We are delighted to announce our fresh new intake of Ones to Watch have been welcomed into the alumni network in style! Nominated by their peers at the top 6 universities for being exceptional, they have been picked from over 1000 nominations as the top 100 graduates in the UK.
Freshminds Talent and alumni gathered at the nothing less than spectacular Innocent Drinks offices to welcome the new Ones to Watch into the network. After a couple of drinks (smoothies taking pride of place of course), everyone settled onto picnic tables under the bunting of the Innocent offices to listen to talks from an incredible line-up of speakers.
James Callander, MD of Freshminds Talent, kicked off proceedings and introduced the topics for the night - ‘is the recovery for real’ and ‘facing challenges’. We were then treated to a talk from Adam Balon, Co-Founder of Innocent, who kept the Ones to Watch network transfixed with his discussion of the journey he has been on – from working in consulting at McKinsey after graduating from Cambridge, to founding and growing Innocent - and the successes and challenges along the way.
Luca Ferrari, Head of EMEA at Greenhill and former partner at Goldman Sachs, fascinated the network with insights from his career and challenges he has faced. His captivated audience listened intently as he discussed ‘that week’ in September 2008 when the banking world was crashing around us. He advised that in order to face challenges head on, we need to break down problems into things we can control and focus on them.
Alison Wilson, Treasurer at Innocent, was up next and gave a fantastic talk about how Innocent approaches and deals with challenges, their key learnings, and the importance they place on developing and growing talent early - giving employees responsibility from the get-go. Alison highlighted the necessity of making every part of a business as robust and flexible as possible, to enable the company to respond to opportunities and challenges. She left us with the motivational thought that it doesn’t matter where we are in the economic maze, what matters is what we do now.
Like most of us, you’ve probably marvelled at the amazing upside down Udderbelly cow - one of the many strings to the Underbelly bow. Ed Bartlam, Co-Founder and Director of Underbelly, gave an inspirational talk about starting his business (“do I get a proper job and a proper suit after university, or do I go for it and build my fledgling business?”), things that work and a few hilarious stories about things that didn’t go so well! In the same vein as Alison, Ed highlighted the need for making changes quickly, not being stifled by systems and processes. Pearls of wisdom included focusing on strategy - how a clear strategy is one of the most important things you can give your business – and to always look at making improvements, keep on striving to make things better.
Last but not least, we welcomed George Bullard – an intrepid explorer and motivational speaker who we met as a Freshminds candidate. After summiting a picnic table and causing an excited commotion, George wowed his audience with his boundless enthusiasm and words of experience about taking on life-threatening challenges. George also taught us our ABC for getting the most out of life – Ambition, Bravery, Carpe Diem.
Drinks, nibbles and networking led up to the end of a fantastic evening. We look forward to the next event!
Huge thank yous to the team at Innocent, Adam Balon, Luca Ferrari, Alison Wilson, Ed Bartlam, George Bullard and the Fresh n Funky team for providing the delicious food!
About the Ones to Watch Scheme
Ones to Watch is the only peer-nominated talent spotting scheme in the UK, run across the top 6 universities. Freshminds whittle down over 1000 nominations to select the most outstanding 100 graduates as ‘Ones to Watch’ each year. Academically exceptional, commercially astute, well-networked and with outstanding extracurricular achievements - they are the leaders of tomorrow. To find out more about Ones to Watch please check out www.ones-to-watch.com