When Sam came to Bournemouth University to begin his Business Studies degree, he was determined to make the most of all the opportunities available, particularly those that involved seeing the world.

He spent his placement year working for Canadian company UrtheCast, which runs and owns the remote imaging cameras on the International Space Station. Sam was based in their San Francisco office, and also visited their HQ in Vancouver.

“I found that the opportunities in Silicon Valley were incredibly unique given my interest in space and technology in general, and I’ve wanted to move there since the age of around eight,” he reveals.

“The highlight of my placement was getting to decide a location to film with the IRIS Camera, which is attached to the International Space Station. Knowing that my decision may be seen by astronauts on the Space Station and potentially people around the world was an incredible feeling,” adds Sam.

Sam already had his own company - Nebula Sciences – before his placement year, but his time in the USA encouraged him to expand his business, a professional near space launch company providing services to launch small scientific and marketing payloads to near space.

“We had our work featured at a TEDx Talk at CERN in Switzerland, which was a huge achievement,” he states, explaining that they already have a number of clients and plan to expand further.

“My ultimate goal in life is to build great companies that most effectively apply the bright minds of the world to relevant problems,” he enthuses.

Sam’s time in the USA wasn’t his only global experience during his degree. He also participated in the Study China and Study India programmes, as well as going to Australia under the Study Abroad programme and working as a volunteer researcher as part of the engineering crew at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. 

“BU’s Global Horizons Fund has been extremely helpful in providing financial support for these opportunities and I cannot thank the university enough for this,” comments Sam.

By helping to fund these various academic opportunities, it allowed me to build up a very strong skillset, which was really helpful in allowing me to get a job in San Francisco, as well as start my own business.”

Sam urges everyone to take advantage of the chance to travel: “Students have a very wonderful window of freedom to go and undertake a range international opportunities that are hugely beneficial to forming their future careers and helping them build up a skillset to effectively pursue their ambition.

“As someone who has both worked in a company and is now employing students both in the UK and the USA, having more practical and international experience is extremely beneficial.”