Bianca Miller returns to Sydenham High to inspire students

Entrepreneur, businesswoman and Apprentice runner-up Bianca Miller returned to her old school, Sydenham High GDST, last week (26 February), as part of a day of talks and workshops to help prepare students for life after school.

The 26-year old, who runs a successful branding and training business in Bromley and narrowly missed out on The Apprentice crown last December, ran a workshop for Year 13 Sixth Formers about employability and building a personal brand – topics that are now integral to success in the competitive world of work and that Bianca passionately believes students should start thinking about even before they begin a university career.

The students were challenged to make elevator pitches – 30-second summaries about themselves – and were given tips for writing a great CV and developing a networking culture.  Bianca also urged them to take care with their social media profiles and make this the first day of thinking about themselves as a brand, in preparation for their futures.

Bianca also held a Q&A session so that girls from Years 6 to 13 got the opportunity to ask her all those burning questions about her time on The Apprentice as well as her own career journey, her plans for her skin-tone hosiery business and, of course, her time at school.

Bianca said that she had taken a huge risk in entering The Apprentice process as she had had to leave her successful business, The Be Group, to take part.  However the risk paid off as the publicity from the show has helped her to grow her existing work and her hosiery business plan, Bianca Miller London, is on schedule to launch this Autumn.

She also confirmed that, yes, the candidates do only get 20 minutes to get ready; the boardroom is truly scary; the café where the losing team meet is a real place; the interviews were by far the hardest task and her favourite moment was launching the drinks brand in New York.

In answer to a question about what her time at Sydenham High had given her, Bianca said that being in an all girls school had allowed her to feel that everything was within her reach so she never felt uncertain of her ability and strength when she started to work in the corporate world and a mixed business environment.

Afterwards Bianca attended a reception with staff, school governors and the Sixth Form Young Leadership team, which included a display of highlights from her time at school.

Headteacher Kathryn Pullen told Bianca: “It is a pleasure to have you back in school. The Sixth Form really found the session both helpful and inspiring and the Q&A got everyone buzzing. Your warmth and presence are truly charismatic and the girls are proud to feel that someone like you started as someone like them; this really helps them take on board the need to take calculated risks in their own career journeys.”