My education, background, and business.
My name is Thomas Clowes. I am a twenty-two year old (31/05/1990) self employed web designer, domain name investor, and consultant.
This page documents my academic and employment history (including volunteering experience and other interests).
I have worked my way through the UK education system, culminating in my gaining a BSc degree in Economics at the University of Leeds.
My passion however lies online in the world of web design and development - a world in which I have been heavily involved since 2004 (having been online since the age of nine).
When I was younger I enjoyed playing online games. An investigation into the intricacies of building my own online game in 2006 developed into a hobby which I have continued to enjoy since that time.
Through the processes of web design I have learnt to appreciate both my own strengths, understand my weaknesses - and therefore the importance of delegation.
As a result I have had the privilege of making contact and working with freelance designers, artists, animators, search marketers, and social media consultants from across the world. The logo which heads this page for example was designed by a great designer with whom I have worked on many an occasion.
My interest in business and finance, complemented by my degree in Economics has been beneficial in understanding the many complex considerations that can often be overlooked when developing a project in business.
My involvement in the domain name aftermarket has enabled me to develop skills that many do not attain in their whole working careers. Getting on the phone to business men and women across the world to negotiate a sale, sending an email where one wrong word means a lost deal, (and tireless nights of hard work with sometimes little or no reward), are examples of experiences I have had that have provided invaluable lessons.
I firmly believe that as a result of this experience, I have developed skills in the following areas: Initiative; Commitment; Teamwork; Organization; and Communication. These areas are essential in the world of work and of particular importance in this industry.
Although I believe in the benefits of a CV, I am a firm believer that evidence, results, and experience are equally important indicators of someone's compatibility in a given business.
I have developed many websites in the past six years, many of which I have sold, many of which I have discontinued. One of my most important learning experiences was the realisation that trying to develop thirty websites simultaneously and in so doing giving none your full attention simply does not work. I now focus most of my time running my business website here at www.gua.com which automates the running and management of my domain portfolio and business in a paltry 30,000 lines of PHP code. In addition to this, I have recently completed the development of www.pubjudge.com, an independent, social pub review website. To complement the website I have worked tirelessly to learn Java, and develop an android application. With passion comes enjoyment, personal development, satisfaction - and productivity.
With regard to my domain name business - I have made sales on numerous occasions (occasionally in the many thousands of dollars) - Likewise I have made similar purchases. This is an unpredictable element of my business interests and I therefore maintain some 'core' stock in reserve.
I am fluent in PHP, mySQL, HTML, and CSS, and I am extremely knowledgable with jQuery. I have dabbled with Java, Python, and Ruby, and am always looking to broaden my knowledge base and expand my horizons.
I have drive, enthusiasm and am passionate about what I do. If you are doing something cool, then I'd love to help.
As it seems to be the norm, I have included additional details about my education, my experience within the world of work and my other interests that provide a necessary counterbalance to the 'day job' in the section below.
Outside the office.
As well as completing my degree in Leeds, I also became an active member of the universities kayaking society. Having completed my gold Duke of Edinburgh award sea kayaking around the Dalmation coast of Croatia, it felt like a hobby which I could get my teeth into. Since joining the society whitewater kayaking has become a big part of my life, having spent month long holidays in Switzerland, France, Italy, and Germany over the summers of both 2011 and 2012. In 2013 I hope to explore both Norway and Italy in a kayak.
As my skills have developed I have been able to expand my involvement with the club into a coaching role. It has been a very rewarding experience helping begineers improve their skills - giving back to the club that trained me. My business and hobbies have collided through the National Student Rodeo, the worlds largest freestyle kayaking event for which The Gremlins Umbrella Authority provides all the scoring and technical firepower through a custom designed control system.
In addition to my kayaking exploration, in 2008 I spent four months travelling the world. I have visited Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA. It was an incredible experience (to say the least) meeting travellers of all different ages who likewise had come from all across the world. It was most certainly one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences of my life.
I am a relatively active individual. As well as kayaking I enjoy cycling and running, and in May 2012 I completed the Leeds half marathon, raising vital funds for the Forget me not children's hospice. In 2013 as well as completing the Leeds half marathon once again, I intend to continue my training such that I can complete a full twenty-six mile marathon. Having completed the worlds largest bungee jump and having skydived from 15,000 feet, I am now looking for more challenges both inside and outside the office to keep me on my toes.