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Interviews

A letter to AAC readers, from James Caan and Levi Roots Interviews

A letter to AAC readers, from James Caan and Levi Roots
The dragon and the slayer...

This month, we have a special message exclusively for AllAboutCareers users, courtesy of James Caan CBE (yeah, from Dragons' Den) and Levi Roots (as in, Reggae Reggae Sauce). Thanks to the Prince's Trust, they've given some insight into how to set out in the business world on your own, or in other words - how to become an entrepreneur. 


Advice to budding young entrepreneurs, from The Dragon and the Slayer

Whenever we’re lucky enough to speak to a group of young people, the most common question we’re asked is “how do I become an entrepreneur?”.

It’s a fair question but one that doesn’t have a simple answer. Like many things in life there’s no perfect blueprint for success or a single set of instructions to follow.

We realise this might not seem helpful but there’s some good news. The chances are if you’re asking the question you’ve already taken your first step towards becoming one.

There is also now lots of help out there, particularly from experts who are keen to offer their time as mentors. One initiative we’re both familiar with that combines the important components of entrepreneurship and mentoring is The Prince’s Trust’s newest mentoring initiative, Mosaic, which runs fantastic mentoring programmes.

As ambassadors of The Prince’s Trust, we see first-hand the importance of exposing children to entrepreneurial mindsets. Only this way can we inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and expect to keep the future of business thriving.

In fact, last week groups of young entrepreneurs were given the chance to pitch their business ideas to a panel of esteemed judges in Mosaic’s annual Enterprise Challenge Grand Final. The competition encourages young people from all walks of life to interact with mentors whilst engaging in creating social enterprises; hearing their success stories; and being inspired to follow in their footsteps.

We truly believe that it's where you come from or what your family do. It doesn’t matter if you’re a girl or a boy, if you’re rich or poor. Everyone can think of reasons not to do something but no one’s ever started a successful business without taking that first crucial step.

If it helps, we both had barriers to overcome. Neither of us came from privileged backgrounds; or grew up with money but we both had the determination to keep us going in good times and bad. This is the message The Prince’s Trust works hard to communicate.

If you’ve got an idea you believe in, put your head down and make it work. Don’t waver. There’s no such thing as overnight success and there will be days when it feels impossible but don’t give up. Be relentless. Be difficult. Don’t take no for an answer.

If someone says you can’t do it, prove them wrong. Just like James and I, proved those who doubted us wrong.  

So, what are you waiting for? Start your business tomorrow. In fact, better still, start it today.

Good luck!

James Caan CBE and Levi Roots

by James Caan CBE and Levi Roots

Image courtesy of the Prince's Trust

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An Insider’s Guide to City Vacation Schemes

An Insider’s Guide to City Vacation Schemes

Sussing out the law firm you want to work for is a tricky old business! It can be difficult to really pinpoint the best way to do it. Of course, one the best ways is to get yourself onto a vacation scheme with a firm. But what will you get out of your one or two weeks in the office? Andrew Pollock is now a trainee with top City firm King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin after finding the perfect fit through a vacation scheme! Here’s what he got up to…

Interviews

An Employer’s Perspective on Modern Apprenticeships

An Employer’s Perspective on Modern Apprenticeships

Employers Jessica Addis and James Vaughan-Smith needed to hire additional staff recently and took a chance on apprentice Chloe Hutchinson-Brown. Having had a positive experience of utilising an apprenticeship scheme, Jessica and James spoke to AllAboutCareers.com about how hiring an apprentice worked for their company and should be a serious consideration for all school leavers.

Interviews

Alice Coates, Teach First Maths Ambassador

Alice Coates, Teach First Maths Ambassador

Alice Coates gained a multitude of different experiences working with young people through her studies before she took on the challenge of the Teach First Leadership Development Programme as a maths teacher in the Yorkshire and The Humber area. A couple of years later, she’s now a Lower School Assistant Head in Sheffield! She chatted to us about her experiences on the programme and what teaching means to her…

Interviews

Adam Gamsa, Trainee Solicitor @ Field Fisher Waterhouse

Adam Gamsa, Trainee Solicitor @ Field Fisher Waterhouse

Having completed a DPhil in Physics at the University of Oxford, Adam Gamsa decided to move away from academia and join Field Fisher Waterhouse as a trainee solicitor. We caught up with Adam to chat about his first nine months as a trainee, his vacation scheme and his enthusiasm for intellectual property law…

Interviews

A Vacation Scheme with International Law Firm Taylor Wessing

A Vacation Scheme with International Law Firm Taylor Wessing

Clara Garfield completed a vacation scheme at international firm, Taylor Wessing in 2011. Throughout the scheme, Clara felt well supported by the firm and commends the ethos of the firm and their hiring policy – Taylor Wessing look for people who are a good fit for the firm’s culture, not just those with top grades.

Interviews

A Life in Social Care

A Life in Social Care

Many of the people who pursue a career in social care are initially drawn by the simple motivation of ‘helping people’ or ‘giving something back’. Behind such simplicity is a complicated range of values. For example, a recognition of the inherent value of every person and their right to be considered equal with every other citizen.

Interviews

A Different Kind of Accountant

A Different Kind of Accountant

When you hear the word Mazuma, you might think of those irritating adverts which invite you to exchange your mobile phone for cash. But wait! There is another company with the same name. Started by two friends, Mazuma provides expert accountancy services to small businesses and independent contractors. We had a chat with Sophie Hughes about starting up her own business and what it’s like to be a woman in a male-dominated industry…

Interviews

A Day in the Life of a Trainee Actuarial Consultant

A Day in the Life of a Trainee Actuarial Consultant

After graduating from the University of Warwick with a degree in Maths, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics (MORSE), Tom Williams joined Aon as a trainee actuarial consultant. We caught up with him to find out more about the professional life of an actuary… 

Interviews

Why I Chose My Sponsored Degree in Engineering

Why I Chose My Sponsored Degree in Engineering

Sponsored Degree Programmes can be ideal for those looking for a career change too. Lee Dennis was initially an engineer with the Royal Navy, and took his career in a new direction into the power system industry through the National Grid Engineer Training Programme…

Interviews