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Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The Apprentice series 8 blog by John Moss

So The Apprentice is finally back on our screens and Britain's entrepreneurial elite head to London to compete against each other in set business tasks in order for the winner to go into business with Lord Sugar with funding of 250,000 and Lord Sugar expects the winner to run the business and both partners get 50% equity.

So I guess I'll move on to give my verdict on the sixteen candidates. (Prefer the class of 2011 much more)

1. Adam Corbally - This candidate claims he's a buyer, seller, and manager from being a market trader and owning his own property portfolio. From his experience am expecting Adam to put himself forward as the project manager for the first task which involves buying and selling in London which he claimed, if he puts himself forward for the first task and it goes ludicrous, he's digging a massive hole for himself as Lord Sugar will see that what he does as a day job failed, and he won't dismiss other candidates if they've done their job and if they have experience in another sector.

2. Azhar Siddique - This candidate am definitely going to watch out for, he's at a good age to go into partnership with Lord Sugar, he claims that he can pinpoint solutions to problems and is managing director of his own catering company, out of all the candidates he reminds me of Tom Perllereau (The winner of the previous series) as he seems really calm and intelligent and nearly the same age. Think he has a good chance of reaching the final depending whether Lord Sugar likes him or not.

3. Bilyana Apostolova - So we have a Bulgaria born businesswoman, loved her audition, she seems really likeable and easy to get on with. She seems like a workaholic since she started working from age 6, but she trains entrepreneurs for a living and we have to remember that one of these candidates are going into business, not working for Lord Sugar, I think she'll definitely get far but not sure about being this years winner. Fired - Week one

4. Duane Bryan - Just by watching this chaps audition, I pictured Jim Eastwood (Semi-finalist of the previous series). I think he's very cliché and does what it says on the tin. We all know actions speak a lot louder than words, so I'll be monitoring the performance of this candidate to see if he's the real deal for Lord Sugar, although already running a business, means he should get on well and there's potential he could reach the finals depending if he contributes to every task.

5. Gabrielle Omar - The candidate seems pleasantly decent, I like how she rules her life on gut feelings because I myself am observing that factor at the moment of being somewhere during the future so I take on the same philosophy as her. We'll see how far she can really get.

6. Jade Nash - Think we've found the Melody Hossaini of this years Apprentice. In her audition she was really fast at talking and she mentioned things which weren't needed, like retiring when she's 80 and that people are people at the end of the day. For first impressions she doesn't strike me as a business partner for Lord Sugar, lets see if she's the real "workaholic" she claims.

7. Jane McEvoy - We have a female contestant from Ireland who's surname rhymes with "McIlroy", and I was first confused how she managed to get on the UK version as people living in the republic are meant to apply for the Irish Apprentice with Bill Cullen as the Irish Lord Sugar, and that only people from Northern Ireland could apply to the UK version. Liked how she mentioned how she doesn't do lunch breaks and claims you don't need to lie, cheat and play nasty games to win, and also claims shes more likely to win whether its on a team or the actual process. (Supporting Jane to win out of the women)

8. Jenna Whittingham - I think Jenna is a role model for woman wanting to get into business. She's dyslexic, but that never stopped her from owning her own beauty salon. She can't cook or clean and hasn't been away from home over a week, its interesting to hear that. These facts will make Lord Sugar consider if she'll make a good enough business partner.

9. Katie Wright - Didn't like her in the audition, but that doesn't mean she'll probably be a good competitor on the show. Also being sexist towards men isn't going to make Lord Sugar happy, watch out for her if you love boardroom banter.

10. Laura Hogg - She seems really likeable and nice, she has her own business and she claims that she's going to be one of Scotland's next big exports (Well Iron-bru is a great success but will her idea be more noticeable as a brand). I wouldn't be surprised if she got to the final or even being one of the four finalist itself, I liked her audition and she seems like a great candidate to watch out for.

11. Maria O'Conner - I admire her for having her own restaurant at 19, but saying you could make Lord Sugar love you is like saying you could be the next Richard Branson. I think she's too immature for a business partner, whatever Lord Sugar thinks, I wouldn't go into business with her, I think she's admirable for what she's done though that I give her credit for, think she may've been better off applying for take me out. Fired - Week two

12. Michael Copp - I think Michael performed well on his audition featuring that he's the real mccoy when it comes to being an entrepreneur. Leaving school at 15 with dyslexia has driven him to become a managing director for a bedroom and furniture retailer. He definitely strikes me as someone who's got the ability to make ideas happen, I think Lord Sugar and Michael will get along, lets see if he goes far during the process.

13. Nick Holzherr - A technology entrepreneur, someone Lord Sugar can relate to, exciting. He has lots of hobbies, and he was named "emerging entrepreneur of the year" by Insider Magazine. I'd definitely be really interested in investing in Nick as his ambition is to return the favour by investing into start-up companies. I think he'll be a good investment for Lord Sugar, but can he actually impress him and stand out from the crowd during tasks.

14. Ricky Martin - Yes, there is someone in this years Apprentice called Ricky Martin, but its not the real mr "liven la vida loca".  During his spare time of being a recruitment manager he's a wrestler which means there could be a real smack-down happening in the boardroom this year. He seems like an interesting chap, but not too confident on him reaching the finals.

15. Stephen Brady - Stephen once played in the FA cup as a semi-professional footballer, and his hobbies include learning new languages, writing and reading stories, also his audition was ok. There's not much I can say for him as he's just a sales manager, not sure if he'll last long but it'll be good to see what he's like from other contestants.

