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Friday, May 05, 2006

Apprentice UK: Ruth is Sett for a Showdown with Michelle

The Apprentices Paul And Ansell Are History

Apprentice Ansell - Should He Have Gone?

Ansell was my first choice to win. Not just because he's a "nice guy" but because I think he's got some proven talent at selling and also seems quite organised.

Certainly he came over well in the post firing review show. Sir Alan recognised that too and was obviously struggling between Ansell and Ruth as to who he should "let go".

The fact that Ruth has been in the boardroom so often and was more of a known
quantity with Sir Alan may have swung it away from Ansell.

Although Sir Alan did say he would keep in contact with Ansell down the line to make sure he was OK.

Personally I think Ansell is going to get some good job offers. My advice Ansell is think
them all through first. And don't let big bucks decide what you want to do. Choose what you know is right for you and your ambitions.

Apprentice Paul - Too Many Mistakes During
His Interview

Paul was never going to win unless he had a great CV. Which let's face it he hadn't. Now that beggars belief for someone who is a recruitment consultant. Doesn't he get people jobs, based on their CVs? Doesn't he coach them on getting through interviews? And if he's so high flying why is he only on £25k?

Maybe the company that employs thinks he wasn't going to set the world alight and would come back to them more loyal, because they kept his job open. And that firm is going to get great publicity for doing so and give its current and prospective staff a good feeling about their company's employee-caring image. And it won't hurt the company when it comes to get people into their clients either.

What baffled me was that Nick (one of Sir Alan's aides) continued to support Paul in his attempt to become The Apprentice.

My advice to Paul is, you're only 25, being in business for 3 years doesn't mean very much, at all. Learn more about how the business you're in works and use that as a base to go onto bigger and better things. Also make sure your CV matches reality and you don't make any politically stupid observations, like the one about the Big Issue sellers needing to know about their market, in interviews or the one where you said that you lied in your job - not a great admission of integrity is it?

Apprentice Michelle - Handled Herself Well

Michelle. Well she was the first one Sir Alan chose to stay for the final. To my mind she was the outsider.

I thought she didn't project manage the Top Shop task particularly well, which for a self-professed programme manager was suprising.

Her £100k salary as a contract programme manager is certainly feasible but I suspect that is probably the ceiling, or maximum she'd earn a year. So her incentive to get into Amstrad is so that she can get a definite £100k and prove herself to Sir Alan.

If she wins it doesn't matter whether Sir Alan keeps her on after her year because her CV has instantly become much more impressive as the winner of
The Apprentice.

Michelle did some good interviews and answered some tough questions from Sir Alan well. And don't forget as contract programme manager she is used to being interviewed for contract jobs. That means she has her story worked out. That said, she has obviously worked extremely hard to get from where she was to where she is now. After her performance she has moved up in my estimation, but I still don't think she's as good as Ansell.

Apprentice Ruth, or Apprentice Badger, - Hanging On By Her Toenails

So "The Badger" (Ruth) is set to stay the course as Sir Alan plumped for her in the final rather than Ansell. We thought she'd get to the final as the show has gone on.

Everyone of her interviewers picked up on her claim of being a "fundamental part" of growing the company she worked for from £3 million to £13.1 million. They were pretty much suprised.

How was she fundamental? I'd be interested to know too. Her claim of cost cutting just doesn't grow profits that spectacularly.

Now tell me what sane person does the following:

  1. says to their company shove the well paid job even if you're offering me a leave of absence
  2. Overlook the fact that they're regarded as a hero by the MD
  3. Ignore the 250,000 share options

All just for the 1 in 12 chance of a one year job with Sir Alan Sugar?

Particularly when her company had said they'd be happy if she took a sabbatical and would take her back! She waffled on about reviewing her options after the show...maybe she's trying to take James Max's niche in The Times for next year's Apprentice?

If she's reviewing her options she cut one straight out didn't she?

Interestingly she was honest enough to say that some people left her company when she was appointed. Really I think that simply underlines what Sir Alan caught onto a few weeks ago.

Ruth seems to be interested in herself. It looks as though if others are unhappy it doesn't matter as long as the responsibilities she's been given are followed through. That is the sales are made, the costs are saved, the tasks completed and all the boxes ticked.

There's no doubt that Ruth has the most impressive selling record of everyone on the show. But you can be a salesman with lots of ego and no empathy. Which is not a recipe for happy
clients or staff. The questions Sir Alan needs to ask are:

  1. can she can work well with the people in Amstrad's companies and with
    their clients?
  2. Is he only looking for a saleperson?

So who do I think is going to get fired in The Apprentice final?

... Sign up to get an email and you'll find out!

And hopefully I won't have to write the next episode's review on a low spec library computer whilst NTL takes hours to repair a server!

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