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Apprentice Philip Taylor
On 17th October 2011 Allison Beaumont and Hannah Myatt (Student Experience Co-ordinators for LAIBS) hosted a guest lecture with Philip Taylor who was a contestant on the BBC programme ‘The Apprentice’ in 2009. The event was held in Cambridge and was open to all staff and students. Approximately 60 students and staff attended, including 10 LAIBS students from Chelmsford.
Philip’s talk covered a range of aspects from his background in engineering factories in the north east, his application for, and subsequent time spent as a contestant on ‘The Apprentice’ to the business ventures he has embarked upon since his time on the show.
Philip was not shy about revealing his failed business ventures - straight after he took part in The Apprentice he tried to launch a range of organic underwear called ‘Happy Pants’ which he wanted to sell in major high street stores. He put a lot of work and effort into the product, but eventually came to the realisation that the business was never going to be profitable and pulled the plug on the idea.
Philip then described how he had managed to secure the license for his fitness product, the ‘Body-Rocka’ which he developed on the programme (the rights to the Body-Rocka are held by the makers of the show) and how 2 years after the show he has now successfully launched it in the UK – you can buy one from Argos or John Lewis!
However, despite his fitness product making steady progress Philip explained that he still needed job security. Philip currently works as an ‘Apprenticeship Marketing Manager’ for the City of London. Successfully helping young adults find apprenticeship work and develop their skills.
Philip was keen to encourage people, through his own experience, to follow through with their ideas but to not believe it was as ‘easy’ as it looked on television and most importantly to stay grounded and to know when to walk away.
At the end of the presentation, he answered questions from the audience for half an hour and took time to pose for photos.
Philip was an extremely engaging and charismatic speaker and proved to be very popular with the students. Gemma Mulholland, year 2 HRM said afterwards: ‘I thought the event was really useful and informative - it really exceeded my expectations. I think Phillip was a brilliant speaker who was able to relate to the audience and provide practical advice for business students and any budding entrepreneurs’.
We hope that LAIBS may be able to run something similar again in the future.