Forget the latest series of Young Apprentice currently airing on the BBC, there is a battle going on right here, right now, for Southampton’s very own Apprentice which promises to provide all the tears, tantrums and Boardroom drama.
Southampton University’s Apprentice is a joint venture between Fish on Toast and SUSUtv which began on Wednesday, November 5 with pre-screening interviews to select the nine candidates for this competition. This process will last for the whole of November with four tasks taking place every Wednesday culminating in a finale episode on November 28.
The Wessex Scene spoke to the President of Fish on Toast, Paul Ross and Head of Events, Tunde Yusuff who explained that The Apprentice is branded as ‘the Biggest Business Talent in Southampton’ and the process has support from the University and SUSU’s Enterprise Officer. Paul also said that this competition is ‘the longest thing we do as a committee, it lasts over a month.’
Tunde has been planning since as early as July because he said there was ‘so much to do, from planning the structure of the competition to contacting sponsors,’ but he ‘did it last year’ so knows first-hand just how tough the process can be with ‘a lot of character building,’ he says with a laugh.
The prize for the winner of this year’s competition is £500 but Tunde assures us that there is much more to gain from the experience as ‘you develop a lot of skills and it gives you a lot of confidence.’
The application process involved each candidate writing a short piece of around 100-150 words about why they’d be a good candidate, from which 20 were selected for pre-screening interviews. The Fish on Toast committee and SUSUtv then shortlisted 9 candidates to take part in the four week long competition. Selection was based on personality and confidence, SUSUtv had a say in who was (and wasn’t) camera- friendly which has resulted in the selection of some ‘interesting characters’ says Tunde.
But who gets to act out the role of Lord Sugar? Each week a different businessperson from Southampton judges the competition, in the first week it’s Gareth Hughes, Sales Manager of the Big Issue and in the second week it’s Russell Quelch, Owner of Orange Rooms.
The Apprentice will be aired by SUSUtv in the coming weeks so look out for it, it looks set to shock, surprise and entertain so it’s not one to be missed.