Story and Caption by Jay Caboz
Caryn Upton spent four years of her varsity career tutoring and trying to make a little cash. She would earn, on average, R100 per hour and at the time she thought she was lucky to be paid that. Then she says she had a brainwave and “Study Doctor” tutoring was born.
What makes you a cool kid?
Well I am a sixth year med student who has been running a successful business for four years. I work hard and I play hard.
Why study medicine?
Initially, I was studying another degree, but then I found it was too easy and I wanted a challenge. I found working with people rewarding and then I knew that medicine was the right place for me.
Why open your own tutoring company?
One day, I was talking with my friend Claire Keene (now her business partner) who had also been a tutor and we said: “Hey, how come we work so hard and yet the company’s take a R300 profit? We could do a better job of this and make sure students get paid properly.” We were both med students and wanted to help people. We knew what it was like to be a tutor and were tired of getting screwed over by tutoring companies. So we thought “why not?”.
What makes your business cool?
It was started by two students who created something from nothing. We wanted to pay people for what they were worth.
How many tutors are you involved with?
At the moment we have about 70 to 80 tutors in our company.
How do you study and run a business?
Initially we were a lot smaller and I managed to fit it all in. But now we have grown so large, we have been able to hire someone and are currently looking to expand even further.
What achievements has Study Doctor made?
In 2012 we were voted as 94.7 FM’s business of the week. This year we are looking to pay back even further to the community and are trying to organise a charity that will give free tutoring for matrics.