Verge Meets: Carly Mccluskey with The OU & MTV

Earlier this year The Open University launched its latest series of Ones to Watch produced in partnership with MTV Generation Change – hosted by one of our fav presenters – Henrie Kwushue.

The series marks the second partnership between the OU and MTV, where viewers see host Henrie in candid chats with the students about their hopes and ambitions around societal change. The series explores some of the most pressing topics facing Generation Z today including disability rights, environment, and wellbeing and how they are impacting change within local communities.

The conversations reveal the inspirations that led them to higher education at the OU and how their study path is supporting them and empowering them to strive for change in their communities. You can catch the most recent one here:

 

We spoke with Carly McCluskey about her start-up – The Random Vegans. You can see her video here and her interview below.

What caused your lightbulb moment to create The Random Vegans?

So my company is The Random Vegans, myself and my partner Jason run it. We went vegan about five years ago and it was then that we really learned about the impact our eating habits do have on the environment, never mind the actual impact of meat and dairy on the body. I started making amazing food and thought I can really do something here. We developed a plant-based egg product for making omelettes, French toast, and all the rest of your eggy foods. I want to make vegan food more accessible and just to educate people that they can make that change too.

 

My degree has helped me in so many ways, from learning the basics of accounting, so I can do the books for our business, learning the basics of marketing as well, to help promote it and make social media campaigns.

 

You started at the OU to give you the skills you needed to run your own business, what was it like to learning new things with a specific business in mind?

My degree has helped me in so many ways, from learning the basics of accounting, so I can do the books for our business, learning the basics of marketing as well, to help promote it and make social media campaigns.

 

When you are having a day off, what do you like to do?

So I always start my day with exercise, whether that’s going on a run, going out on the bikes for a quick cycle. I feel like it gives me a lot of energy and the motivation for all the things I need to do.

 

With the flexibility of the OU it really helps me keep on top of everything I need to do. I can work and study at the same time, I can just go online, on my laptop, when I’m sitting at home.

 

What do your family and friends think of your Open University qualification?

They were all really excited for me, and especially because I have used it directly to make my life better and start my own business. I’m really loving studying and working!

 

What does the future hold?

I would love to keep studying business even once I’ve got my degree, I would love to do a masters and just learn as much as I can to make my business the best it can really be. We would love to bring out more products. We would love to potentially even have a cookbook or maybe even our own Random Vegan restaurant one day.

 

How do you balance studying with working full time?

With the flexibility of the OU it really helps me keep on top of everything I need to do. I can work and study at the same time, I can just go online, on my laptop, when I’m sitting at home. I’ve got all my books that I use and you can also access it on your phone. I always manage my study time through my planner and it really helps me keep on track. And I can speak to my tutors and they’re always so understanding.

 

How does the OU support you during your studies?

Everyone at the OU is so, so helpful, from the tutors to the amazing group of students. It really is a great sense of community. They’re always there if I need any help or assistance. Although it’s distance learning, you’re never alone.

 

Check out our other interview with Lea Gibson here!

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