Jade English is an entrepreneur and star of the BBC’s The Apprentice
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
I studied Broadcast Journalism at Sheffield Hallam University and since graduating, have worked hard to secure in a career in PR and Marketing. Alongside this, I have fulfilled my passions for travelling and learning through experiences, and as a result have developed a love for meditation, exercise and mindfulness.
You are currently starring in the BBC’s The Apprentice, how did you get involved in this?
I chose to apply for The Apprentice because I knew that I needed to change something in my life – I wasn’t 100% happy in my previous job role, had thought of a great business idea but just needed both the platform and investment to launch it. On initial application, I never thought I would get to the final interview rounds for the show, let alone be one of the final 18 who entered the house. But I made it, and am so proud of what I have achieved through the process.
What is it really like to be on The Apprentice? How involved is Alan Sugar? And do you really have to get up THAT early?
The Apprentice is an incredible but extremely challenging experience – and definitely not one for the faint hearted. However, I loved every single minute and would not have changed a thing. Throughout the process I made some lifelong friends, and have learnt so much about myself and now know exactly what I want to achieve in life – both personally and in business. The best thing of all, however, is that I found out my true strengths and have learnt to really believe in myself.
It’s so funny, as wherever I go I always get asked the same questions: We definitely did have to get up that early and we really did only have 20 minutes to get ready in the morning. Preparation was key, as I washed my hair and selected my outfit the night before – and when the cameras weren’t rolling, we all spent a sneaky five minutes topping up our make-up.
What would it meant to you if you had won The Apprentice? What would it mean for your business idea?
Obviously, it would have been incredible to have won The Apprentice, and ultimately would have provided me with both the investment and platform needed to get my business idea off the ground. In saying this, however, I am a firm believer of the fact everything happens for a reason, and am still working hard to secure investment in my business, whilst utilising TV/Radio opportunities to encourage people to follow their dream careers through experiences (this is what my business idea is about). I am also trying to promote inner wellbeing through alternative techniques such as mediation through my blog. Happiness is key and I hope I can use this opportunity to bring some happiness to the world!
Have you faced any challenges along the way? How did you deal with them?
I faced a number of challenges during my time on The Apprentice. The main one is that you don’t get a lot of downtime to do the things you would normally, which for me is exercise and meditation. What’s more, despite making some great friends in the house, it is obviously a very pressurised environment, as we are all strong-minded people competing for the same £250,000 investment.
In day-to-day life, I have learnt to deal with work related stress through mindfulness, meditation and exercise. Just taking 10 minutes every morning to practice mindfulness or meditation makes a World of difference and enables you to connect with your body, work through what is bothering you and come out fighting on the other side.
The same goes for exercise – when we really think about, spending some time outdoors or going for a run will be far more effective and will release far more endorphins, than just sitting and stressing at home or in front of your laptop. The trick is to know in yourself and understand when you need to take that much-needed time out.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you ever had a mentor or do you mentor anyone?
I think mentoring can be extremely effective as long as you have the right mentor for you and your business. Creating your own business or working hard towards a career goal can be exceptionally challenging – where it’s easy to slip into a negative mind-set and struggle with self-motivation.
The amazing thing about Mentors is that they can really help with clarity and direction, whilst offering guidance and advice; and actually, some of the most successful people in business are those with mentors.
I don’t mentor anyone at the moment, but I would definitely love to moving forwards, and hope that I can really help guide other Women in Business in the right direction.
If you could change one thing for women in the workplace, what would it be?
The main thing for me, would be the perception of Women’s roles compared to Men.
Where Men are perceived as strong leaders – Women are perceived as bossy. Where Men are perceived as decisive – Women are perceived as cut-throat and bitchy. What’s more, more and more Women in Business are fighting so hard for a place in the corporate World, that they are struggling to balance family life with it. Something, Men just don’t have to consider in the same way.
The need to transform perceptions exists here too. If a Women had an excellent job, but took her kids to school daily, no one would utter a word or think any differently. But if a Man stepped in and took the children to school, whilst the Woman went to work, people are more likely to praise the Man for contributing to family life, whilst questioning the Woman’s dedication to her family. For me, it’s these unequal perceptions that need to change, as if they can and they do – equality for Women in the workplace will soon follow.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
I would say that my biggest achievement in life, is the fact that I am persistent with my goals and dreams. Everything that I have set out to do, I have achieved – be it securing a degree in Broadcast Journalism to being on The Apprentice. There is no real secret here, just hard work, self-belief and determination.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My Mum is definitely my biggest inspiration. As a child, my Mum was a single parent, balancing work and Motherhood. I may not have appreciated this enough when I was little, but in growing up I am extremely thankful that she has shown me what can be achieved by really dedicating and applying yourself. She has always worked extremely hard and as a result taught me the true meaning of determination, and for this I am eternally grateful.
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
Well, what I can say is that despite leaving The Apprentice, this is not the last you will see of me.
I am still seeking investment in my business, which is a website that will help people secure their dream career through experiences. Ironically, my experience on The Apprentice has rekindled my love for broadcast journalism – a subject I studied at University – and so I will also be using my degree and Apprentice experience to pursue a career in radio and television.
What’s more, in creating and regularly contributing to my blog, I have discovered that many people are struggling with day to day life, just as I have in the past.
In the pursuit of happiness, many are losing touch with themselves spiritually. Through exercise and meditation I have learnt how to combat day-to-day stress, and how to channel positive thinking for success. I am extremely passionate about both meditation and mindfulness, and want to utilise it to help younger generations believe in themselves and go on to achieve what they want Therefore, I will continue to motivate others to go out and achieve their dreams, whether this be through public speaking, social media or other media platforms.
Ultimately, my business idea is about experiences, and I genuinely feel that this is my calling in life: To help others experience as much as they can, and go on to live a truly happy and fulfilled life.