A Royal and a Reindeer

This week’s blog from the AKS students is by Sam, one of our successful Tycoon in School entrepreneurs and who had the privilege to visit Buckingham Palace last week as a national finalist.

Stepping into a room worth millions of pounds with artefacts, paintings and statues, just strewn across the room, some over two thousand years old, has a habit of putting things into perspective. On Monday, the 6th of March, we were given the privilege of attending Buckingham Palace, a centre of British culture at least since 1837 and the accession of Queen Victoria, if not as early as 1703 when it was constructed. Despite the two-hour wait – surrounded by enamoured tourists – and the monumental journey down squandered, playing cards and several trips to find the on-board shop, it was more than worth it and has provided us with an experience that we will not soon forget.

We arrived in London for around 11:00 and, after grabbing a sandwich each and a bag of crisps, found ourselves sat in Green Park; where we were instantly assaulted by the local pigeon population who seemed very interested in our reindeer or maybe it was our food. Once we had rescued the reindeer – appropriately named Rudolf and Olaf; courtesy of a poor joke – we journeyed on to the palace and, for the first time, met with our competition. One group that particularly stood out was the bask of Blue Bowtique; a charming rabble of Year Six students from Barnby Road Academy who were kind enough to let us wait in their minibus and even fitted some of our group with their bespoke bows. Eventually we were escorted into the palace itself, where we were immediately overwhelmed by the rich character and culture of the grounds themselves. We were even more honoured as HRH the Duke of York himself and the illustrious Peter Jones greeted us after the ceremony and took the time to speak to each group about their businesses. As a special request of the Duke of York, we have been asked to craft one last reindeer for Red Nose Day, on the 24th of March to even possibly be displayed at the BBC studios – which means we may need to dust off the workshop again!

In short, the whole trip was the experience that may only happen once in a lifetime and for some people it may not happen at all. Despite coming runners-up at the last hurdle, I think it is important to understand what a tremendous achievement it was for all the finalists just to get to the last stage and the lessons that we learnt from the experience as a whole will be invaluable to us all throughout life, especially to those people thinking of running their own businesses. We also hope to pass on these skills to the younger pupils of our school by helping them to start their own entrepreneurial adventures while our mentoring abilities grow as a result. As the end of the competition stands recently behind us, we can look back at the development of our leadership and group-working skills, not to mention our ability to adapt to new situations, lateral thinking and a general growth of our character.

Sam, Year 12