The Executive Director of Vodafone and Chairman of the British Heart Foundation recently visited King Edward VI Academy for a talk with sixth form pupils.
In an engaging talk, Philip Yea, took time out of his busy schedule to share his knowledge with business studies students in year 12 and 13.
And the former non-Executive Director of Manchester United spelled out his recipe for a successful career: “Luck, not simple good luck but, ‘luck’, equals preparation with opportunity”, he said.
When many business people are complaining about the woes of the current economic situation, Philip argues there are actually ‘more opportunities’ for young people today.
This is because products and industries exist today which weren’t around just a few years ago.
He asked sixth formers: “How many of you know what you want to do in the future?”; to a mixed audience response, but said, this doesn’t matter, as he didn’t at that age either.
“success is more about having key skills and most importantly how you deal and interact with other people. You then need to be flexible and learn new skills as you move forward into your career”, he said.
With this formula, Philip recounted his last couple of weeks and said: “I would never have dreamed that on the Monday I would be working on a potential Spanish communications deal to strengthen Vodafone and on the Thursday, having dinner at Buckingham Palace in my role as business advisor to Prince Andrew.”
In the question and answer session, Philip was quizzed on a range of issues ranging from skills young people need in entering business, to running Manchester United and property prices in London.
Ms Prince, Head of Sixth Form commented: “Listening to a business leader with the gravitas of Philip Yea speak to our students was completely inspiring and I hope it gives them confidence that although the business world is changing fast, opportunities are continuously available for them to build successful careers.”