Generation Success Summer Party

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The date, July 20th 2016. The venue, Mahiki London. The event, Generation Success Summer Party. On this particular summer evening, Generation Success and guests were transported to paradise. Surrounded by tropical and Polynesian decor, with vibrant, theatrical and delicious drinks in hand and Honolulu flowers galore. It was the perfect setting to thank the speakers, stakeholders and volunteers, that have contributed to the achievements and growth of Generation Success since its conception in 2013.

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Generation Success are a non profit organization which strives to provide young people with opportunities to build their specialized skills, partake in workshops and network with motivated and inspiring professionals of their aspired field. Generation Success is the platform bridging the gap for young people between education and employment and entrepreneurialism. The work they have accomplished would not be possible without the integral involvement of the numerous speakers, volunteers and stakeholders over the years.

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Founder James Adeleke delivered a powerful presentation, with the key message, “We are the next generation and we must come up with our own solutions. Just because this is the way things have been done, does not mean that it should be the way it is done.” His compassion and commitment to this enterprise could be understood through his speech, enthusing the audience and myself to emulate this passion. Adeleke identified the accomplishments so far of Generation Success, but what was just as exciting was hearing the future prospects and plans. Further talks and networking events will be held along with the GSPowerSeries. These programs include networking dinners which connect aspiring youth with leading industry professionals. The university challenge program, workshops which focus on that developing a youth’s employability and the mentoring program providing the skills to kick start young adult’s new careers.

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His words during this event and previous Generation Success events have impacted me greatly and it was wonderful to see and feel the same enthusiasm from the rest of the guests. What more, a fantastic video, comprising of testimonials from previous attendees was shown, validating the success and impact of the company.

With a joyful buzz in the air, wacky cocktails in hand and good-humored conversation, it was only fitting for us to show our appreciation and gratitude to our committed speakers and volunteers attending, by holding a raffle. Some great prizes were up for grabs, provided by our dedicated sponsors. First prize an hour’s photography session with Sam Lane Photography, worth £150, second prize a signed copy of Business Evolution by Janice B Gordon, third prize a crate of craft L’Atypique cider and the final prize a fine bottle of wine.

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1st Prize Winner David Smith

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2nd Prize Winner Maria Fernandes

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3rd Prize Winner Carol Stewart

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4th Prize Winner Sophia Moulti

It was a fantastic evening, which GS members and speakers clearly enjoyed. The first of its kind, but hopefully not the last.

With special thanks to our guests and to Mahiki London for sponsoring and hosting the event.

Written by Aashfaria Anwar

Generation Success Testimonial a members story

Generation Success provided me with many great experiences and gave me the confidence to make extremely valuable contacts and have the best professional year of my life so far!

 

These are some highlights of what I’ve achieved and been part of, using the things I’ve learnt with Gen Success:

* I had an idea for a start up technology company and fell in love with it as a future user straight away and wished I could log online and experience the service there and then.

* This idea tormented with my view of what I wanted my future to look like. After a ton of sleepless nights, I decided that I wanted to be the founder and CEO of my own tech company – no matter how intimidating that goal was for me. James Adeleke gave me the inspiration and confidence to make this decision.

* I “witnessed” the process of the uni society I am group secretary of (BPP FCD) becoming a community interest company named Generation Success. After hosting a wealth of incredibly successful entrepreneurs from James Caan to Bob Geldof at our events, James Adeleke is now on a direct path to become one himself.

* Joined a startup with a kick ass concept: One Minute London. Having One Minute trailers to peruse before making restaurant bookings was a great way to cut out bad experiences and it was a brand I felt really excited to represent. I joined on a sales internship and found out I wasn’t good at cold calling at all. But I still became good friends with the founder Nelson Sivalingam due to his unerring passion for entrepreneurship and openness in talking about his experiences both past and present. Since my first day with One Minute London it has won numerous awards and Nelson continues to be a treasured friend and mentor.

* I won a week’s worth of work experience with a regional law firm after selling the most raffle tickets with BPP FCD.

