A budding entrepreneur saw his hopes of becoming the next winner of the Young Apprentice dashed when Lord Sugar told him: “You’re fired.”
Sean Spooner, from Corby, spoke to the Corby Telegraph after Thursday’s show.
What made you enter the Young Apprentice?
I wasn’t going to enter at first. I knew about the audition page being there and people I knew were talking about it but I was quite persistent not to enter just because I was so focused on what else I was doing. On the night that applications closed I filled in the form just to see what happens. I thought the first audition went terribly but clearly it didn’t as I got through. It was like ‘oh, I’m on the Young Apprentice, how did that happen?’
What were the high and low points?
I’d say the high points were Lord Sugar criticising me because, although it seems bad on screen, being able to take away all of that information and all of the criticisms that he’s given you, especially as he’s someone with so much clout, it means a lot. I think that would be the high point. I suppose a low point naturally would be getting fired, although I suppose a lot of good came out of that in the end and I learned a lot of lessons. It was a good experience.
Were there any surprises? Did you learn things about yourself you didn’t know?
I’d say what I did learn about myself is that, because I’m used to working in small groups or on my own, when I’m with a team I have to listen to what other people are saying and try and work out what kind of motive they have. I suppose I didn’t learn that on the actual show but when I stepped back after the show I managed to learn that, how to filter opinions.
Was being on the programme how you thought it would be?
It’s weird being on the programme because I’ve watched it since Tim won all those years ago, in the first series. When it is happening to you it is all a bit surreal. I suppose it is how I expected it to be, you’re always given a fair chance.
Was it strange having the cameras following you?
I think on the first day of the first task, because there were cameras following me around, I didn’t really say a lot, which made me seem as if I was silent. But when you get busy beyond the first day the cameras blend into the background. They’re never in your way so you kind of forget they are there.
How have your friends reacted to seeing you on TV?
It’s been a bit weird being one of the candidates because it always a big talking topic in school. It is weird hearing my friends’ thoughts on the other candidates when I know them. They’re all very supportive of me.
What is Lord Sugar like?
I think Lord Sugar was very fair. He definitely listens to both sides in the boardroom. I mean, let’s be honest, I messed up the task pretty badly, but he still managed to take some positives from it and say you did this well. So I think he’s fair.
Will it be hard going back to normal life?
I think because I was in the process for such a short amount of time and because before I went on the show I was so focused on working on what I was doing, it seemed like a bit of a holiday. Although, it was a working holiday! But it was nice getting to live in Hampstead and getting chauffeured around.
Will you enter The Apprentice when you are older?
No, it’s a different kind of show. Lord Sugar is a lot harsher because he expects more from the older candidates. Also I did apply on the spur of the moment, I didn’t really consider how much time it would take but it’s turned out to be a good experience.
Where do you get your drive and ambition from?
I would say I get my passion for business from working on my own things; I can take them where I want it to go.
I don’t have to answer to anybody. I’m working on stuff I’m interested in, it’s what I want to do and it’s also kind of my baby so I don’t want to see it fall. I suppose that drives me.
Who is going to win the Young Apprentice?
I think Andrew will win. He did well on the task I got fired in. He is really good at selling but also on the task where I was project manager he got everything right.
Has the programme made you re-evaluate your plans for the future?
I wouldn’t say so; I think I’m still heading for my goal, launching my free men’s magazine Magnate in London at the end of the year.
I think I’m heading in the same direction but with some more lessons under my belt and a clearer scope.