Luke Joyce, a graduate from Maynooth University, has built a career for himself after establishing his own premium cleaning company when he realised he didn’t want to be “just another one of thousands” in a big corporation.
The 24 -year-old graduated from his Business Entrepreneurship degree with First-class honours and was awarded the Entrepreneurship Student of the Year Award for 2019.
When his course was over, Joyce’s peers went on to complete graduate programmes with larger, multi-national companies, also referred to as ‘The Big Five’. For many, he believes that it felt as though “that was the only way you were supposed to go.”
However, Joyce had “little interest in this as a career and instead focused on starting and growing my own company.” He didn’t want to work somewhere he wouldn’t be a valued member of the team.
Despite the courses title of ‘entrepreneurship’ students are only able to do their internships in businesses such as financial firms or banks. Joyce said that he “couldn’t believe it” when he got to 3rd year and found out he couldn’t take the year to work for himself.
Joyce was surprised that the course had a lot more focus on business and working with a corporation, rather than working for yourself. In comparison to similar courses abroad, entrepreneurship degrees in the USA teach you skills on how to build up and develop your own company.
“It didn’t make sense to get an entrepreneur degree and work for a bank,” he said.
Instead of doing an internship, Joyce took a gap-year to focus on developing and growing his business. However, this meant he got a lesser degree than his classmates.
“I could have gone on to a decent graduate program. However, I felt there was far more value in learning the ins and outs of business using my own company, even though the social norms in college said otherwise.”
“All the rest of them got an international degree,” he said, “they got a better degree than I got even though I took the same year out to work on my business, so I found that was crazy.”
Going forward, he believes that students should be given the option to work on their own businesses for their work experience.
Using the skills, he gained in his degree, Joyce founded his business The Cleaning Company. He wanted to create a business that was low capital and could be built up locally.
He wanted to try remove the stigma surrounding window cleaners and create a premium service people can rely on. Being from South West Dublin, Joyce finds that “window cleaners and gutter cleaners have a bad name” and seen as “Jimmy from around the corner coming around to clean the windows with no insurance.”
From this he felt like he could build up the standard for his cleaning company while having little competition.
“I decided to completely revamp it and take people away from the idea of these lads in tracksuits and ladders,”
He invested in good equipment, a branded van and has his team wear a uniform. Joyce ensures he has a high quality of customer service by checking in with his clients after and making sure they are satisfied with the services they’re receiving.
“Just all the time trying to get as far away as possible from the stereotypical window cleaner,” he added.
Joyce feels confident that he has solidified his company as reliable, particularly in his local area. Although his prices are expensive, the high quality of service ensures the job is done correctly making it worth paying for.
From his own experiences as a student, Joyce says it’s important that students and graduates “expand their horizons when it comes to internships and career prospects.” He explains that each company, whether it’s big or small, has something worth learning from it.
He advises any students looking to create their own business to jump into it and start with something small and local that you can build up and develop over time.
You can see more about Joyce’s company at thecleaningcompany.ie
Note: This article was reuploaded on 04/04/21 due to a fault with The College View website.
Image Credit: Luke Joyce