variety of programmes designed to encourage staff and student entrepreneurship, as well as achieving his MBA there at the same time.
These included the talentpool, a project for postgraduate students designed to boost their understanding of external organisations. The programme saw PhD students learn, through five-day intensive workshops, how to become an effective expert consultant, and then get put through their paces at an assessment centre.
“It also aimed to show researchers the value of a doctorate beyond the academic community,” said Gurpreet. “There are so many jobs out there for people with this level of qualification, but often PhD students aren’t aware of them.”
The programme was so successful it clocked up just under 300 participants from across the university – with part of its appeal being that after the workshops, the programme administrators worked to secure real-world consulting opportunities for those taking part.
Gurpreet was also the project lead to the BSEEN project, which saw Birmingham University collaborate with Aston and Birmingham City University to encourage and support graduates in starting their own businesses, including success stories Wavelength Marketing, Play DNA and Abigail Borg.
Aside from his most recent position, Gurpreet has a long involvement in enterprise and entrepreneurship related projects. Originally from Wolverhampton and after achieving a degree in information management, he went on to work for Birmingham City University to work in the field, eventually becoming the Chair of the regional Science City Digital Working Group.
It was there he also took inspiration from a trip to Gothenburg and decided to launch Enterprising staff, enterprising students, to link staff with enterprising ideas which were commercially viable to students looking for business experience and the enthusiasm to test the viability of the ideas.
Looking to his future at UCL Advances, Gurpreet is keen to ensure the centre does what it does better, more efficiently and more innovatively – drawing too from the experience of running his own property business.
“My role will be to manage delivery and make sure we do what we’re already doing even better, whilst identifying where we can fill niches we haven’t already explored,” Says Gurpreet. “There’s plenty of scope for new initiatives, helping companies cut costs, and looking at introducing new teaching methods for some of our programmes. It’s a hugely exciting challenge.”