Richard Anson

Having worked in investment banking after his undergraduate degree, Richard undertook his doctorate in engineering geology and became an engineering consultant. Five years later he completed an MBA, and is now the Chief Executive Officer of his own business.

The following text is a transcription of a career story collected by interview.

"My name is Richard Anson. I'm founder and CEO of a business called

"Reevoo is a shopping advisory web business that takes the power of customer reviews, so user generated reviews, and turns that into advice to help people purchase electrical products.

"I did a degree in geology originally and when I, when I, when I finished geology I thought I wanted to go into business and I went and took a job with venture capital. And one of the reasons for taking that job in venture capital was to get the skills to go, to go in and build a business and I soon realised that actually being in the investment side doesn't actually give you the skills to run a business, so at that point I actually left and went back and became an engineer.

"I did a PhD in engineering geology and then went and worked as an engineer, engineering consultant, for about five years before going off to do an MBA. Everything I've, I've done has been right for me at the right time and all the skills that I've picked up have sort of built on each, on each other.

"What I found interesting was I'd been, I'd been to work, I'd worked so I'd, I'd done my degree and then gone out and worked and then come back to do research and I think that is slightly different to if you just finish your first degree and go straight off and stay into academia. So you've already been, you've, you have seen the pressures involved in a, in a working, paid working life, or business life about having to deliver, so I applied myself pretty diligently and pretty rigorously to it.

"Doing a PhD you, you have to be very entrepreneurial. I think most PhD students don't realise it but the only way your PhD gets done is if you get up in the morning and do it yourself and you're not doing it for, you're not doing it for money you're doing it for the love of, and passion of a, of a project and it gives you an amazing, amazing attention to detail and an amazing kind of rigour in terms of questioning any data. And engineering geology I, my PhD was in landslides, engineering geology is a very applied subject so it's very natural to, to, to go and work in industry after doing that. I worked effectively as a geotechnical engineer in a civil engineering consultancy, so you're always there blending, blending academia, engineering with commerce and I was 29 after spending five years in engineering consulting, that I, I actually wanted to be more in the business side and it was at that point I made a decision to go off and do an MBA and fund that myself.

"And actually now if I'm recruiting people and I look at somebody who has a CV and they've done the same thing all the time I find it very dull and it doesn't, it doesn't inspire me, whereas someone who's done a variety of different things they, they have a degree of flexibility and agility of the mind probably.

"When I went to management consultants, I went in with really a view that I would be there for a period of time before starting a business. So I hadn't decided, it wasn't, my aim wasn't to be there forever and it's fairly standard, it's not an unstandard route, for people to do if you go and do an MBA. But that's not to say that change throughout, throughout ones, erm throughout my career has been, has been easy. So you know when I, I've had, I've had periods unemployed etc when I've decided to make a change and then it then takes time for you to find the next, find the next role.

"I tend to try and feed off lots of different people actually. So now I'll try and build relationships with, other entrepreneurs who've, who are potentially five, ten years ahead. So they've been successful once, or even twice and meeting them for a drink or, or, you learn all the war stories and you actually realise that whatever you're going through at the moment whether it's good or bad, there's, someone else has been through it and they can help kind of coach and provide, provide er, provide support or advice.

"It's good to be building something and doing something constructive. You know Reevoo's still got a long way to go. We've done, I'm, you know very proud of what we've achieved in the last five years but we want to move across Europe and the business has got a long way to go."