16. Tom Gearing - So the youngest male candidate of 23 is a director of a fine wine investment company which has turned over three million pounds which is a great achievement for a 23 year old, he's a golfer and thats something I can relate to as I love golf, but in terms of business we'll have to see whether he's just a one trick pony or a whole field of ponies infact. Tom will get far depending on how he plays the game.

Week 1:

So the first task of the series was to buy blank items such as t-shirts, teddies, jig-saws and create value to them by printing a design. The boys team name was "Phoenix" which was the only suggestion, and it was made by Stephen Brady and the team was managed by Technology Entrepreneur, Nick Holzherr who put himself forward because of the silence when the question was raised on who would project manage the team. (Shocked how Adam said he didn't want to project manage the first task when his day job was relevant to the task). Whilst on the girls team the only name which was suggested was "Sterling" by Jenna because it was suggested by her friend in a dream the night before, it was Architect, Gabrielle who was elected project manager in the end.

So the boys were focused on profit margins, costings, and roughly knew how much stock was needed, whilst on the girls team they were more focused on the design of their blank products.

The boys stack with the design of the union jack on teddy bears and a bus with the text "This is a" then an image of a bus on a bag to flog to the tourist (Could've been more creative) The girls had baby t-shirts, and jigsaw puzzles with the design of animated animals, and they could print naming on to them.

The boys ended up winning the first task for the fourth time out of eight series' (Series 1, 3, 5, and now 8) because of focusing on their profit margin, and sales strategy. The girls lost because they were poorly organised, and they were all confused whilst on the task.

Boys made around £600 pounds worth of profit whilst the girls made around £200 pounds worth of profit. Although the boys had to refund stock sold to a retailer because of poor quality, they did perform well, and Nick is a potential winner after todays episode in my opinion.

Gabrielle, brought back Bilyana because of the negative feedback from candidates which involved leading them to a retailer which lasted a long walk to get no sales from them, and Katie because she didn't get involved in the task (As she claimed she did).

Lord Sugar fired Bilyana because she couldn't shut up and let Lord Sugar talk and convinced herself out of the process, her cover was definitely blown when she mentioned she was head girl. Overall I think Lord Sugar fired the wrong candidate. Katie should have been fired for not participating in the task and standing back from the task and although Lord Sugar was about to fire Katie, it was Bilyana's mouth which made him fire her instead. I'm upset Katie didn't get fired, as I don't personally like her and she didn't do anything on the task and she claimed she did, Lord Sugar has her card marked thats for sure.

Week 2:

Lord Sugar called both teams to head to the Victoria and Albert Museum which is based in Kensington London to inspire them into the art of designing, and that was the concept behind this weeks task, designing and pitching a household gadget, which could be used in the kitchen, toilet, or garden. On team Sterling we had Jane and Kate who stepped up to take the role as project manager, and Jane got most votes clearly because of her performance during the first week unlike Katie who did nothing. For the boys Azhar put himself forward to project manage team Phoenix for the boys  because of his pitching experience and mainly because Lord Sugar highlighted him from the first week as one of the candidates who mentioned on their CV that they'd put themselves forward, so the win was needed for Azhar to buy back Lord Sugars consideration of hiring him as his Business partner.

The boys knew they wanted to do a kitchen idea, whilst Jane was conducting her team to come up with a solution to solve a problem in the bathroom which led to a lot of awkward silence for the team. I honestly think the kitchen has most of the potential, I mean there's only five reasons for me to enter the bathroom as an individual.

Duane, was the brains behind a small recycling bin which can compress everything which can be a lot easier for the average worker who comes home having to recycle products from different bins and a cook wanting to produce their waste. A major trend spotted by the Manchester based entrepreneur. Whilst on the sub-team Adam, and Tom were discouraged by the idea and Adam came up with kitchen gloves with small sponge scourers on the inside which is really innovative and something I've not even thought up of. Overall they were re-inventing the bin according to Ricky.

The girls brainstormed two ideas which were a product to prevent children from splashing in the bath and a board which is attached which they can draw on suggested by Laura, and Katie suggested a product where you can put on your head whilst you're in the bath to relax (Didn't get the full gist of it but it seemed worth of bringing up during the brainstorm).

So the market research came out that Kate's product was the one they'd be interested in but Jane went with Laura's product because of certain issues of designing it.

Pitches for team sterling wasn't as good as I'd thought. Jane led the first pitch and everything was going well until she mentioned if they could do a deal for a million units according to the financial figures which Jenna produced which were eventually wrong and it went so awkwardly quiet in there. For the second pitch by Laura, it was great but the product wasn't liked by the retailer because he mentioned that it could make a mess if the board was drawn on by the child, by this point I knew the boys had it.

Pitches for team Phoenix was led by Stephen and Azhar, and surprisingly the inventor Duane didn't get chosen to speak which caused a bit of blabbing by Stephen when questions were asked about the product, and because Duane was told to not speak he had not choice but to burst out in the end what the product could do and he was right to do that. During the next pitch Stephen learnt his lesson and directed the question of what was the inspiration to come up with the product and Duane and presented himself clearly to them and explained his solution to why he came up with the product idea.

