I was inspired to write this piece when I attended First Friday in
last week. Carl Hopkins, best known for his appearance on Channel 4’s The Secret Millionaire, was the speaker and he is passionate about inspiring young people to get what they want through education. Carl got no help at school and despite that was a great success. He wants to help other young people to achieve success too. Wakefield
It was interesting to reflect on my own experiences at school, which I‘m sure aren’t unique.
By the time I was 16 after middling performance at school, I found myself not working at all (I enjoyed going out every night with my mates) and failing nearly all my GCE mock exams. It was massively embarrassing and one of my teachers took me on one side and told me that I was wasting my life. My parents didn’t give me a hard time but from that night I started working really hard and passed all my GCE exams bar one. I started my A levels with top of the class results and went on from there, getting A/B/C/D A Level results (surprising everyone else at my school), a 2:1 in Law (despite my school careers advisor telling me that I wouldn’t be able to do Law), first time passes in the Chartered Accountancy exams (and one of the best performers in the revision class) and more recently a Distinction (first class) in an MBA at Bradford. I also had a long and successful career as a Finance Director before setting up my own business, Sanders Geeson Chartered Accountants. Not bad for a “no hoper” at 16……..
The secret – working hard, doing my own thing and never stopping learning…….as well as lots of support from my wife and parents.
I know many people think I’m mad doing all the courses and exams I do, but learning never ceases to be fun.
I also have a friend who dropped out of University after 3 days, spent 2 years working for the DSS in a basic job, then decided to go back to University. He is now a Professor in Philosophy at
, speaking all over the world. Life is full of great positive stories…. Nottingham University
Finally, regarding Carl Hopkins, his first assignment for JDA (his first job) was to work on the Falcon by Post (knitting) catalogue. A year later I arrived as Finance Director for the business, my first senior finance job and a big step up for me …….it’s a small world……