We drill two of the feistiest women on this year's Apprentice...
We speak to Joanna and Jade. Two budding entrepreneurs both fighting for Lord Sugar's £250,000 investment.
But how did they get there? We quiz these girl bosses on the steps they took to making it big.
When you were 16, did you know what you wanted to do?
JADE: From a young age, I always knew that I wanted to start my own business, but I also had a real interest in becoming a news reporter, so I combined the two and did a Journalist degree specialising in broadcast.
JOANNA: When I was 16 the only thing I was certain of was that I wanted to get a university degree and I so desperately wanted to be successful and make my family proud. I didn’t know that business was in my future, but whatever industry I ended up in I knew leadership was something I wanted to grow into.
What were your steps after college; University, apprenticeship, or something else?
JADE: I went straight to university from college to complete my Journalism degree. Once I graduated at the age of 21 I moved to Australia by myself and backpacked around Australia and South East Asia. I spent the last 4 months working on a remote farm, this was one of the most demanding experiences of my life - some shifts were 10pm-10am!
JOANNA: I went to university after college to study Politics because I had studied it at A-level and really enjoyed it. After my Politics degree I realised I had a huge thirst for the business world so I started a full-time job in digital marketing, and also took on a part-time distance learning Master's in International Business.
How did you find this? Do you think this was the best choice for you?
JADE: I feel my Journalism degree has prepared me for a lot of things in life; I learnt some incredible lessons from my lecturers. One thing that has always stuck with me was my lecturer advising us on our first day to always treat everyone with respect, explaining you never know who you will be working with in the future.
JOANNA: I think this was the best route for me personally- but that doesn’t mean it’s the best route for everybody. From 16, I wasn’t certain what I wanted to do, so it was good for me to keep on doing something productive through education; putting myself in a position where I could really explore my strengths and weaknesses, and what I truly enjoyed. I was very proactive when it came to part-time jobs too.
How are you enjoying The Apprentice?
JADE: The Apprentice is an amazing, yet stressful experience. It certainly helps you learn a lot about yourself, and I would definitely recommend it to any budding Entrepreneur. I would say, however, that it is vital for candidates to have a strong mentality, so that they don’t crack under the pressure.
JOANNA: The apprentice is great as a platform to show your strengths in the business world and also promote your vision or business. I would recommend it to anyone who feels they are strong enough to endure the process (it's harder than it looks!) and anyone who is very clear about what exactly their business idea is, and what they are trying to achieve with it.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to do similar things?
JADE: Today, I think the value of experience is extremely important and is actually what my business idea is based on – helping people land the job they really want through work experience. When you spend 8 hours per day at work, you need to ensure it is the right job for you. You need to be happy at work! That's the most important thing.
JOANNA: Just start! Don’t just sit and think about it for months on end. The smallest baby steps make all the difference - whether it be coming up with a name for your business or calling suppliers just to get an enquiry, this can multiply into making your dreams into reality.
And finally, what advice would you give to your 16 year old self?
JADE: Great question! I would tell my 16-year-old self to have more self-belief, more confidence in my ability and to not be so tough on myself. Life is perspective – if you are looking at something in a negative way, the outcome will be negative, but if you manage to flip that around and believe that you can do something, you are far more likely to succeed.
I would also tell myself to read the book: ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ – it’s a life changer. Seriously.
JOANNA: If you want it, you have to go and get it. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Listen to your gut more - it leads you way more than you think it does.