How CMI helped award-winning student Daniils

Written by Dave Waller Tuesday 25 June 2024
Daniils Jakovlevs was recently named Business Student of the Year at Solent University Business School. Here, he reflects on the power of early-career recognition – and highlights the importance of taking stock, making big moves and going the extra mile
Daniils Jakovlevs

Not everyone is destined to turn their early dreams into a career. The question is how soon they make that realisation and pivot. For Latvia-born Daniils Jakovlevs, that shift saw him winning awards and launching a new career. 

For Daniils, that nascent ambition began with football. He played at academy level until he was 16, when he realised he didn’t have what it takes to compete at the top level. But he was sharp enough to move the goalposts. 

“I really liked the game, so I decided to look at it from a different perspective,” he says. “How is the business of football run?”

In 2021, he came to the UK, lured by the size of the market and breadth of study options, and enrolled on Solent University’s football business management programme. Two years in, he pivoted again – this time because he realised the course itself wasn’t quite scoring.

Watch: Managing yourself – Leadership lessons from horses and sport

Read more: why Daniils elected to pivot during his university studies


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