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Justin Short

Career Path: Co-Owner & Director, Synergi
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

After graduating from Northumbria in 1994, I joined a start-up technology company and built a career in IT. Initially I was a Trainer and Consultant but progressed to leading a professional services team and ultimately managing the business, which went on to become one of the most successful business intelligence practices in the UK. In 2007 I started my own business as a Microsoft partner, based out of Newcastle upon Tyne.

What are you doing now?

In 2013 I joined my Co-Director Peter Joynson in creating Synergi, a Microsoft Cloud Partner specialising in productivity solutions based on the Microsoft Cloud platform (Microsoft 365, Office 365 and Dynamics 365). Today, Synergi is a leading cloud practice in the region and works across the UK and Ireland with a wide range of customers.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

I chose Northumbria for a number of reasons - it was the right course, a great campus and fantastic city.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

The course was mostly lectures and seminars but with a number of really good field trips to put learning into practice.

How connected was your course with industry?

There were some excellent guest lectures during my course and whilst it wasn't connected to a specific industry, I learnt so many of the skills that gave me the confidence to kick-start my career and have continued to help me ever since!

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

I gained so much from my studies at Northumbria, it gave me the self-confidence to develop my learning and skills in areas like presenting that helped me to become a trainer and consultant, working with customers all over the country

What was the best thing about your course?

The team spirit on the course made it a close knit group of friends and there was so much to get involved in beyond the course itself. I was an active member of OUTAC (the Outdoor Activities Club) and we never had a dull weekend!

Which skills/ knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

Although my course was not deeply technical, I used the time and opportunities to build technical skills that really got me started in my career.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

I really enjoyed the friendship between the rest of the students on my course and the lecturers and I enjoyed getting involved in a lot of clubs and activities. Most of all I fell in love with Newcastle to the point where I couldn't leave, I've made it my home and have raised my three children here.

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

Northumbria is a great university in a fantastic location, it should be high on everyone's list.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words? 

Life forming experience.

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