“I remember laughing a lot and generally there being a very positive atmosphere around the school.”
Alex Beckett, class of 2006, following his qualification as a chartered accountant Alex set up his own successful property development company.
How do you feel SGS helped to shape the person you are today?
The school gave me great self-confidence. I have been a strong public speaker which was developed through participating in school plays and Drama. It helped to instil the key value of hard work in me and inspired me to take an interest in academic pursuits.
What was your experience at SGS like?
It’s a great school which I have very fond memories of. Our year all got on well and I developed a number of very strong friendships which remain to this day. I remember laughing a lot and generally there being a very positive atmosphere around the school. I enjoyed playing all sports, and liked the way there was a strong emphasis on competitive sport.
Were there any teachers who inspired you or made a particular impression on you?
Two teachers really stand out and I have discussed how inspiring I found them to friends and acquaintances since I left.
First was Mr Robinson, the deputy headteacher at the time who taught English part-time. He made books and reading come to life. He had a very dry teaching style and sense of humour. He also taught me a number of key techniques for writing.
The other teacher was Mr Green whose Business Studies classes were my most enjoyable at school. He inspired me to try and be entrepreneurial in life.
What did you do after SGS?
After I left school I went to Aston University to study Business Studies. I took a placement year while at University to work for the bank UBS in London for 16 months in their Asset management division.
Upon graduating I joined the accountancy firm BDO and while there qualified as a Chartered Accountant. A year after qualifying I left BDO to set up MAG Developments Ltd.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Selling my first house. After taking the plunge to start on my own there was always a risk after leaving a comfortable accountancy job. But since we sold the first house on our first development site I haven’t looked back.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to follow a similar path to you?
Be confident, aim high but at the same time keep your feet on the ground.
What are your ambitions for the future?
To continue to grow MAG Developments to become a major player in the Midlands housebuilding industry. I would like to be developing 50 houses a year within the next 10 years. I would also like to diversify the business to enable growth which will include contracting to Housing Associations and councils.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I play golf and five a side every week. I enjoy going to National Trust properties with my wife and 2 year old son. I also enjoy regularly catching up with friends I made at school as often as I can too.