* I attended a total of 4 Silicon Drinkabouts – where I met some great, friendly and very encouraging people working in the tech start up industry. I also attended NACUE’s Start Up Career Launch Pad, hearing from founders and very senior figures of very successful start ups such as Future Ad Labs and Airbnb – before having a chat with the CTO of Songkick regarding my startup idea and getting his take on the competition.

* Led a team of 3 other people to come runners up in the Rise To challenge after 6 intense weeks of promoting charitable causes in order to develop entrepreneurial skills.

Due to the strength of our campaign and our close come back during testing circumstances, we won the unprecedented prize of a free website build (2nd place received no prizes in previous years). I am in the process of using the prize to create a landing page with a sign up sheet for my start up idea.

I also gave the best presentation of my life, using the movie 300 as a point of reference and making multiple jokes about Gerard Butler’s buff physique. I received numerous compliments on the presentation and the audience was full of laughter (for all the right reasons)!

* I connected with Tim Jackson, whose technology company was sold for a staggering $1.9 BILLION several years ago.

I received personal advice from Tim and we reviewed my business plan together after I attended several events in which he was a guest speaker, before giving him a 30 second “elevator pitch” whilst running down some stairs with him as he was leaving in a hurry.

* I listened to Brett Akker speak at the UK business expo about his passion for industry disruption, his experience creating and selling his first company (Streetcar) to Zipcar for £32 million, and the creation of his new storage company called LOVESPACE.

At the same event I also spoke with the UK chief executive of Just Eat (who gave me a verbal commitment to arrange coaching for our One Minute London sales team).

* 4 days after my last exam at university I was interviewed for a role with LOVESPACE, I was offered a job at the interview itself. I happily accepted and began my first graduate job.

* During my time with LOVESPACE I experienced the dynamics of properly working with a start up team day to day and gained a wealth of knowledge as we were a small team – of between 8 to 12 people – running the company’s nationwide operation every day.

* I was fortunate enough to have worked with the CEO of LOVESPACE (Steve Folwell) and also with Brett on my business plan and future plans. Both are incredible people in their openness and willingness to provide guidance and access to their experience, and provided me with the confidence to know that my ambitions weren’t totally insane.

* I then left LOVESPACE in order to find a role that would build my skills in digital marketing.

* Less than a month later I joined Glow Digital Media, an official global advertising partner for Facebook and Twitter. Glow is also a startup that has in total raised over €5m in funding so far.

* I won a pass worth £350 for the events that were part of Social Media Week in London, and attended in preparation for my first day with Glow

* At Glow I was given my first independent client (based in Milan, Italy). I was in charge of everything for this client: day to day communications, weekly progress calls, strategy for spending their budget, ad campaign optimisation etc.

* After meeting with the chief of USA Operations at Glow whilst on my holiday in America, I found out that in early 2015 I will be moving to NYC to work from there on a permanent basis and also be fast tracked towards my first promotion!

Asif Chowdhury
LinkedIn
asifchowdhury@hotmail.co.uk

 

My First Generation Success Experience

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find, the harder I work the more I have of it” – Thomas Jefferson

Or to slightly change the age old belief, “I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I (want to, or do) work the more I have of it”.

This was my mind-set when, at the beginning of December, I initially set myself the goal of making sure I attend as many events as possible — in order to connect with others, and find possible clients for my start-up (Synthe). So, it wasn’t (much of) a surprise when (literally out of nowhere) I was informed a few hours later of the Generation Success event happening on the following day (December 2nd).

You can probably guess what I did next…

Unexpectedly, due to other speakers being unable to attend on the day, the final session of the year was delivered by the founder of Generation Success, James Adeleke. After everything was done, two main takeaways which I got from listening to James’ story and the answers he gave in response to audience questions:

There will never be a perfect time to start, so do it now!

