With the eighth series now underway, students put their work and interview experience into practice to assess the first feat of Sir Sugar’s latest hoard of entrepreneurial hopefuls.
On The Student Room, the majority of students were sharing their reactions to the first episode of The Apprentice series eight in realtime on the dedicated The Apprentice 2012 thread, with others contributing later after catching up on BBC’s iPlayer.
Round 1 Feedback
‘The Apprentice makes for good tv, unrealistic, but good tv. No one has really caught my eye yet this series, from last season Jim stood out for me immediately.’
The first episode, “Blank Canvas”, challenged the teams to buy blank goods, print their own design, and then sell them in and around London.
‘Phoenix just seems to imply that things have gone really wrong in the past…’
On the whole, students were generally uninspired by both the team names (Phoenix and Sterling) and the products, in addition to the absence of leadership among the male candidates during the appointment of the task’s project manager.
‘At first, I didn’t like the cartoon animals; however, on the second look, it was a good design choice for kids’ products.’
In reaction to the products, some liked both the teams’ offerings, however, there was agreement that the London theme, though potentially popular with tourists, was in no way original.
‘Was thinking exactly the same are Karren, you can get Union Jack and London bus products anywhere.’
- Business acumen
‘Girls should’ve budgeted first tbh’
On the numbers side, posts agreed that the boys’ teddy bears were overpriced and that both the girls’ budgeting and sales techniques were flawed.
‘Why won’t the girls separate?!?!’ / ’Should have left two at the zoo and two for the shops.’ / ‘…london zoo team wanted to ‘take turns’ in selling like a bunch of pansies!’
There was universal criticism of the girls tactics in the zoo employing a four-person sales team over individual sellers. The only assumption was that this was due to the rules and the cameras being spread too thin.
‘…if a company has more than one person trying to sell stuff, they’ll be spread out, on each side of the street… For not thinking of going somewhere else to sell, all of the other three in that zoo sub-team should have been fired…’
- Interpersonal skills
‘That was so unprofessional. That shopkeeper looked traumatised.’
There was also criticism of the girls’ overbearing interaction with the reluctant shopkeeper, although other posts were more sympathetic to their heavy-handed approach.
‘I think they all crammed into the shop out of panic, it wasn’t an intentional pressure sell, just one out of desperation (though that’s no excuse).’
‘I think Gabriel has more in her and she got pressured in sometimes. Want her to stay, but the PM usually gets the sack during the first task so not hopeful.’
Similarly, some felt that the girls even pressured their own project manager, and were concerned that this could have sealed her first round fate, and Jane was specifically observed as coming across too strong.
‘Jane is a horrible team worker and too bitchy. Want her to leave.’
Nevertheless, the boys’ project manager shone through.
‘The male team leader [Nick Holzherr] was brilliant I thought, seemed very switched on and intelligent. Think he will be a strong contender.’
‘you don’t go begging for mercy like that in the boardroom.’
Although there was more consensus around where it went wrong for Team Sterling, there were mixed opinions on who should have been fired instead.
‘I actually liked Bilyana…she was a controversial entertaining candidate whereas Katie seems like a black sheep (unless that[']s her game plan…keep quiet, don’t annoy anyone and you’ll be under the radar when the PM chooses the other two people to bring back to the boardroom!)’
Many were surprised that Biliana was the one to go but agreed that ultimately she talked herself out of the running.
‘Bilyana just didnt know how to keep her mouth shut! When Lord Sugar speaks you don’t!’
- ‘…time for someone else to make a fool of themselves next week…’
‘Most annoying so far – tie between Jenna and Maria. A lot of the guys seemed to blend in a bit today…’
So with Biliana gone its on to round 2, and TSR is poised to see if the members of Team Sterling can redeem themselves and even the score.
‘Looking forward to next weeks episode to see how Gab does, darn, these girls are fiesty!!’