The boys won the task by 13,000 thousand units sold overall compared to 7,500 by team sterling. So Jane bought back Maria because she didn't contribute to the task and she fell asleep in the taxi, and Jenna because she copped up the figures for the first pitch. I think the right decision was made to be fair as the reasons made sense to the failure of the task. Lord Sugar fired Maria because of not contributing to the task, and being all style and no substance. I'd go into business with someone who made a previous mistake than someone who sits back on the fence. But that wasn't all, Lord Sugar was considering a double firing as Jane's product was rubbish, so this took back memories of the previous series when Lord Sugar fired Ellie Reed for not contributing, then Vincent Disneur for certain decisions made. Jade spoke up and convinced Lord Sugar to give her another chance which he did. I think the right decision was made, I knew Lord Sugar wasn't going to go into Business with Maria because she presented herself as immature on her audition and if you think he's going to throw his hard earn't money away to open up a chain of restaurants it'll need major investors for backing and the money would possibly end up in the drain. I also think she convinced him to fire her as she did nothing on the task and in business you have to take control of yourself and set yourself goals for accomplishment.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Planning to work in Web Design or would you like to apply the knowledge of creating websites for yourself? (Click here)

Are you aged 16-18?
Do you have the legal right to work in the UK?
Do you want a career or the knowledge in Web Design?

Look no further, Mapalim which is located in North London offer two month courses which are aimed at young people to develop their employment skills and give them the best experience needed in the specified industry and the good thing about the course is that it runs during the summer from July to August so you won't be at home bored or it won't clash with college.

Why should you learn Web Design? There are people who are clueless about IT but need the service to communicate with the world, they may want to upload their portfolio of artwork, they might want to offer a service or a shop selling products and you can charge them a couple of hundred to design a website with as many pages as requested and people pay that much as its demandble and they need someone with the best experience to do the job for them, its also a hobby to have as designing websites can be quite challenging and fun at the same time.

Doing an Apprenticeship - Apprenticeships are most valued these days by employers because they are looking to take on suitable candiates who have got the experience and the right work ethic which has been developed. Apprenticeships prepare you for the working world and they offer you the employability skills aswell as training provided.

Get paid £60 per week - Whilst recieving the training which is absolutely free and the qualification (NVQ2) you also get paid £60 pound per week which is amazing because if you were over 19 you'd have to pay a fee for the course and you'll be earning much more than £60 quid once you finish the course.

Get an IT and Telecoms Level 2 qualification - Once you've finished the course you'll be awarded a certificate which states an NVQ2 in IT and Telecoms and it will make you stand out on paper (CV) along with your other education records and you can bring the certificate to interviews to show employers that you used your whole summer break working and developing workplace skills which will highlight determination and ambition.

Learn Photoshop and Dreamweaver to a professional standard - You may be familar with both software specified, Photoshop creates graphics and Dreamweaver creates web pages and it automatically does the HTML coding for you which is a great asset. You may know how to use both programs but you might also want to develop the knowledge to become a professional.

I found out about this summer course through my student portal at College and when I researched Mapalim I was overwheelmed at what they were offering and I was just about eligible because of me being 18 and it was either now or never. I went for it because I wanted to learn a new skill, keep myself busy, gain an extra qualification, use the chance of free education, make the most of what I learn as I won't be going to university not because of the fee but the fact that you can become successful without a degree which is true all you need is experience, passion, drive and comitted.

I was one out of twelve people who got on to the course and a few hundred who applied got rejected as the company ain't big enough to hold that much applicants and they only chose the people who they thought deserved a place, so next year at around April/May time be aware if you're eligible for the course and use the best of your potential to get a place on the course to progress with yourself. 

Thursday, 2 June 2011

The Apprentice Series 7 blog by John Moss

I know this blog might be written a bit last minute of The Apprentice process but I'd like to express my own view on series 7 which is no longer a job working for Lord Sugar in one of his companies as you all know he's injecting a 250,000 grand stake in a new money spinning business venture and he'll own 50% of the companies equity. 

Week 1 - Edward Hunter got fired, was it the right choice? I say it was constantly because of the fact how he didn't use his own skills which were accounting skills and he led the team poorly without a plan, when I started my first venture last November I didn't hop on a bus to my nearest wholesaler and try and work out some strategy on the journey, I didn't physically write a plan down on paper but I had it all in my head what I was doing before I went off to start trading!

Week 2 -  Alex Cabral got fired, was it the right choice? Am gonna have to say no on this one despite the fact that he was only seen cutting bread rolls during week one I still think he never had a chance to actually show his true business spirit, as Jim Eastwood highlighted in the boardroom who made the errors on the task and they were down to the person responsible with the speech which was Vincent Disneur and Glen Ward who was responsible for the mobile app. I thought it was down to the app more than the speech as you can be awarded a public speaker but go on dragons den and pitch a product which is awful. So on that note I can conclude Glenn should have went instead of Alex. The reason why I don't blame the project manager Leon Doyle was because as Alan stated he set up his own fast food marketing business from scratch and he's already proven that he can start a business up from scratch.

Week 3 - Gavin Winstanley got fired, was it the right choice? Yes it was indeed. The team didn't have any intention of splitting up and one half going out and the other half at least staying and contacting businesses using the yellow pages and they left together at around 12 o clock or so. He didn't manage the team well and he was under frustration himself when he kept telling his team to calm down. He couldn't identify two or three items and whilst he was out in the east end of London he went into a top hat cleaners and requested where he could buy a top hat? Worth a try I guess but if I was him I wouldn't have my hopes up.

Week 4 - Felicity Jackson got fired, was it the right choice? No I was expecting to see Ellie Reed go apart from the management she was doing absolutely nothing upstairs at the Birmingham shopping center. Being quiet and doing nothing isn't going to let you win and because you ain't project manager you think you're safe as you won't do anything which might cock up. I honestly think that they were all bad as each other on the task but Lord Sugar ain't looking for a sleeping partner and she was all relaxed at ease therefore in my case she should've went without a question.

