I need to do things that break the mould. Everyone has that rite of passage. I was just looking for something that would change me.
Most 21-year-olds don’t have to face their own mortality, but Angus Bower had to overcome a serious heart condition and major surgery during his studies at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to achieve his dreams.
Overcoming challenges have helped to make him a man with many goals. He not only finished his Bachelor of Business, but is now working as Search Engine Optimisation Director for one of Australia’s leading creative agencies - Atomic 212. He’s also writing his first novel and poised to launch a creative enterprise.
With little enthusiasm for study during his final year of high school, Angus didn’t get the marks he needed to study a Bachelor of Business at UTS directly.
Instead, he enrolled in UTS Insearch where he could take two semesters and boost his grades. “I became very focused,” he says. “I was thinking ‘I need to do these classes and get these marks and get the job done so that I can do what I want later on.’”
His determination and ability to focus when it counts have helped him succeed, even when he has changed directions.
During university he decided to take a gap year to explore the world.
“I needed to do something that was breaking the mould,” he says. “Everyone has that rite of passage. I was just looking for something that would change me. “
Angus travelled around Europe and then, while spending some time in Cambodia, he befriended a local business owner who ran the gym where he was learning kickboxing. Together they co-founded AusSwim, a swim school and gymnasium for affluent Cambodians and foreign expatriates in the suburbs of Phnom Penh.
After completing his studies and a short stint in a corporate marketing role, Angus realised that he didn’t want to stifle his creativity and entrepreneurial flare.
He was ready to pursue a passion for writing which he’d had since high school, and enrolled in a Postgraduate degree in Creative Writing at UTS. He got high enough marks to transfer into a Masters and now he is in the midst of writing a novel.
At the same time he got involved in an e-commerce start-up providing a platform that allowed wholesale fishermen to sell seafood from anywhere in the world directly to China. He had a marketing role and learned about the dynamism of start-ups.
In his current role at a leading creative agency, he is very happy. “I’m able to combine my traditional business knowledge, the writing aspect and this new industry, which is the future,” he says.
His advice to other young people trying to succeed is to have the courage to do whatever it is you want to achieve. “Genuinely believe in yourself and do what you want to do.”