KATIE BULMER-COOKE: Best of luck to new apprentices

Katie in her Apprentice days
Katie in her Apprentice days
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The adverts have popped up on our screens, Lord Sugar is doing the press rounds and this year’s candidates have been revealed, which can only mean one thing. The Apprentice is about to start it’s twelfth series.

I can’t wait to watch it, especially to see how the new line up will cope with the tasks and the pressure of the boardroom.

It’s two years now since I took part in the show and I’ve honestly got a lot to thank it for.

The actual process of being put under so much pressure and completing the tasks taught me so much about myself, my strengths and my weaknesses but I also learned new skills in business. I sharpened my negotiating skills, I became a solid sales person and most importantly I developed as a leader.

As I’ve always been pretty much a one-man-band, having to lead a team was very alien to me, but I totally loved it.

Of course this year, as there is every year, there will be candidates who love themselves and are far too cocky for their own good as well as those who claim to be bright as a button but say the stupidest things.

Ultimately that’s what makes the show so good to watch. That said, I did watch it last year and wondered to myself ‘have any of these guys actually watched The Apprentice before?’

For me the golden rule is don’t set yourself up for a fall. Don’t claim to be the best sales person, don’t claim to be a marketing guru, and under no circumstances ever should you compare yourself to Lord Sugar.

Instead be humble, quietly confident and just do a good job...good advice in my book, however it’s too late for this year’s batch as the show has already been filmed, so there is no going back.

I’ve been reading the profiles on each of the candidates and they seem a little older this year.

Last year many of the candidates were very young, and it was pretty clear that many weren’t in it for business opportunity. Instead they wanted reality fame, with some selling stories to the tabloid newspapers, and others slating each other on social media.

There are only two things that will happen on the back of this behavior. Number one, you come across as unprofessional and you damage your personal brand.

Number two, it detracts from want it an absolutely brilliant television show format. The show has a real cult following, and the super fans don’t want spoilers, they simply want to sit down every week and enjoy the show.

I know I will be glued to this year’s series, and I’m sure that just like last year I’ll feel nervous and excited for the candidates as I know exactly what it is like to be there.

I can’t wait to pick my front runner too and decide who I’m going to back to win. Sadly, there isn’t anyone from our region this year that we can all get behind, but I wish every single one of them the best of luck in the process because the experience is amazing!