Posted on 26/11/2009
Claire with Kingston College students
Students were grilled in true ‘Apprentice’ style as former candidate Claire Young set them a business task to get their teeth into.
The sixth formers from seven colleges, including Strodes College in Egham, Lambeth College and Southwark College, were invited to the Enterprise and Marketing Challenge at Royal Holloway, University of London, last night (Wednesday 25 November).
Claire Young, who shot to fame in the fourth series of the BBC1 smash hit ‘The Apprentice’ set them the task of designing a watch and coming up with an advertising and marketing campaign much like this year’s Apprentice task where the candidates were given a generic breakfast cereal and were told to devise a new brand, packaging, and television advert.
They had the entire day to get their creative juices flowing and at 5.30pm began their pitches to be in with a chance of being crowned the winners.
The panel of judges, headed up by Claire, included the Head of the School of Management, Professor Chris Smith, Dr Alex Reppel, lecturer from the School of Management, Deputy Dean of History and Social Sciences, Chris Howorth and representatives from Proctor and Gamble.
After firing questions at the students and hearing their ideas – including a watch with a built-in USB, and one you can download pictures on – the judges retired to the boardroom to make their decision.
The task of revealing the winners was left to Claire and after much deliberation she announced Kingston College as the winner of the most creative presentation and marketing plan and Richmond College as the winners of the best product idea with a watch made out of recyclable products which included a health monitor to access your heart rate and calorie consumption. But Claire said she had been very impressed with all the efforts and praised the students for their innovative ideas.
Kay-Kay Marivate, a student from Richmond College, said, “We’re shocked but really pleased. We worked hard but we didn’t expect to win. Our team put so much vision and vigour into this task and I think that’s what carried us through.”
Claire, who was nicknamed the Rottweiler for her ability to go after whatever she wants, said, “The Apprentice has such wide appeal and I think it’s made business and enterprise more fashionable. It is great to see Royal Holloway inviting students here to take part in this challenge day because it’s so important to nurture talent and encourage creativity. These students are our future and the next Bill Gates or Alan Sugar could be here amongst us today. She added, “I’ve never been to this part of the world because I’m a northerner but the university is absolutely stunning. It’s a beautiful building.”
Claire had some advice for youngsters looking to embark on a business venture or looking for employment and said gaining work experience was so important, especially in today’s competitive market. She said not only did it show commitment but it gave students the chance to find out what they like and don’t like.
Her other two tips were not to be afraid to make mistakes and to be prepared – knowledge is power, she said.
The event was delivered by the College’s Widening Participation and Outreach team and the prizes included Reddmango digital photo frames, ‘The Apprentice’ Box Set, CDs, day passes to Madame Tussauds, and Storm watches.
Tanya Popeau, Senior Widening Participation and Outreach Officer, said, “The students worked incredibly hard and really enjoyed engaging with our academics and undergraduates from the School of Management. They left the Royal Holloway inspired and motivated by their university experience."
For further information visit http://www.rhul.ac.uk/widening-participation
To find out more about the business courses on offer visit http://www.rhul.ac.uk/management