Another year of The Apprentice has past and boy was it a good one. We spoke to one of the stand-out figures from this series, Jade English, about how she got into business and any advice she would give to budding entrepreneurs.
How and why did you decide to get into business?
I wasn’t 100% happy in my previous job role, and have always been passionate about helping others, whether that’s personally or with career goals. What’s more, having been a university student myself I know firstly how costly it can be and secondly how terrifying it can be to complete a degree and have no idea of where to go next or what jobs to apply for. My Business idea is all about helping both students and professionals achieve their career goals through experience.
What advice would you give to students who want to start up their own business but have a limited budget?
Firstly, I would say don’t let your limited budget stop you from pursuing your career goals and dreams. Sounds cliché, but where there’s a will there is a way, and if you work hard enough and remain persistent with your goals I am in no doubt that you will get there.
All businesses exist online in some way, shape or form – so take the time to learn how to create your own website, how to effectively manage social media accounts and how to market through different online channels. You may experience slow growth to start with, but if you are looking for investment for example, at least you will have more to show for interested parties – both tangibly and in proactivity.
As you studied at Sheffield Hallam, was there anything in particular that you did/got involved with that you would recommend to current students?
During my time in University I got involved in as many extra-curricular activities as possible – from playing girls’ rugby, to gaining as much experience in TV and Radio as I could. Aside from meeting some amazing people, this enabled me to build my C.V. whilst having a great time.
You’ve previously said that you’re very emotionally intelligent and good at getting people to respond to you- was there anyone on The Apprentice that you really struggled to see eye to eye with? How did you overcome this?
I think there are many times when a lot of us didn’t always see eye-to-eye, mainly because of the pressurised environment and the fact we were all competing for the same prize.
Prior to entering the process, I had learnt that, in Business, there will always be people that you do not necessarily get along with, but it’s how you deal with this that really counts. Ultimately, behaving in a professional manner will not only help you grow and develop as a person, but will also ensure you earn the respect of your colleagues and peers.
Is Lord Sugar really as terrifying as he seems?
Lord Sugar is exactly how he comes across on TV – I wouldn’t say he is terrifying, more honest and upfront, which in business is what you need.
What’s it like working whilst Karen and Claude are watching your every move?
I really admire both Karen and Claude, so didn’t particularly worry about them watching my every move. Instead, I ensured I worked hard to impress them as much as possible, which came to fruition when Claude called me a ‘selling machine’, which was an absolute dream come true.
Did you feel at any point that people were treating you differently in business for being a woman? If yes, can you give an example?
I think Women do get treated differently in business compared to men, mainly because of a shift in perception. For example, if a man were to delegate to his team he would be perceived as a great leader, yet if a woman were to do the same, she would be perceived as bossy. I think these perceptions need to shift before we can truly reach gender equality in the workplace.
Do you think people play up to the camera whilst on the show, if so, how?
I do think there is an element of people playing to up to the camera, but only as an exaggeration of their own character. However, I do not think this is a bad thing, and certainly hasn’t hindered any of the candidates in their path to success.
Would you recommend the show to anyone thinking of going into business? Why?
I don’t think The Apprentice is for everyone – it ultimately depends on what you want to achieve in business, whether you need investment and if you actually want to be in partnership with Lord Sugar, as it won’t appeal to all.
However, I am a big advocate of learning through experience, hence my business idea, which is something that comes hand in hand with The Apprentice process. Despite it being challenging, It really helps you to align your goals, and understand your strengths and weaknesses within a very short timeframe – which if you started a new business, would perhaps take you a lot longer to work out.
What’s next now that you’ve left the show?
Well, I am still working hard to secure investment in my business idea, and certainly will not give up on it as I know it could really change and help the world we live in now.
Alongside this, The Apprentice experience has actually rekindled my passion for my degree in Broadcast Journalism – so I will be pursuing radio and television opportunities to help people grow and learn through experiences.
I would particularly like to use the latter to help educate people on the benefits of meditation and mindfulness for combating stress and anxiety – and would 100% be interested in making documentaries on these subjects to help spread the word that inner well being is just as important as outer well being.