September 15 2015
Star of The Apprentice means business ahead of university events in October
YOU’RE HIRED! A Welsh university has recruited a star of TV’s The Apprentice to give students and businesses a lesson in entrepreneurship ahead of a popular open day.
Lawyer Felipe Alviar-Baquero – who made it to week nine of the hit BBC One show last year – will appear at the next meeting of The Glyndwr Club at Glyndwr University Wrexham.
The event takes place at the Catrin Finch Centre from 6pm-8pm on Friday, October 9, where there will be a Q&A session and drinks reception.
The popular contestant is also to visit the university’s open day the following morning from 10-11am, where he will give advice to prospective students and share stories from his time on the programme.
However, despite coming eighth out of 20 contestants, Felipe admits to knowing very little about the man who could have been his new business partner - Lord Alan Sugar.
“Is Lord Sugar as mean in real life as he appears on TV? To be honest I don’t know who is the real Lord Sugar, I’d love to meet him one day for a coffee and find out!” said the 34 year-old.
“I applied to The Apprentice for three reasons; because I wanted to change indoor play areas in the UK, because I believe that the programme is one of the few on TV that ignites people – especially students – and because I have an entrepreneurial spirit.
“I’m glad I did, but life has not really changed too much. I’m back in the City in London and people have been lovely, I just have more opportunities to talk about entrepreneurship and how to create an entrepreneurial culture.”
Born in Colombia, Felipe came to the UK for six months to study English and fell in love with the country. He later attended the University of Kent to study Law, working his way through college and graduating with First Class honours.
A distinguished career followed including a training contract with FTSE 100 company, Slaughter and May, before his television stint and new roles as a trustee of Children of the Andes (COTA), a UK registered charity working in Colombia to support and protect vulnerable children. He is also a supporter of the Demelza House Enterprise Scheme.
However, business is Felipe’s great passion and The Apprentice experience showed him he “does not change for anything or anyone”, giving him a new impetus in the commercial arena.
He stands by his decision to face-off against the disgruntled billionaire when his team purchased a paper skeleton while trying to find a loophole on a shopping task, a risk which eventually saw him lose his place among the candidates.
On exiting the show he assured viewers “this is not the end of Felipe!”, and he was right, carving a new career for himself as a motivational speaker and still practising law.
“As I said, appearing on the programme has given me new opportunities, such as visiting Glyndwr University and speaking to the students about what being an entrepreneur actually means,” said Felipe.
“My advice to them is to do what you love and are passionate about, because that’s what I am doing.”
And he’s hoping his time in Wrexham is far less painful than his last visit to the country.
“I love Wales and the Welsh people, it’s a beautiful place,” said Felipe.
“Last time I visited I had appendicitis, but the people at the hospital were amazing and I’m sure this time will be a lot more comfortable!”
Professor Chris Jones, Head of the Business School at Glyndwr University Wrexham, said Felipe’s appearance at The Glyndwr Club and open day will appeal to all sections of society, not just those in the private sector.
“I’m sure everyone will be interested to hear Felipe’s guide to business success and stories about his time on the show,” said Professor Jones.
“We are thrilled that he will be coming to see us here in Wrexham; it’s a real coup for the university and reinforces our position as one of the fastest-growing universities and business schools in the country.”
To book your place, and for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit bit.ly/glyndwrclub. Follow @theglyndwrclub on Twitter. To register for the next open day, which takes place from 10am to 2pm on Saturday October 10, visit www.glyndwr.ac.uk