Young Apprentice – the class of 2011’s advice for this year’s candidates

"Take no prisoners. Do whatever it takes to survive the boardroom..."




1.Stay true to your values, sense of integrity and sense of self, and where you draw the line. They’re integral to your identity not only as a businessperson but as a person generally.

2. Concentrate on what’s best for the task, the product – not yourself. Only when ego is taken out of the equation is the best result arrived at. Doing what’s best for the task, not yourself, often means you end up winning anyway, which keeps you safe in the competition.


1. Take no prisoners. Do whatever it takes to survive the boardroom. That’s the most important part. I talked my way out of a few firings. Lord Sugar likes people with a bit of spark. I used to tell the guys before we went into the boardroom that friendships end the minute we sit down at that table.

2. Throw yourself in. I project-managed twice (and won both tasks) and completely disagreed with Lord Sugar. My point is: take risks and stand out.


1. Always stand up for what you believe is right. Take a risk and never let anyone shout you down.

2. Never be afraid to ask questions; and question other people’s ideas if you’re unsure about them.


1. Focus on the purpose of the task. If it’s a sales task, don’t get caught up in design. Lord Sugar is a business man and, ultimately, if you’re the top seller, even if the team lose, no way will he send you home.

2. Don’t worry about what other competitors think; just focus on beating them. You have only known your competitors a few weeks, so remember that. No matter how much you like someone, this is a business process.


1. Do not underestimate anybody! You may think you know who your strongest competitor is, when in fact someone else could turn around and surprise you with some fantastic skill that saves them in the boardroom, while you’re still there panicking!

2. Be confident about being yourself! You’re on the programme for a reason -hopefully for your talents and not just for laughs – not naming any names! Make sure what you need to say is heard, but be calm and respectful about it.


1. Seek forgiveness, not permission. Take the risk because it could pay off.

2. Graft until the end and seek solutions; don’t hang on the negatives.


Young Apprentice continues tonight at 8:00pm on BBC1