Week 5 - Now this had surprised me, not only the original one candidate as Lord Sugar states at the beginning of each task was gonna get fired but infact two candidates got fired which were Ellie and Vincent. Let me just say the marketing technique and branding for the dog food product wasn't attractive to dog owners as each dog owner loves their own dog not every dog. Jim suggested the name and he fairly should have been responsible but because of his true entrepreneurial and sales talent he has shown us throughout the process he didn't bring him back to the final 3 so thats a second time he's used his "jedi" powers to overcome the firing line. Lord Sugar wanted a reason why he brang back Natasha Scribbins to the boardroom when she did a good job at creating the TV advert and he did make a good point about her not contributing enough and getting herself out there like Jim is. But he should have brang Jim back into the boardroom as he did make a fatal error on the task. I think that out of the three Ellie should've went as she hasn't shown any contribution and effort on the process and she did go and there's me thinking thats it for this week but then suddenly Lord Sugar explained to Vincent that he doesn't like people who ain't straightforward and that he's playing a risky game of bringing the wrong people in which he did do and then Lord Sugar fires him which I thought was fair as Natasha did do well on the task but he did make a bit of a good point stating "when it suits Natasha she will pipe up"

Week 6 - Edna Arbarha got fired this week, throughout the whole process was it the right choice for Lord Sugar to fire her it indeed was the obvious choice as she's been wheezing her way through on the winning team but during the second week she actually showed the audience how poor she was presenting a presentation in front of hundreds of App fans at an exhibition and she didn't have the pitching skills and without discussing who's doing the pitch in front of everyone she appoints herself to do it without analyzing who has the skills and motivation to deliver it perfectly. Judging on the task I thought Zoe should have got fired because whilst being in the final three on a previous task she didn't listen to her team mates if she listened to Susan and maybe charged less there was a chance of getting the rubbish and making a bit of profit but it wouldn't have happened as team logic got both deals for free. She wasn't passionate about the task and the only good what came out from her was loading the rubbish on to the van and not communicating well with her team mates. Edna did make an appointment which was the only good thing which came out of her from the whole process. I could see Lord Sugar's point on firing Edna when she did bring up her qualifications which didn't impress him as doing the work physically matters more to set up your own business. 

Week 7 - Glenn Ward was the eigth candidate to get fired this week, I thought the right candidate left this week as he didn't impress Lord Sugar enough in the boardroom and there has been some tasks where he did lose the plot and he was too cocky thinking he's the best candidate in the whole process he had to go. The task Lord Sugar set them this week was to come up with their own freemium magazine. It was at the famous Fleet Street in London which was where Lord Sugar announced the task. They had to identify their target market and come up with a name, design, and pages to sell advertising space and the team who gets the most revenue wins. Jim Eastwood who was appointed project manager for team Venture came up with the over 60s market to target whilst on the other hand Natasha without a doubt had to lead team Logic and she came up with the lads mag idea. On team Logic Zoe put forward the name "Hip replacement" as the names which Susan and Glenn pitched to the over 60s were terrible and I couldn't blame them for laughing in their faces the names were thatg bad! They got pictures of over 60s looking in their 30s. They published a page about technology about how to make a telephone call which would give some people in the market the wrong impression, Lord Sugar himself tweets and this is something they should have thought about before going along with the topic Whilst on team Logic the name of their lads mag was "Covered" and they photographed models looking like they mean business they even mentioned in the magazine how to make a grand in a day which reflects on the previous task. They even had a page on how to blow your load which I did cringe to at the time as the topic name isn't really pleasent and the other pages were used to sell the advertising space. Team Logic was overun by Team venture in two pitches but there was one pitch where team Logic generated no sales and team Venture generated 50 thousand which outranked team Logic which generated around 27 grand. Jim decided to bring in Glenn and Susan as Zoe contributed more during the task which I do agree to. Susan was in the boardroom for the second time in a row and everyone kept complaining that she lacked responsibility and contribution to the task which I already knew. The problemn with Glenn was he was seen as a del boy trotter who Lord Sugar stated if he was one of those lads who thought Only Fools and Horses was a business documentary which led Lord Sugar to think is his CV over-done to what he's actually seen of him through the seven weeks of the process. Jim was the target as Nick was exploiting his recent business activity to Lord Sugar and they all agreed that he was a bit of a control freak and Lord Sugar said that he can talk. Glenn got fired as lord Sugar said that he never came across an engineer which turned his hands to business which I thought was offensive to engineers themselves. Susan survived the mouse trap because Lord Sugar has given her a chance to be more serious and to become project manager on an upcoming task as she has actually owned a business unlike the other two candidates in the final three. For Jim, Lord Sugar saw a glimaur in him and I think he likes his attitude, his passion, and he makes his voice heard, he could become a politician as he always backs himself up.