I’m sure we’ve all had an idea which we’ve put off for some reason or the other, like…

“I’ll wait until next year”

“I just need my workload to lighten up a bit before I start”

“I have no money to start”

“I don’t feel up to it today, so I’ll get onto it tomorrow”

“It’s just not the right time”

The thing is, there will never be the “right time”. So, if you keep holding it off — whether it’s the amazing idea, a new fitness regime, or whatever else — with the expectation that there will be a time when everything falls perfectly into your lap, you will end up waiting a very long time. Until you reach a point where you won’t be able to act on your idea/make a change to your life.

This brings me onto my second takeaway:

Don’t fear change… Embrace it

“OK, so I want to make the jump now, but I can’t seem to take the first step…”

Another thing which also prevents people from acting on their ideas or making that necessary change to their life is, FEAR.

● Fear of failure
● Fear of shame/embarrassment
● Fear of being outside comfort zone

As Seth Godin says in The Icarus Deception, “outside of your comfort zone is where the magic happens” — or something to that effect. The point is, you probably won’t accomplish anything great by staying within these invisible parameters either you or society (or usually a combination of the two) has set up.

So, whatever it is you want to do… please, just do it!

Also, one additional takeaway, which wasn’t something said but instead done, is learn to be a good listener and really care about others — as even after the session officially ended, James spent an additional hour or so listening to and answering the questions of all attendees who stayed behind to ask them.

To sum up the whole experience… basically, I’ll be at every Generation Success event I can make it to for 2015 and beyond. Hopefully, I’ll see you there, too?

By Wilson Oryema

The Insider’s Perspective 28/10/14

28 October 2014

The Insider’s Perspective

This blog intends to do exactly what it says on the tin, give readers an insider’s perspective of Generation Success. Who am I: I have been part of this company since it was a student society at university where I studied law alongside James Adeleke.  Admittedly I have taken a break from Generation Success to focus on my LPC and as I have recently finished I have found my way back to the company starting with the Breaking Barriers series of events.  I was very pleased to see new faces in the team and a more diverse range of volunteers and team members. Having been part of the team since 2011 I have seen this company grow from the amazing and hardworking James Adeleke’s vision of tackling social mobility to a successful budding business which helps professionals, entrepreneurs and young people achieve their goals though our workshops, talks and more.  Success can be measured in many ways, a couple of examples in my opinion is having developed a strong team and work ethic, and how Generation Success has reached out to professionals and young people and to see them take action; to take that first step to make their dreams come true. That could be anything from networking with the people who are going to help them in their career at one of our events or to take inspiration from talks we host and take action by, for example, creating a plan for their careers. These are just two encouraging statements of the many which were presented by the speakers at last night’s event: ‘Breaking Barriers: black history month special’.

We were lucky to have such inspirational speakers on the panel at this event which was hosted at BPP Waterloo including:

  • Sonia Browne (MBE) who works in Professional Training & Coaching National Black Women’s Network (NBWN), Diversity Plus;
  • Sharla Duncan – Ceo and Founder at Team Up, CEO and Founder at Yelp Student, Venture Lead at the Shaftesbury Partnership Ltd.
  • Derick Tuitt – Director of Social Innovation at HP;
  • Paul Smith – Chairman at Eversheds LLP;
  • Sajna Rahman who works in Facilities Management at Sodexo,
  • Jenny Garrett- who works in Leadership Development at Reflexion Associates,

We were also lucky enough to have workshops executed by the following professionals:

  • Anastasia Petrova who works in banking at The Royal Bank of Scotland;
  • Sajna Rahman and Samantha Bowman;
  • Sonia Browne;
  • Derick Tuitt;
  • Jenny Garrett and Janice Gordon.

The following link contains the speakers’ bios which were handed to attendees of last night’s event. https://www.dropbox.com/s/zedtoxrhkv5vztd/COMBINED.docx?dl=0

Please attend our next event ‘Breaking Barriers in your career’ 17 November 2014 at BPP Waterloo. http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/breaking-barriers-in-your-career-business-tickets-13171555477

Preeti Ghandial
Events Co-ordinator