Alternative Insights: Adria Wu, Founder of Maple & Fitz

The Alternative Careers Society is excited to introduce our new series, Alternative Insights! Every fortnight, we will be posting about an individual or group of individuals who have embarked on their own personal journey. Whether it may be pursuing their passions or changing careers in between, we hope that this segment will spark your curiosity, encourage you to take risks, and find our something new!

Our first guest is Adria Wu, the Founder of the healthy eatery and juice bar – Maple & Fitz!

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Adria is the founder of Maple & Fitz, a cafe offering a menu of cold pressed juices and smoothies, plus grain bowls and salads. Opening in the heart of Fitzrovia in March 2015, the cafe has since been featured in publications such as TimeOut, View London, Conde Nast Traveler, SheerLuxe, Glam UK, Vantage, Hot Dinners, Big Hospitality and The Caterer.

What makes Adria’s journey unique is that she started off pursuing different careers. At university, she studied Engineering before entering the corporate world working in management consultancy and finance in Canada. With a desire to change and pursue her passion in 2013, she decided to switch her office chairs with egg whites. Arriving in London, Adria came to study the Culinary Arts at Le Cordon Bleu and Nutrition at the UK College of Nutrition and Health.

Adria Wu speaking at LSESU Red Lips Project 2016

Adria Wu speaking at LSESU Red Lips Project 2016

The name Maple & Fitz was inspired from her Canadian roots and the location of her first cafe, Fitzrovia. Offering seasonal menus with plenty of options to cater for individual preferences, Adria is conscious of everyone’s needs and cravings whilst being health conscious too! Earlier this year, under the brand Maple & Co, Adria has opened her second home at the College of Naturopathic Medicine and is expected to open her third cafe, Maple & King’s, at St Pancras Square King’s Cross.

Find out more about Adria and her Maple & Co adventures on Instagram!

ARTernative Careers Event: Takeaways

Last week, the Alternative Careers Society hosted our first event of 2017, ARTernative Careers in conjunction with LSESU Visual Arts Society. We would like to thank all of our lovely speakers to shared their insights with us and to everyone who attended as well! To find out more about our guests for the evening, please see our previous event blogpost here. If you missed our event, here are a few main points from the session.

1. All experiences are good experiences

For all of our speakers, none of them had thought about working in the sector they currently are in now. It was only after undertaking different experiences, both related and unrelated to their professions, that they found the work they’re currently investing themselves in at the moment. From being the Managing Director of Christie’s to working in Interior Design, it was their academic study, summer work experiences, and internships which opened up doors for them.


2. You have to start somewhere

In an industry that is traditionally seen as exclusive, sometimes, you have to take a step back before you and take a step forward. For Jagdip Jagpal, she had to weave her way through jobs and projects before her current job now as a freelance consultant, collaborating on projects with the woman who is predicted to be Tate London’s next Director. Having been awarded his PhD in Law and worked extensively in the Legal Sector, Dirk Boll took on a role he was overqualified for as a researcher at Christie’s before becoming Managing Director. If there’s a career you’re interest in, just pursue it. Your hard work and determination will manifest itself with a bit of patience and luck too.


3. Have side hustles to propel you to the next step

Always plan ahead: think about where you want to be in a few years time and decide what you can be doing now to reach that goal. Don’t underestimate the power of short courses if it provides you with a skill that puts you ahead of the crowd. Vishal Kumar, in the pursuit to ‘make data sexy’, he’s enrolled himself to coding courses in London and online on Udacity. For Karolina Walewska, it was during her work in a high-end department store working in the toy department that encouraged her to enter into the luxury market. The path may not be straightforward, but achieving your goal, through your merit is the most rewarding feeling.


4. Your future job doesn’t even exist yet

With rapid technological advancement and the increasing diversification of jobs, your future career is only just in the works. The panel reminded us to pursue your passion and make the most of reaching your goals. If you continuously strive towards your own dreams, not only will you end up working at a place you’ll thoroughly enjoy, you may even create your own job – much like how Jagpal and Walewska are both running their own businesses.

Once again, thank you to everyone for attending and please do leave us any feedback for the evening. Let us know what future events you want to see from us too. Hope you see you at our NGO event next week!