Tina Dahmen, Take A Trip With Tina, currently studying BA(Hons) Journalism at Kingston University.

What is your business in few words?
I run an online travel agency for students and backpackers. I give travel consultation to individuals who have never travelled before or who would like to make a living while travelling.

How did it all begin?
I registered my business online while I was in Tanzania, one day before we climbed Kilimanjaro for a charity. When I returned from my study abroad year from Istanbul and Perth, I decided to take my business to the next level and began to operate my own tours.

Why did you start your own business?
The desire of being independent and not having the need to ask for confirmation from anyone to take a decision. I love traveling, that’s why I wanted to have the freedom to work from anywhere.

The challenges have you encountered so far?
Running a business and studying on the side was a big challenge. Completing a degree and establishing a business took up my entire time, so there was rarely time to see friends and family.

The pros and cons to be a student entrepreneur?
Pros:

  • You learn how to think and work independently. A skill which you don’t really develop at university.
  • You learn a lot about yourself.
  • You really learn how to prioritise work.

Cons:

  • Hobbies and personal life are most likely to suffer from this. As a student entrepreneur you are on a very tight schedule which creates stress.
  • You don’t get to party every weekend!

If you had the chance to change something about your entrepreneurship experience, what would it be?
Outsource more and learn less myself. At the beginning I made the mistake that I wanted to know everything, I needed to know about all parts of running a business.

Any advice for a future student entrepreneur?
Don’t hesitate to start off. Learning by doing is the key. You will find a lot of great support from your university and from other entrepreneurs along the way.