Week 8 - Only seven candidates remain in the process to fight it out for Lord Sugar's investment of a quarter of a million pounds investment after it was Leon Doyle who got fired from the process this week which left 5 women and 2 men remain. The task was about representing british products in France where they ain't on the french market and this reminded me of a task in a previous series where Lord Sugar sent candidates to France to sell british cheese to the french. Getting to the point Lord Sugar made Tom project manager for team Logic to see what skills he has and for team Venture Susan put herself forward to be project manager but things don't go well for her as she says she doesn't know anything at all about the french but what made me cringe was how she could actually say do the french drive? Do the french love their children? But with Leon and Melody doing market research which was ordered by Tom to decide whether the baby seat-backpack or the tea-pot with the lamp would be a great product to market for the french they were asking people in the Metro station which product they would like without thinking if they're in the right spot to find their potential market so they're asking an audience who use the Metro if they like a product which is relevant for car owners only so thats something what went wrong. So they wanted the tea-pot with the lamp which Tom wasn't confident with but he wanted the product which outranked his ideal product. For team Venture Jim and Helen agreed on the baby seat-backpack and the phone holderwhich can be used in cars to keep your phone or I-pod staple and still operate it during the same time, they arranged interviews with retailers of their choice before the day ended. Next day for team venture they managed to get an order in from the company Lord Sugar arranged with them for over two thousand euros and whilst Jim was also making sales happen Susan managed to negotiate a deal with a small business selling mobile phones and electronic devices for around twelve thousand euros which gave them the win. For Logic Melody and Leon were hold up by traffic and by that point they knew they went with the wrong product so they got Tom and Natasha to do the big pitch for lord Sugar and they didn't generate any money from them whilst Melody made money by contacting the shops in France but wasn't good enough to outrule team Logic with Helen doing extremly well on the pitch. Back in the boardroom Tom decided he'd bring back Leon because he didn't contribute enough during the task and Melody because of her going along with the wrong product I still think Natasha should've been bought in instead of Melody as she did sell the most during the task but then again Lord Sugar ain't looking for a sales person I suppose. I agree with Leon getting fired over Tom, because Leon was in the final three in the first two weeks and was given a chance by Lord Sugar as he set up his own business but he didn't do much on the task and not knowing how to speak french was a poor excuse most of them spoke english as Melody asked them which he could've done.

Week 9 - 4 women and 2 men remain in the process to fight to become Lod Sugar's business partner. After Zoe Beresford got fired for the failure of not using her manufacturing skills by going to the factory and making sure the outcome of the biscuits were a success, which didn't happen as they didn't appeal to the people at the pitch. Team venture targeted school children, and team Logic had different targets but before their second pitch after being told the product can't target a number of market ranges they decided to target women and the biscuits were designed to share, one part would be chocolate and the other side would be digestive. Team venture made a flapjack chocolate layered on with a white or dark chocolate star on top to appeal to the school children. When it came to market research Jim knew what was needed to improve the quality of the biscuits and he stuck to the market research. Whilst on the other hand Melody and Tom had about two or three designs, the popcorn biscuit idea which was niched by Melody didn't appeal to any of the target audiences and she still wanted to push forward with the idea which was terrible to outrule a customer and Tom came up with the emergency biscuits idea which had me puzzled, why would you want to think of biscuits out of everything during an emergency? During the end they produced biscuits to have one side covered in chocolate and the other side would be digestive but they didn't have a proper idea who to market the product to. When it came to pitching team logic thought they'd do a role play to show the pitchers more about the product they have and it was absolutely cheesy and I laughed throughout the whole play and the pitchers knew they wasn't serious enough especially when they were told it would target several groups of people which dosn't work. They decided to find a market to stick to and judging on the packaging they thought they'd go for women and they did the other two pitches and were told the packaging and branding were great but the product was awful.  For team venture Helen did the first two pitches and they were questioned about hwo the product needs to be healthy for kids and Natasha stuck her nose in the first pitch and gave a bad reaction and Jim and Helen didn't like her doing that so she was warned to stay quiet for the next two pithces which she did. For the 3rd pitch it was preseneted by Jim and they got the only order by this pitch and Jim claimed that they were gonna advertise there product on TV for Harry Potter fans to get attracted to it which was pretty much said to persuade the pitchers to make an order especially with Jim's quote "go big or go home". Team venture won by the one order made by Asda which Jim pitched and Zoe's team looked surprised as they thought they may have won the task but they recieved zero orders. It was stated by Zoe and Lord Sugar that it was down to the product, Zoe brang in Melody and Tom into the boardroom as it was down to the product. Zoe got fired because she was experienced in manufacturing and she didn't use her skills to produce the product to a high standard. I agree Lord Sugar should've fired Zoe for the task, Alan likes Melody and has given Tom another chance to show some business acumen, will he shine during the next episode? We'll find out next week.

Week 10 - Six candidates remaining and this weeks task was to reinvest stock which Lord Sugar sorted out for both teams. Melody got fired this week because she was too much hot air for Lord Sugar and she didn't smell what was selling to continue making a good margin instead she wanted to invest in travel products which I thought was silly when you smell the best seller you exploit it and keep making a good margin so according to this she deserved the eleventh firing. Team Logic was so horrifically managed by Melody that the next morning Helen wanted to take charge which didn't work and that's the first time on The Apprentice someone wanted to take the lead as the project manager was so poor at leading the team to a decent victory.

On team Venture Natasha put her foot down to Susan who claimed the task would be perfect for her to lead but Natasha wanted to manage the team as she said in the boardroom she felt "hungry" for it. Despite Natasha and Susan having arguments on the task I think Jim saved the day for them as Jim sold all the products in a fun way and he showed everyone that he ain't a shy person and that he'll try anything to bring in sales to the team and Nick went from disliking to liking him as a person, the real problem behind this team was Natasha didn't give Jim permission to restock items as she said they bought loads yesterday and they don't want to be left with unsold stock but Lord Sugar said that it doesn't matter as they would count as assets so it won't be like they'd make a loss. When Natasha told Jim last minute to restock umbrellas and he bought them in time but couldn't sell any as he got to his destination exactly at six but as he bought those umbrellas thats what won them the task but as Natasha didn't understand the concept of the task their treat was cancelled which was a real shame as Jim and Susan performed well on the task and I think it should've been Natasha who went straight home.

Week 11 - It's the final task of The Apprentice and the final five are: Susan, Helen, Natasha, Jim and Tom.

