SSH’11, CPS’13

Van Sharma

Director, Co-founder, Workspott

A chance meeting with a fellow alumnus gave Van Sharma, SSH’11, CPS’13, the boost he needed to formalize an idea that’s disrupting an industry in Central London.

Double Husky Van Sharma, SSH’11, CPS’13, exemplifies the impact of the Northeastern network. After completing his degrees, Van was on-track to pursue a career in diplomacy, but an unexpected job interview landed Van in a sales role in London, UK. He did well, but he knew something was missing. During an alumni dinner in London, Van met fellow alumnus, and leader of the UK community, Zach Mammadov, MA’03. Van and Zach informally stayed in touch for five years, discussing their passion for all things entrepreneurship.  It wasn’t until 2018 that they both decided to bring their vision to life with the launch of WorkSpott – a company that transforms underutilized venues across central London into drop-in workplaces for freelancers and entrepreneurs looking for productive and cost effective solutions. Equipped with their entrepreneurial training from Northeastern, these alumni are taking over London, one “spott” at a time.

How has Northeastern impacted you professionally?

I received a valuable ticket to my professional life from Northeastern. Even though Zach and I attended Northeastern at different times, we met at an alumni dinner and stayed in touch, eventually gaining the inspiration to launch WorkSpott. From meeting for a coffee to discussing the idea, right down to our first location launch in London’s Kings Cross, right next to Google and YouTube’s office locations – Northeastern has very much been the glue that cemented this partnership together. Northeastern’s approach to education and learning has prepared us to be disruptors in our industry.

How do you stay ahead of the curve?

The learning and development component is critical to our concept at WorkSpott, especially since this the idea of shared office space and co-working is fairly new in Central London. Just like a regular office employee, our users want to grow their skills to remain competitive in today’s landscape. To cater to that need, we offer a free package of professional coaching and development to our members. We wholeheartedly believe that it’s crucial to grow your knowledge and expertise, and stay resilient and ahead of competition.

January 30, 2020

Van Sharma talking with fellow alumni

One piece of advice for someone starting at Northeastern.

Enjoy the ride and stay present. The best years of your life are ahead of you, so learn as much as you can from different people, befriend people who are not like you, and grow your global network every day. It will pay off a great deal after you graduate.

What’s next for you?

Zach and I are both excited to be working within one of London’s most dynamic industries as an ambitious startup within the co-working and shared office arena. We are looking to grow our footprint in the UK and possibly beyond. We are a big believers in collaborative working and drop-in workspaces, where we get to meet and interact with diverse entrepreneurs, freelancers, and startups across industries on a daily basis, and help them grow. We are determined to deliver our drop-in workspaces to a much wider audience going forward.