If we’re looking for a good role model to come into school to give the children valuable careers advice, we wouldn’t normally ask someone famous for being fired.
But when that someone is Nick Holzherr, finalist in the latest series of the BBC’s The Apprentice, we can make an exception.
Nick was kind enough to give his time to meet a group of 70 of our ‘gifted and talented’ Year 10 pupils and share with them some of his tips for success – as well as a little behind the scenes gossip from his days on The Apprentice.
Despite his terribly posh accent, Nick is in fact a Brummie. He lives in the city and is currently working hard to build his business here. As an entrepreneur, it is Nick’s creative drive, energy, determination and courage that will determine whether or not his business sinks or floats. His future is in his hands.
We have many excellent role models at school, people who have earned themselves good jobs, succeeded in being promoted and can advise the children on how to be successful within established businesses. But Nick was able to bring something to the table that none of us can – advice about how to establish your own business from nothing more than a good idea.
The key to it, he said, is to be passionate about your idea. If you believe in something, it will be something that you have taken the time to learn about, get involved and gain experience of over a long period of time.
Next week, our Year 10 students start their work experience. They have all set up placements in businesses which capture their interests. Some will enjoy their placements so much they will look for opportunities to continue their involvement with the business, to continue their learning, build their skills, knowledge and network of contacts. Those children will already be well on their way to success in the world of work.
Sophie, a Year 10 prefect, said, “The world of work feels very daunting, but Nick’s talk helped me to feel better prepared. I now have some ideas about what I can do to help me be successful later on.”
As well as providing advice and inspiration to the students, Nick shared a few Apprentice secrets. Yes, the suitcases they take to the boardroom really do contain clothes. And Lord Sugar really is as scary as he seems!
We would like to thank Nick for his time and for sharing with us his valuable experience. The children hung on his every word and clearly gained some useful insights into what they can start doing now to prepare themselves for a successful future.