Careers Beyond the Ordinary

How to turn the skills you have, into the career and lifestyle you want


From Living Abroad to Running Your Own Startup

Want to run your own business but not sure how to get started? Confused about how you’d get the necessary funding, expertise, network, and, most importantly, space to think through your ideas and try them out without high risks?

It’s not as complicated as you might think. Moving abroad after university and teaching, studying, or taking up a job in a startup or SME, can offer you the financial stability and time you need to find your footing and start a new chapter after a busy degree. Not to mention the contacts and skills needed to launch your own startup! Many people think a graduate scheme or professional qualifications are essential before you can start out on your own, but these jobs, while good for some, can be life-consuming and drain your creativity without giving you the real holistic skills you need to run your own business.

Moving abroad isn’t just good for starting your own business, but can also allow you to have a bit of time after university to work out what matters to you and what you want to do, while earning a good income, building up your skills, meeting fascinating people, and separating yourself from the crowd if you eventually decide to return home and apply for graduate jobs. The language skills you stand to gain from moving abroad will also open many doors. Reports have shown that pay differentials for bilingual workers can increase anywhere between 5-20% per hour.

While COVID has made travel more difficult in the short term, there will still be plentiful opportunities to move abroad over the coming year(s), and doing so is truly a long-term win.

Join us for a discussion with two Beijing-based British entrepreneurs about how they built an international career and their own education startups with social impact, and their tips for how you can get started on the road to running your own business.

With Isla Lamparelli, Exeter Uni student and Edu-venture Exeter founder, our speakers, Kit and Richard, will discuss:

  • How they moved to China after university
  • How they made their interests central to their careers and made their work more than just a job
  • How they built up the necessary skills and network to achieve their goals by moving abroad
  • How they grew their own startups
  • Stories of friends and acquaintances who followed similar routes to differing end goals
  • Their tips for how you can best get started in launching your own projects with minimal need for external funding


6-7pm (BST) Wednesday 15 July 2020


This event has now finished.


This event has now finished.

Our Guests

Kit Harford
Kit HarfordFounder Tech Trek, Beijing
Kit moved to China after graduating from Leeds and SOAS, and spent five years living, teaching, and working across third tier cities in Shandong province, building an extracurricular English training school business. He had a truly memorable time, building a deep understanding of local business culture, company management and had the chance to experience the day-to-day life of many millions of Chinese people.

Kit is passionate about understanding how technology is changing the world and what it means for how humanity must evolve. He believes we are living in the most interesting time in history, but one full of hugely significant challenges.

This thinking led to founding TechTrek, aiming to help young learners prepare for what will a vastly different world in the coming years. TechTrek provides innovative and enjoyable tech education courses and services, including teaching primary school kids coding and tech skills. Their core focus is on connecting learning with real world applications and problems, building and developing relevant and useful life-long skills.

TechTrek currently teaches after-school classes at a number of top international schools and teaches over 500 kids a week both online and in their own learning centres.

Kit has also been very fortunate to be involved with a global social enterprise called Leaders Quest (聚贤社) working with global corporate leadership teams to think about the future and how business needs to adjust to the needs and challenges of the modern world.

Tech Trek website:

Richard Lloyd
Richard LloydCo-founder Gotoco China
After graduating from Oxford in 2015 (Chinese Studies and Tibetan), Richard moved straight back to Beijing where he’d spent his year abroad, with his two best friends Danny Parrott and Lisha Tang. While launching and growing his own social enterprise, Gotoco China, with Danny and Lisha, Richard worked as a Research Manager for China Policy (, where he advised multilateral organisations, multinational companies, and NGOs on China’s policy environment. This experience massively grew his network in Beijing, and helped him develop vital technical and soft skills that have been key in growing Gotoco, as well as providing him with an income while he grew his social enterprise from scratch.

Richard is passionate about social change, environmental and sustainability issues, and education. Running Gotoco with Danny and Lisha, he aims to raise cultural awareness about China and Asia in Europe and North America, and create more edutravel opportunities for students around the world. He believes common misperceptions across cultures can be diminished through increased exchange, and aims to help students from more diverse backgrounds access fulfilling and quality educational opportunities.

As a social enterprise, Gotoco has arranged for over 2,000 North American and European students to visit China to join their fun, funded and free work-travel and cultural exchange projects. Gotoco offers this free and funded to university students as part of their social mission to make people-to-people cultural exchange more accessible than it has ever been, and to help students advance their careers while going on an adventure

Richard is also a board member of social mobility charity Insight Outreach ( and is a co-founder of Edu-venture.

Gotoco Website: