By Andrew Jude Rajanathan
This time last year I was sitting in front of a Bloomberg screen compiling research notes and working on M&A pitches for a boutique firm in the City. A year later things look very different. Finance is no longer sexy, entrepreneurship is on everybody’s lips and the U.K government still scratches its head as to how on to get the company growing.
In the spring of 2011, four ‘City Grandees’ created the New Entrepreneurs Foundation (NEF) – a hands on apprenticeship scheme for high potential graduates to work directly with the founders and senior management team of rapidly growing companies in the U.K. By chance, I spotted an email for this very scheme around March and decided to apply. After a very intensive application process I was
extended an offer and a placement at Liv-ex: The Fine Wine Exchange.
Now, I’m typing this from the new Liv-ex offices located in Battersea, South London. Reflecting on the first five months of the programme, I can honestly say leaving behind the square mile to work for
entrepreneurial organizations may have been the best decision I ever made. The NEF programme has been incredible so far. In my current role at Liv-ex I have been given an extraordinary learning
opportunity and practical experience in all aspects of how a business works. From crafting a business plan for a new product to writing letters to shareholders and building financial models to working
on high-level strategy meetings, the scheme has certainly met my expectations. Throw in some fantastic training from the likes of Deloitte, McKinsey, London Business School and other brand name
organizations and you have an incredibly unique opportunity.
For anyone considering starting a company or just someone with abit of an entrepreneurial streak who doesn’t want to just do ‘a job’ then I think the New Entrepreneurs Foundation offers a fantastic
opportunity to secure first-hand experience.
I am a firm believer in the apprentice model and would hope that employers en masse begin to adopt this in place of the obligatory 3 year undergraduate degree.
For anyone who would like to know what is needed to secure a placement on this scheme – I cannot give you an answer. Everyone on here is different. We have people who have played sport at the national level for their countries, we have start-up entrepreneurs who have achieved exits, ex-management consultants and bankers, programmers and marketers and even ex-journalists (like me!). So there is no type but if you have conviction and you think that you’re the type of person for this programme or you want it to be you then I strongly urge you to apply.
• This is an intense application process, I did around 10~ interviews/assessments/tests etc to get through the entire thing. This is a test of stamina
• You will interview with the people running these companies. Do your research and really prove why you should work for them!
• If you reach the Assessment Centre, you will get 60 seconds to introduce yourself as one of the first things you do. Do something to stand out (for the right reasons) and you’ll stand head and shoulders above everyone else.
Apply For NEF Now : www.newentrepreneursfoundation.co.uk