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We are delighted to feature FP, Sam Zawadzki who owns a Property Technology Company. Sam shares his passion for technology and looks back on his life at Heriot’s.
Please get in touch if you wish to share your story ‘after Heriot’s’.
What is your current role?
CEO of Property Technology ltd, a software company that works with 800 estate agents UK wide, providing marketing tools. If you’re interested you can find out more on our website www.lead.pro
How did you get there?
Age 17 it was time for UCAS applications, I had no idea what I wanted to ‘do’ in later life, but it seemed the popular wisdom was to go to university after school. I picked my favourite subject at the time – chemistry (possibly my favourite because of Mr Broadfoot’s liberal use of Lycopodium powder in experiments!) and was accepted to study at Edinburgh University. After two years of incredibly difficult lab work, and mind-bending mathematics, I determined that I did not want to ‘do’ chemistry for the rest of my life. While studying at Edinburgh, I had become heavily involved with the Entrepreneurship Society and was really interested in online businesses. I decided to withdraw from studies for a year to try starting an online software business. This first venture, an online property advertising website went very well. I received investment from Richard Branson, and won a prestigious Shell Livewire award. At the end of the year I decided not to return to my studies but to focus on the business.
After three year of running that business I was approached by a company in London who wanted to hire me, it was a Swiss software company who were launching in the UK and they wanted me to be their first UK employee and head up UK operations. The company provided rent payment processing to UK property owners, so it was right in my area of interest. I managed a year of working for someone else, before I was desperate to get back to running my own business.
That’s when I founded my current company Property Technology Ltd. By this time, I had spent three years running a property advertising website, and a year working for a rent payment processing software so I was starting to get familiar with the Property Technology industry, so I called my company Property Technology Ltd. Over 5 years have passed since I decided to set up the company, and we’ve grown from strength to strength. It’s been a rollercoaster, in the early days I had sleepless nights worrying about making payroll, earlier this month we were awarded a contract with one of the UK’s largest estate agency companies. I’ve learned that successes are not made overnight, they take years… and years… and years of hard work!
What are your greatest achievements?
One of my favourite achievements was swimming the channel from Dover to Calais in 2015 as part of a relay team with two friends. The swim started at 3am in very cold, pitch black waters. Halfway through we swam through a sizable ‘smack’ of jellyfish and received way too many stings. Even then, it will always stick with me as one of my most fond memories!
Less of an achievement, and more of an incredible life experience, I will never forget getting to fly to and stay at Richard Branson’s private island, Necker, in the Caribbean – it was an incredibly fun experience.
What are your abiding memories of Heriot’s?
I’ll always remember running up the stone spiral staircases to get to Spanish class – what a privilege getting to go to school in such a historic building. I’ll never forget just how beautiful Heriots is.
Queuing for yum-yums from the tuck shop in morning break during the cold winter months – oh, they were so good!
Tell us two ‘takeaways’ from Heriot’s days:
I love Mr Dickson’s mantra ‘good better best, I will never rest until my good is better and my better best’. I think it really brings out the Heriot’s spirit of always putting energy and effort into everything you do. I think, no matter what path your life takes, if you put energy in, you’ll get the best out of it!
At Heriot’s we were blessed with so many extracurricular activities. From fencing to debating club, it was possible to try nearly everything. I think keeping that variety of fun activities is super important in life after school.
Any top tips for current pupils when planning their future?
First and foremost, follow your passions, do your favourite things! Doing activities or jobs you love will help keep your motivation and spirits high, in the difficult times that inevitably do hit us.
Invest in your financial future! Compound interest is indeed the most powerful force in the universe, the younger you are when you start investing in your financial freedom, the sooner you will achieve it!