First Thoughts About Co-Living at Old Oak – Guest Blog by Emily From Thriva

First Thoughts About Co-Living at Old Oak – Guest Blog by Emily From Thriva

Last month The Collective were excited to be a host business for Thriva, a new 6-month experience for 18-24yr olds combining 21st century education and start up work experience. Here’s what our fantastic placement, Emily Scott, had to say about her time at Old Oak:

This summer marked the first summer that didn't signify the dreaded countdown to the beginning of the next school year. The standard 6 weeks of late nights, late starts, and losing track of what day of the week it was had finally come to an end, and the next chapter of my life was about to begin.   

Having weighed up the pros and cons of University, I had come to the conclusion that I wasn’t ready for another 3 years of assignments, deadlines and exams, so I started to look for alternatives. One of these was presented to me by Jas Hothi, founder of Thriva, in the form of ‘Thriva mini’, a school leavers’ programme designed for young and ambitious individuals seeking the opportunity to experience the world of work by spending 3 weeks with a host business. In addition, the programme included a number of speaker days in which a range of professionals spoke on subjects including how to manage your finances; guidance on C.V. writing and interview techniques; and the skills employers are looking for (‘emotional intelligence’ being one of the most sought after).

For my placement, I was fortunate enough to spend 3 weeks working alongside the team at The Collective Old Oak. I was based on reception with Mariana, who was extremely efficient, impossibly well-organised, and overall a great teacher from whom I learnt a lot.

On arrival at Old Oak, what struck me the most was the cosmopolitan atmosphere and vibrant synergy that existed between the team and residents.  To an urbanist, city life means the prospect of new opportunities, business ventures and an environment in which to thrive; all elements that Old Oak embrace.

Providing a sustainable and efficient way of life for young professionals, Old Oak is a hive of activity. During my time there, I was introduced to a range of individuals with a plethora of aims and ambitions, but one shared goal: to succeed, whether that be in their own start up business, blog, or investment in furthering their own education and experience.

Making this all possible is The Collective team, who eat, sleep and breathe the concept of co-living. Their enthusiasm, passion and entrepreneurial drive is present in everything they do, and they are always looking forwards and striving to develop new and innovative ideas. One of these is the Old Oak Facebook group, a platform for all members of the community to introduce themselves, share ideas and communicate. It is an extremely efficient way of enabling residents who live such fast paced lives to stay connected. I was impressed by the online activity and interest regarding personal business ventures, and how any resident looking for support or input had, at the click of a button, responses from a multitude of like-minded people willing to offer their assistance.

I came to realise that the concept of co-living is so unique in that the experience is shaped by the residents themselves. It epitomises the theory that you get out of life what you are willing to put in.

In terms of my own career choices, I found it opened my eyes to the variety of opportunities available that don’t necessarily fall into what is considered the ‘traditional’ path to success. For me, the key to ‘thriving’ in education, work and life, is to love what you do!

Thriva is a 6-month programme for young people (18+), combining a 21st century curriculum with a startup/SME placement. Thriva's first cohort begins in November 2016, with 'taster days' coming in September. Find out more at:

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