Success for Student Apprentice 2014 Finalists


Ambitious students at the University of Southampton have been busy taking part in a special enterprise challenge, named ‘The Student Apprentice’ run by The Fish on Toast Entrepreneurs’ Society.

The enterprise challenge, which works in a similar way to the popular BBC television programme The Apprentice starring Sir Alan Sugar, provides 10 students the chance to win £500 in cash as well as a highly sought after summer internship at New Media Software Ltd.

During the past three weeks, candidates have been undertaking various challenges in order to secure their position in the final, which will take place this Thursday 4th December.

In the first week, candidates were split into two teams (named ‘Team Unergy’ and ‘Team Rainmakers’) and were given a budget of £17.50 with the task to decorate and sell their own cupcakes around the university campus – this was a huge success and a combined sum of £450 was made.

In week two, the teams were given £20 and tasked with marketing Fish on Toast’s speaker event with Matt Fiddes. Together, the teams succeeded in bringing almost 100 people to the event.

Photos courtesy of Fish on Toast
Photos courtesy of Fish on Toast

The most recent challenge saw the student candidates creating and marketing a viral video promoting Entrepreneurship. After Unergy succeeding in winning the past two challenges, The Rainmakers eventually came through with their Christmas themed video, which was better produced and therefore generated more views. Unergy had controversially copied Fifa’s “Say No to Racism” campaign video, which angered the judges.

Four candidates remain and Caio Swan (Team Unergy), Gabriela Palma (Team Rainmakers), Laura Varney (Team Rainmakers) and Marta Baker (Team Rainmakers) will now face their biggest challenge of the competition in the final. Each finalist must individually create their very own business ideas with a budget of £5000 in order to impress the judges and secure the prize of £500 and an internship, with Judge Phil McGowan’s New Media Software, administered by the University of Southampton’s Excel Placement programme.

The four finalist provide us with words on their final task:

caioCaio Swan said: Impossible to feel better! No matter the final result, we’ve already developed many skills with this experience and I’ve made lots of friends, but anyway I’m optimistic about winning.


gabrielaGabriela Palma: I was confident I would make it. Yet this is not over it starts every this! This is it!



lauraLaura Varney: To be in the top four feels absolutely incredible as the competition has been truly challenging and demanding, especially with trying to balance university work and other commitments alongside. However, it’s definitely worthwhile as I have learnt so much from this experience and have built on my own personal skills. I would recommend anyone with a strong passion for creativity and commitment to apply for this competition next year, as it is truly valuable experience.



martaMarta Baker: It has been a hard competition and I haven’t expected that I was going to reach so far. I have learnt so much from my mates during the different tasks. I also realised that I can do better than what I thought I would do, so I feel I have already won.

The final of The Student Apprentice will be tomorrow at 5pm. For more information on the event, click here.

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Special thanks to Nicholas Salway and Xavier Parkhouse-Parker for providing us with the information.


News Editor for the Wessex Scene 2013 - 2015. I lead the news section, consistently providing the website with up-to-date news content. I am experienced in researching, reporting, writing and editing breaking news stories.

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