Gareth Reakes 1999

Course studied:
Bachelor of Science, Computing

Entrepreneur and Chief Technology Officer

Gareth Reakes

What made you choose Brookes as a place to study?

I really liked the campus and the town of Oxford, and went on the basis of a friend’s recommendation. I also thought the modular programme was interesting and liked that I could try subjects that were outside of core areas I had already thought of.

What did you think of your course? Did it give you skills to progress in a particular direction?

I thought they were very good indeed- all of the knowledge that I took away from my education is core to my career as a Chief Technology Officer and as someone who starts companies in technology-related areas.

What were the best bits of studying at Brookes?
The modular programme was excellent and the lecturers incredibly supportive. And I liked the beer-drinking (well, I WAS young then!).

My lecturers were open to out-of-class discussions, ranging from topic areas they taught through to other interests. This was
especially relevant to my 3rd year project looking into artificial intelligence, in which I had a great interest.

After graduating from Brookes what were the next steps in your career?

I worked for a start-up in Oxford in the technology space and then founded the first of three companies, the most recent of which, we7 Limited, was just sold to Tesco.

What so far have been the most challenging moments?

There are always highs and lows in start-ups, often coming in on the same day. But the lesson I have taken away is that you always push through the lows and look for the next highs. 

Have you been involved with Brookes since graduating?

Yes, I try to help out where I can and have attended Brookes careers events and alumni dinners as well as giving entrepreneurship talks and chatting to students and professionals linked with the university.

What have been the successes and personally benefits in getting involved?

I’ve learned a thing or two since leaving Brookes so I hope that sharing my experiences will enable students to avoid mistakes that I made, and I find it valuable to encourage anyone to create a business.

What do you recommend to others who would like to get involved with the university?

Being involved as an alumni is fantastic - it’s a great place to start if you want to get involved and I would recommend it to anyone.