Successful Women Who Didn’t Go To University

Posted on April 19, 2012

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Sometimes I feel as if I’m a bit behind in life because I went to University, like with getting a place of my own, having a real job, etc. There seems to be a need in society for its young people to go to University, and I think there is way too much pressure.

I wouldn’t change the fact that I decided to go for anything because it’s something I always wanted to do. I may not have learnt as many academic lessons as I wanted. But I think I have become a stronger person from it.

Anyway, we all know about Bill Gates (Microsoft), Simon Cowell and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook). They didn’t feel the need to go to/finish University and they are three of the most successful and famous people in the world.

But there are some women who got where they wanted in life without University.

Josephine Fairley

She left school at 16, was a magazine editor by the age of 23, and went on to found Green & Black’s chocolate.

Mary Portas

She started out with a Saturday job at John Lewis. She also worked in the windows at Harrods and Topshop creating the displays. She has been credited with transforming Harvey Nichols into a world-famous brand.

You may know her as Mary Portas Secret Shopper or Queen of Shops.

Reaction: Mary Portas retail recommendations approved

Kirstie Allsopp

You’ve probably seen her on Location, Location, Location and other property shows like it. At 18 she was working with interior designer Nicky Haslam. She said, “I was living at home, so I was able to take the opportunity and I got incredible experience. You don’t get into television by doing media studies but by starting as a researcher and doing a very junior job.”

'When I'm filming around the country I've got little control over what I'm eating,' said Kirstie Allsopp

Claire Smith

She was one of those people who were just expected to go to University. But she turned down four places. She started her own food gift business when she was 18 and now at 22 is working in marketing.

Claire Smith

Ok, so maybe there aren’t the opportunities that there used to be in some careers. I know that if I hadn’t gone to University the likelihood of me being able to walk into a magazine or newspaper and getting an apprenticeship would be slim.

But you should know that University isn’t for everyone. There are so many other options and opportunities if you look for them

For more on this go to: A reject reports: ‘I’m glad I didn’t go to university’ and ‘We’ve gone further without a degree’: Why university is no longer a passport to success

(Click pictures for original sources)

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Posted in: Student Life