Southampton’s Apprentice Competition Begins

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The University’s entrepeneurial society, Fish on Toast, is holding their own version of the reality TV show, The Apprentice.

10 students were selected for the competition that started on Wednesday 3rd of November, having been asked to write a 150 character sentence on why they should be the next Southampton Apprentice. Professional services firm, Ernst & Young, set the first task: to increase brand awareness at a corporate and student level in an innovative way, with just two and a half hours to plan.

The week’s winning team, the “Sharks”, suggested a student sponsorship programme be introduced, whereby students are given bursaries on the condition they work for the company at the end of their degree. They also suggested having a circus-style inflatable tent with carnival games on campus, all heavily branded, as well as giving away free massages at lunch for business professionals. The “Diamond” team were then quizzed in the board room, before two people were ‘fired’.

Over the next few weeks the candidates will be put through their paces working with companies including SuperJam, Tesco and A Suit That Fits. Skills such as selling luck, advertising and public speaking will all be tested at a very high level. The final event will be in association with SuperJam, the sugar-free jam product made famous following a successful appearance on the BBC 2 show, Dragon’s Den. It will push candidates to their absolute limit during a very short time period and will be judged by some of Britain’s best businesspeople.

President James Pursey hopes that the competition will be a great success, so that “next year, the competition can become bigger and better, and eventually it may be a BBC broadcast!”.

Fish on Toast, last year’s winners of Best Society at the SUSU Excellence in Volunteering Awards and officially the third best Entrepreneurial society in the country, came up with the idea to re-create their own version of the popular television show three months ago. The winning competitor will receive £333 as well as gaining entry to the regional final to be held at Canary Wharf, going against four other South East University winners in a weekend-long competition. The regional winner will gain a three month paid internship with former BBC Dragon Doug Richard.

The Wessex Scene will be following the event and posting updates about each task as they happen

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