So this weeks final task was to create and brand the next fast food chain (This task would've suited Leon). This week the unlucky candidate to get fired was Nastaha, she claimed that she had a degree in Hospitality and part of her degree was about setting up a restaurant but later on she thought I don't wanna task any risks so I'll pretend that I can't cook and get out of it says the candidate who made breakfast for Susan and Helen that morning, this comes to show if you've ever learned anything remember your industry experience of the sector as it may come in handy one day doing it five years ago isn't a good enough excuse it shows that you've wasted three or five years doing something which isn't of interest to you now, this takes me back to the first episode when Edward didn't want to use his accountancy skills on the task as he wanted to jump into something new this is why I had a good feeling Natasha was going to be fired like she did. Jim was project manager yes he may've lost the second task he project managed on but he tried his best and he didn't get much help of Susan and Natasha who were argueing with each other yet again which was a joke, the only error which Jim made was a maths calculation but the failure was down to Natasha, she even changed her mind about gunning for Susan she thought as Susan made Jim look weak she'll join in but it didn't work, the mexican themed chain got 4/10 mainly because of the long wait and poor presentation which Natasha should've known as she did a degree in Hospitality. They branded their mexican themed fast food chain "Caraca"s.

Team Logic won the task and went straight to the final. Helen was project manager and herself and Tom came up with a british themed chain which involved selling small pies and they branded it "Mypy" and Tom came up with the brand name as he misread an advertisement on a shop window as he's dyslexic. The food was served immedietly and to a great standard and they got 7/10.

My view on the finalist:

Susan Ma 3rd Fired - I give Susan credit for starting up her own business but she's showed some weaknesses throughout the process and Lord Sugar doesn't want to go into partnership with someone who can't adapt to different situations but it depends on her business plan aswell if it's something unrealistic then she ain't for Lord Sugar.

Helen Milligan 2nd Runner up - Helen has been a strong candidate during the process apart from going into a pound store to sell watches for 25 quid, this shows that she doesn't have business sense in her and that may well be because she's not been in business and she's only supported a business also having a law degree means she ain't as experienced in the business sector but there's a chance if she can produce a clear vision for her business plan.

Tom Pellereau 4th Fired - Tom I like there's no doubt about that, but being a business partner with Lord Sugar I ain't sure about even though he's invented products and bought them to market he still doesn't have the right voice and business skills that Lord Sugar is looking for and knowing he's an inventor he could come up with a business plan which involves inventing products which the interviewers won't have confidence in and they'd also want an explanation why anyone would need his products and how it will make an impact to the economy. 

Jim Eastwood 1st Hired - Now Jim may have not shown that he could win a task which he can project manage but he's shown he's a good sales person and he has good charisma towards loads of people and can inspire people and take their hearts as he's mentioned, if he comes up with a good business plan and he knows what to say and what no to say he's a potential winner as Lord Sugar clearly likes him as he's working to a high standard and entertaining at the same time, I'd definitely hand him over quarter of a million pounds and go into partnership with him as he'll be fun and determined to work with, but he can still cause some faults sometimes which may lead Lord Sugar into the wrong impression of him.

Thanks for reading my blog on this years Apprentice, this is the last update of my blog and hopefully I'll be back blogging when The Junior Apprentice gets aired during August, 9 PM, BBC1, This Sunday, be there or be square!

John Moss

Twitter: John_Moss_93

� BBC The Apprentice

Monday, 3 January 2011

Life outside College throughout the end of 2009 and 2010

Going back to the first year at Hammersmith. I lost so much weight from school as all my old clothes were falling off me as I started going to the gym and walking alot, and I finally started wearing decent clothes as fashion was something to create a good image to the world out there whilst back in school days I use to wear anything I could set my hands on. 

When 2010 started, I was looking forward to my 17th birthday because I invited people from my childhood which I recently got connected with on Facebook aswell as people I knew the year before as I had one friend to start with and I become good friends with his friends!

After that day, I knew to myself that my life had changed so much as I knew there were changes made and that I became a different person!

throughout the year I'd often arrange events where we'd all meet up for a drink and have a great night with loads of laughing, jokes knowing that I still had my mind on education! 

A month after my birthday, I had still struggled finding a part time job as employers would look at my C.V with all these horrendous qualifications (but doesn't that sure am an honest person that I didn't lie about my GCSE results) and think how boring I am.

Eventually, I did find a small job on Grumtree which gave me some income, I got offered a dog walking job on friday mornings in East Sheen near Richmond! I was happy that I got the job, and that I was earning a few quid aswell as doing my course, but a few months later I decided to quit because It was too much hassle going there from where I lived on friday mornings and I had to always wash the dog after the walk as the owner had a nice big house with a respectful neighbourhood.

When I stopped doing the dog walking, I found out the new house my cousin moved into in Chiswick needed decorating, so my uncle gave me a Saturday job, tearing off wallpaper, taking everything to the skip, and following orders. When I was no longer needed my uncle asked me "how much do you want for the all that work you did" and I was thinking to myself I didn't do what the polish builders were doing so I had to reply "I don't mind tbh" and then he offered me £120 pound for four/five weeks of work and I staggered, I had no idea I'd be getting more than the odd £50 pounds and I actually left really happy and satsified with myself. 

During the 2nd half of 2010, I had to breakup a friendship of a mate who I had known from secondary school and even though it was 6 years, I knew that he was holding me back  because I don't do jokes all the time and I didn't see any seriousness in him so I knew if I always stayed the same I'd never forgive myself when I'm an old man whilst thinking "I wanted to that and that". So it was for the best. 

A while afterwards I got in touch with another old mate of mine and I got invited to his house up in Alnwick which is in Northumberland! I was so excited not only seeing a mate in 2/3 years (we lived in the same area) but at that point I've never ever been past Manchester in my life and I was heading to Newcastle by a coach from London Victoria! I spent a week there and we went to Edinburgh and it was the first time I had ever entered Scotland! I enjoyed a good week away from home and I knew I spent summer well by doing more traveling and with an F in geography it doesn't take an idiot to work out how to get from A to B.

