Sean set to realise artisan bakery dream after FE to degree journey with UCB

July 2017

Sean Brown, whose UCB journey has seen him rise from a 17-year-old Level 1 student with no plans to pursue a degree to a fully-fledged Bachelor of Science, is on his way to fulfilling his dream of running his own artisan bakery in London. 

The 23-year-old has literally risen through the ranks at UCB and on the cusp of graduation, has already put the wheels in motion to buy his own business in the UK capital. 

After completing his Bakery Levels 1, 2 and 3, during which he was an Internal Bakery Apprentice at UCB, Sean was accepted into the very first cohort of the HE L4 Bakery (as it was then) and Confectionery Technology course, studying towards a FdSc. 

Topping his foundation degree up to a Bakery and Patisserie Technology BSc (Hons) degree, he has, uniquely, been through virtually every course the bakery department at UCB offers. 

Things could, however, have been quite different.

“When I finished school, I actually did a year of AS Levels, but it just wasn’t for me,” he said. “I was never really academic, so the natural step was to look at more vocational courses. 

“I had always been interested in cooking, even attending a class every Saturday for three years from the age of 12, and was initially interested in training to be a chef at UCB. 

“I realised this was going to be tricky as I have a nut allergy, making food tasting difficult, so decided on the bakery and patisserie course, which I have not regretted.” 

He said when he first started the Level 1 course, university was not on his radar. 

“My two brothers were both engineers, but I never saw myself as someone who would go to uni,” he said. “After completing Levels 1, 2 and 3, I looked at my options and the best one was to do a degree, increasing my career prospects and raising the ceiling on what I could earn. 

“The experience really developed my knowledge and skillset, made me more mature and changed the way I thought about things. I got to go on placements organised by UCB to Norway and France and was really encouraged all the way through. I took every opportunity I was given, which has put me in a really good position today. 

“I’m now currently in the process of buying my own bakery to specialise in artisan breads, and would eventually love to expand throughout the UK and become a household name.” 

Richard Wood, UCB lecturer in bakery and confectionery, said: “Sean is a clear example of what a student can achieve at UCB. By joining us to take a FE course, Sean worked hard and achieved levels 1 and 2. He then worked with us for a year as an apprentice, achieving Level 3. He has now achieved an honours degree after three years study in higher education.” 

Find out more about UCB’s College of Food

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