Joshua Uwadiae was expelled from school at 15 after falling in with the wrong crowd. Now, he’s the founder and CEO of WeGym – a successful fitness start-up. Amazing. How did he turn it around? He started by doing an apprenticeship at QA.
Changing his path
Joshua said “I grew up in Hackney East. It was a rough and gritty place back then. I was around gangs and chaos.”
After being expelled, he really wanted to change things. So he found a mentor and went to college. But it wasn’t for him.
“College was too focused on getting to university for me. And uni wasn’t appealing to me. I just wanted to get out there and work. Do something. So I started looking for jobs, but I didn’t have the right skills.”
Apprenticeships? Sounds great
Joshua saw a poster about Microsoft apprenticeships, and liked the sound of it. He could get proper qualifications – get hands-on, technical experience – start a new job. And get paid, even when he was training.
So he applied, joined – and with hard work went on to complete his apprenticeship in IT systems and networking. Not only that, he came runner up in the prestigious Microsoft Apprentice of the Year Awards in 2013 – and continued a fantastic career at Microsoft for three years after his apprenticeship.
My future is what I make it
“With everything I’d learnt on my apprenticeship, I knew I had an open path. My future was what I chose to make of it.”
So he decided to start his own company – to tackle a problem that annoyed him. Finding a good, reasonably-priced personal trainer in London.
“I took a risk and started a personal training squad called WeGym – now a profitable organisation in its third year.”