A few weeks before I started my I.T course, I applied for another job which was in Hammersmith, it was handy that the College and workplace were next to each other. I got offered a job interview with auntie anne's pretzels. At the current day, I arrived at the destination and I was offered to sample, but I explained to them I was offered a job inteview with them and me being in a suit which felt a bit awkward at the time. I then shook hands to two managers who interviewed me next door at Starbucks and bought me a drink. As one of them started to interview me I was mentioning about my studies in Hammersmith and that I'd pretty much work hard as much as possible. When the interview finished I got an email two weeks later telling me that I haven't been accepted but to be fair it was my first ever job interview within a company and I was proud of myself actually getting that far. 

So now we're back to my 2nd year at Hammersmith and West London College, throughout the first 2 months I had to be much busier than before doing alot more coursework which I did have confidence in and getting into new music! 

Around October my gran sadly passed away, god bless her and we can't go on crying about how much we all miss her but I was really upset that night when I found out from my dad over in Ireland and I had to cry myself out so tomorrow would be a new beginning to think towards the future. I become much more possitive with myself and I knew crying my eyes out about my gran passing away wasn't going to help because she wouldn't want us being upset, she would want us to continue with our lives as normal because everyone dies its natural! 

A week later, I met Lord Sugar twice in one whole day. I met him at Waterstones during the afternoon and he signed my copy of his book and he seemed really pleasent towards me in real life as the media make him out to be an angry person because of his language he uses on The Apprentice. I then got a ticket to watch him get interviewed by Adrian Chiles about his book "what you see is what you get" in the Apple store at Covent Garden which got recorded. During the end he answered some questions by us the audience, but at the time I didn't really have any questions to ask him because I wanted to hear what the other people had to say about his past, his future plans and what it takes to become an entrepreneur.

So as we move on towards November time, I knew guy fawkes was coming up and every year there are firework events all around London! I had a vision that people love sparklers whilst being at a fireworks event because they're fun to wave around and write your name with. So, I then met up with a good friend of mine one morning and I got him to go to a fireworks wholesaler in Acton, West London and I sent him in to buy me 72 sparklers which cost me £10. Once he had bought them for me I had to go straight to College because I had a lesson to go to and when College finished I went to his and recieved the sparklers off him and thanked him for getting up in the morning and looking after them whilst I was at College. I already had a price set for them and it was 40p each or three for a pound, I then went around the household, neighbours, and friends and got my money back straight away so therefore any money I'd be making from that point onwards would be profit. I then started going to the firework displays with a few friends of mine! the first day I went all I saw was police and they didn't allow sparklers to be used in the park area. I knew I wasn't going to give up, I went to the Ealing firework display with a few more mates which is local to me. Whilst there, I met people I knew and started having conversations with them but with all this chit-chat in the way my friends knew I'd have to chuck them away for nothing but giving up is never an option. After the fireworks went off, there was still people around and I saw people using sparklers so I thought I'm going for it. I was shouting out "get your sparklers, come on get your sparklers at 40 pence each or three for a pound and with my mates with me thinking what am I trying to do I had people coming up to me and buying them all off me because when one was lit the whole crowd were attracted and they were selling like hit cakes, and making 300% profit which came to £20 was better than sitting at home with a packet of crisps in one hand and a cola in the other. I was actually considered a junior del-boy trotter, funny enough I was wearing a brown leather jacket during that day. My mates seemed pretty shocked that I did it and to use one of their quotes "John, this time next year you will be that millionaire" that comment made me laugh knowing I felt like del-boy trotter. I did know something for sure, I knew that I had some entrepreneurial spirit inside me and I learnt new business skills.

Two weeks later, I launched my own company named "Mosses-Play'N'Trade co." with the use of my I.T course I made a logo and I created a Facebook page to market the service. The good thing about this business is that you can buy games cheaper than the high street retailers, and by using unwanted games and researching the market I got hold of new games which everyone demanded sold at a cheap price which made customers smile.

College life 2009-2010

College life - So during my time at school I didn't really bother thinking about a career as I mentioned, but my dad always told me to get any job you think will be possible without all these academic qualifications. So I applied for a Btec course in brickwork at East Berkshire college and got through the interview easily just by showing some interest in the course. When it came to the first day, I had my boots with me and we got to meet everyone and at the time I felt so much different to whom I was at secondary school, much more mature and resposible you could say. We were told to talk to the people on our table about who we are, and when we got through the day doing some practical work I thought to myself there's no-way I don't want to be like any of these people as they didn't have any mannors and they're the sort of people you'd see on Jeremy Kyle to be quite honest. When I got the train back to London, I went out of the station and crossed the road and I saw old school mates who I didn't really fit in with but they were really friendly and they were all smartly dressed up whilst I was wearing a leather jacket and some old jeans and meeting them made me reliaze they're going to get extremly good jobs of their own choice when they finish their education. So, when I arrived home I just explained to my mum that the travel to get there and the course not forgetting the environment wasn't what I expected it would be (maybe because I didn't think about it carefully) in a matter of hours througout that evening I knew that I wasn't going to stay there much longer. 

So I applied to do a business course in Hammersmith and West London College (Even though I had no clue where it would lead me in life and I've never had a true interest in it) and when I organised an interview with them, I was luckily enough to attend last minute enrolement. When I got there I was directed to this lady at the computer to put me into a class and all the business courses were already full and the only courses available were Hair and Beauty and Health and Social care, I knew there was no way I was going to pick Hair and Beauty so obviously I was going to pick Health and Social care which I did and I was due to start next week.

