Nick Baker - alumnus profile
In 1983, Nick Baker graduated from UWE Bristol (then known as Bristol Polytechnic College) with a BA(Hons) in Business Studies. Now he's Chairman of investment team Concertare Partners and a voluntary member of UWE Bristol's Campaign Cabinet - helping raise funds for the new Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) and its state-of-the-art facilities.
A lasting relationship
Hearing about a friend’s experiences at Bristol Polytechnic College, Nick added the college to his list of possible places to continue his studies. Against some stiff competition from Oxford and Plymouth, the atmosphere and environment here in Bristol won out and Nick joined us in 1979.
“It was a tremendous course and I genuinely enjoyed it immensely. It was a sandwich course, so I spent a year in industry, working for United Biscuits in London. I was in their snacks and nuts division, which was a bonus in terms of samples!”
Now he’s part of UWE Bristol’s Campaign Cabinet, raising funds for the new Faculty of Business and Law. As well as making a personal donation to the project, and to UWE Bristol’s Architecture postgraduates who have been involved, he has also named the new Rossi and Baker Law Library.
“I got involved because I believe that for Bristol businesses to be truly cutting edge, we need world class facilities like these on our doorstep.”
Nurturing the skills that make a difference
As an employer, Nick believes that strong entrepreneurial and business skills are vital to the economy, and that nurturing the UK’s talent pool is an obviously sound investment. He understands that UWE Bristol’s new Faculty of Business and Law will support the development of skills that society needs to invest in.
“With the advent of ever-increasing technology, facts and figures are readily available at everyone’s finger tips. What is essential is the judgement and entrepreneurial ability to use that data. It’s the skills to best manage economic resources that will really make a difference in the future.”
To Nick, it’s in everyone’s best interest that young people have access to a good education.
“Businesses that are carefully managed can provide the resources we all need to invest in the future development of our own economy and those of developing economies around the world. That’s why my passion for education and for the environment go hand in hand. Knowledge is paramount to the future success of our planet, our industry, and our businesses — you’ve just got to keep educating people.”
Give and take
Nick summed his experiences at UWE Bristol up in three words: “Rewarding. Fun. Memorable.” He got a lot out of his time here and he wants students now and in the future to do the same:
“My advice is to enjoy everything, get involved, be part of things, but also remember you are here to work, to further your education. Really take the opportunity to learn, and not just from the academic side of the institution. From other people and through social interaction you learn integrity, judgement… lots of things they don’t teach you in the classroom. Seize the moment.”
And to enable future generations to do this, Nick thinks it’s important that alumni like him have a duty to get involved:
“I believe there’s a duty to contribute. For those that can afford it, that can be a financial contribution, and for those that can’t, there are many ways to get involved other than giving money.”
Find out more about UWE Bristol’s new Faculty of Business and Law building.