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Royal Holloway Apprentice Challenge 2012

Posted on 13/03/2012
The Royal Holloway Apprentice 2012

Team Red Dragons won the Royal Holloway Apprentice Challenge 2012, and will represent the university at the London Apprentice Finals on 19th March.

Based on TV show 'The Apprentice', the challenge gives students the opportunity to get into the shoes of entrepreneurs without any real life risk, and try their skills in the real business market – where creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, team work and most importantly a passion for business matters. The event was organised by RHUL Careers and student society Royal Holloway Entrepreneurs.

The Tasks

On 23rd January sixteen students, selected from a significant number of applications, were asked to attend filmed interviews individually and then divided into teams of 4. The teams were then led to seminar rooms, where they have had about an hour to come up with a plan for Task 1.
» Facebook photos from the launch evening

Task 1 – '50 quid challenge'

Each team was loaned £50 to use to raise as much money as possible in four days by operating businesses on campus. The teams were able to raise an amazing £780 pounds for the Prince's Trust charity. Ideas varied from a rainy day umbrella escort to Photoshop lessons. Teams were supervised and filmed, delivering day-to-day financial reports as well as mid & end-of-week reviews.‘WE RHUL’ was the team who made the most with their £50 lottery.
» Facebook photos from the first task

Task 2 – business innovation and problem solving

Teams gathered on 30th of January in local pub/restaurant The Almamata. The manager and co-owner gave a brief overview of the business and introduced the second task: to prepare a marketing and strategy plan/proposal on how the restaurant can attract more customers off-peak and become more popular among students. Contestants were given a tour of the premises and 10 minutes to ask the manager questions. After 5 days work, including interviewing the manager and employees, and trying the food themselves, the teams submitted their marketing reports to the boardroom and were introduced with Task 3. Winners of the second task were the Red Dragons, who had the most accurate calculations and suggested 5 ways to change the venue into an attractive students' and local's venue.

Task 3 – pitching the marketing plan

Teams were given another 4 days to prepare a 10 minute pitch to the judges and audience during the Royal Holloway Apprentice Final on February 7th. A 15 minute film ‘Life as an RHUL Apprentice' with material from the interviews, tasks and review sessions was shown. The presentations consisted of a 10 minute pitch followed by a 5 minute question & answer session.

The Audience Award went to ‘WE RHUL’ who showed an amazing performance in Task 1 as well as made an outstanding presentation with entertaining video elements. The overall winners were judged to be the Red Dragons, who showed teamwork and persistence and won the chance to represent Royal Holloway at the London Apprentice Finals.
» Facebook photos from the final


  • Colossus: Jack Smale, Ivie Esiekpe*, Ingrida Kondrataite* and Faisal Khan
  • Red Dragons: Nimrod Szakacs*, Fraser Ballantyne, Yumeng Zhang* and Joe Shellard
  • Veni Vidi Vici: Rachel Burnham, Ionela Bodrug, Lino Alexander Nilsson* and Laura Fallani*
  • WE RHUL: Rashid Ghafuri*, Harry Gladwin*, Guillaume Codsi* and Charlotte Greer-Read

* Students studying management (with or without other subjects)


  • Ailson De Moraes (Teaching Fellow in Strategy and International Business at RHUL, also highly involved in charity work in Africa, South America & the UK)
  • Arsim Shillova (alumni and MD of CapM Ltd, a consultancy specializing in business development, business strategy & capture planning and management)
  • Monsoor Alom (manager and co-owner of the Almamata pub)
  • Janette Back (Information Manager at Royal Holloway's Careers Service).

London finals

The winning teams in their campus Apprentice Challenges from UCL, LSE, KCL, Imperial and Royal Holloway will battle it out to claim the ultimate glory of London Apprentice Challenge winners. With fantastic prizes at stake, the teams face 3 challenging tasks over a weekend, which will culminate in a live final on Monday 19th March at LSE 6pm.The judges, including Margaret Mountford and a mystery celebrity entrepreneur, will be present to decide upon the winners of the final task and then announce the overall winners.
» London Apprentice Challenge Facebook page

Take part next year

Subscribe to the Royal Holloway Entrepreneurs mailing list to be invited to all their events, including those organized by partners and sponsors, and to get the latest information about upcoming competitions and vacancies.

RHUL Apprentice organizational team

  • Paulius Satkauskas (2nd year BSc Managment with International Business)
  • Bharat Luhar (2nd year BSc Management and Economics)
  • Ruta Misiunaite (3rd year BSc Management with Marketing)
  • Theodor Daskalov (2nd year BSc Management)

Video team

  • Lizzie Gould (2nd year BA Media Arts)
  • Glen Warren (3rd year BA Media Arts)
  • Thomas Hardesty (2nd year BA Media Arts)
  • Alexandra Dawson (2nd year BA Media Arts)
  • Phil John (2nd year BSc Computer Science)


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