During the first day, I was really nervous, everyone there knew each other because they had already been there for two/three weeks. I just had to be as confident as possible and I'd know for a fact I'd be ok, but infact the class had not much interest in learning but only a few did but I did get along with them as I needed to make sure I was in a good position in starting Hammersmith College.

Throughout the year I had changed so much and I actually did the work in class and I'd also go up to the library to complete unfinished coursework. When the year ended I achieved the introductory certificate award and for a treat I was invited to do rock-climbing with two of each student in the same qualification background.

I applied to progress to the first diploma in Business, from the other selection of courses I had access to I chose that because I loved watching The Junior Apprentice and while watching each episode I thought to myself I could try and do that. So when I got invited to an interview it was much harder than before because they only take people on with a big passion unlike the introductory qualification. I was given a writing test about what business I'd like to set up in the future, and there I was back to sqaure one again, not knowing what I'll be doing with my life, so I just had to make it all up and I put down I was going to run a pub mainly because I'd always meet up with good friends of mine at The Harvester to have drinks and talk about the latest gossip. So, I wrote as much as possible and when I was called into the other room, the lecturer seemed really puzzled about my exam I gave him and knowing in his views he has to make sure the right people get on the course, and he asked me if I wanted to pick I.T but I declined instantly because I wanted something which I was interested in and watching the apprentice got me to have a big interest in it. With pleasure he gave me a place on the course and I had to go the next room to be put into a class, as I was sat down I was thinking to myself "I'm I actually doing the right thing" and when I was given my details to the women, I had to apologize to her for time wasting and asked her what careers can I get with the course and she said "Where do you see yourself in the future" I replied saying in an office somewhere. She then recommended I.T and when she gave me the prospectus I thought all these skills could be really useful as I've always been the computer wizard in the family. So I went for it and knew I'd stay on the course for sure. 

During the first day I met everyone and unlike the year before I was there at the right time so I knew I'd be confident unlike last year. When the days flew by I started talking to everyone in the class and they all seemed to think I was a funny, and intelligent person so I knew that everyone was going well. 

Throughout 2010, I learnt how to design logos, do a presentation to the whole class (speaking and directing with possitive body language), spreedsheets, data entry, and much more. I also applied for a re-take in my GCSE english (even if I don't achieve a C or above I'd definetly know that I did concentrate in the class and studied as much as possible). I even went for a pre-GCSE Maths course which is pretty much the same thing as GCSE but you don't sit the exam!

A month later, our lecturer announced that two student representative had to be elected. I thought this was a good opportunity to demonstrate my skills in leadership! I went for it along with 4 other students. We than had to make a speech to the class on why should they vote for us and what we'll promise, I stated that I'll always do my best and I am happy to take notes down in what people would like to see different about the College and that I'll attend every meeting and do my best to make changes throughout the College environment. Everyone had to write down on two piecesof paper who they wanted to speak up for the classroom. When the voting finished, the lecturer wrote our names on the whiteboard and he'd put a stroke for each name he'd look at on the pieces of paper. At the start I was doing well but it wasn't long before three other students took the lead and I thought at least I tried. But just when more reults came up I started getting more strokes and I ended up going joint with about 9 strokes and there I was just speechless whilst everyone was clapping their hands and congratulating me for actually making a comeback in the end which was pretty much like a football match.

The Past

Firstly, I'd like to mention during secondary school I struggled with coursework and staying focused in class mainly due to the fact I was surrounded by some people who would distract me with their "jokes" and I would say they got me in a "I can't be bothered" mood and I then continued having fun with the others by joking and doing stupid stuff.

I always had staff in my lessons to give me extra support and I didn't put in the effort into my coursework like the others would, I picked Geography, Food tec. and Hospitality & Catering because I was cooking alot back in primary school and I really enjoyed it and when I was 13 I started traveling around central London and certain parts of the U.K independently to play a card game I really enjoyed playing and I made good money from it occasionally!

When it came to my GCSE's I opened my envelope and I noticed instantly I didn't get one A-C but I was still happy at the time because I was with my old school mates (only one I still keep in touch with).

Throughout those 5 years of secondary school, I didn't even know what career I wanted to go into because I was busy having too much fun making all the teachers stressed out and being such a git wasting paper on printing pictures of Peter Andre and me and two other mates would go to the toilets during our free lesson and throw them around the toilet sinks etc. I was a right nutter in those days and I loved all the entertainment.

Sunday, 5 December 2010


Hello Ladies & Gentlemen,

I've started my first ever blog because I want to get my message around to all you enthusiastic young people out there who want to work for themselves for a living. My name is John Moss and am 17 years old and I've been wanting to own a business at the start of 17. I left secondary school with no A-C qualifications, this was simply because I enjoyed every minute of school mucking around with my friends what any school kid would do. I didn't even have any interest of what I wanted to achieve in the future, I thought I'd take a Btec course in construction because my family are into that trade. Instead of that I wanted to change my course because my first day at College doing the course wasn't something I really enjoyed and wanted to learn about, as soon as I stepped into Colege life I felt much more mature and responsible with myelf than I was at secondary school. I changed College and my course, I was doing health and social care in West London. Now at the same College, I'm doing a level 2 course in I.T practitioners and am retaking my english GCSE (knowing am going to learn instead of having jokes with friends in the classroom). I've started doing business ventures and am learning leadership skills as I was elected as class rep as they found my clear speech really appealing. Now, I may not be a successful young entrepreneur yet, but I have that killer instinct in me that I have what it takes to succeed in the business world. Now that you know a bit about me, I'll tell you in more detail how I ended up at each step and what you need to have, to do the exact same thing I did.