Kevin Lewis is the former President of Hacksmiths, the student-run tech society at Goldsmiths. He’s recently graduated and set up his own business using all the skills he developed in the role...
‘If I could offer one piece of advice to new students, it would be to get involved with a club or society – you never know what it might lead to.
After leaving school at 16, I got a job as a programmer. The company I worked for, which supported student hackathons, sent me as a sponsor to an event organised by Hacksmiths, the student-run tech society at Goldsmiths. Before long, I’d signed up to a Creative Computing degree there.
In my first year I became Vice-President of Hacksmiths and in my second, President. The aim of the society is to provide everyone, regardless of their background or degree, the opportunity to explore technology.
We ran multiple student activities, from beginner workshops to more expert hackathons. We also held weekly drop-in sessions. Being a part of the society gave me a real sense of community. It was great to hang out with like-minded people.
I developed lots of new skills too – I learnt about sponsorship, building communities, communications and how to run a team.
Hacksmiths also thrives on its relationships with external contributors who sponsor events, in fact several students have gone on to work at companies they’ve met along the way.
In my final year (I’ve just graduated!) we had a new President and in that period I set up my company, Underland, with a friend. We ploughed away at it throughout third year. It was hard work finishing a degree and juggling the demands of our new clients, but we did it. We now run developer events alongside software development – essentially what I’d been doing with Hacksmiths! We’ve since employed three people and are going from strength to strength.
Being a part of the society 100% made my university experience. Why wouldn’t you engage with all these activities that are on offer? Your degree isn’t just a piece of paper, it’s also the relationships you build and the skills you learn through the opportunities that are on offer.’
For more info about all the clubs and societies on offer, have a look here and get signing up!