John Nelson, former Chairman of Lloyds of London shares his passion for business and tells students he feels optimistic about the future for business in the UK despite Brexit.
John Nelson has had an illustrious career in business, which started back in 1970 when he qualified as a Chartered Accountant and culminated in his role as Chairman of Lloyds of London in 2017. He is however, still involved in roles that he has always had a passion for. The first is as Trustee and Deputy Chairman of the National Gallery and the second as Trustee and Chairman of the Chichester Harbour Trust.
On Monday 23rd April John took time as a volunteer for Speakers 4 Schools to visit the college to talk to students studying Business, Finance and Economics.
He started by outlining his career which included getting fired in his first job as an accountant! This he said "gave me a wake up call". He realised that he was much more interested in the wider business world and developed an interest in mergers and acquisitions. A decision which led him to work across a variety of business sectors and provided him with the opportunity to work in New York for a period. He encouraged students to take any opportunity to work overseas as he said "it broadens your horizons and gives you an edge over others in the world of business".
He shared his views on what business leaders want from their people; his advice was to stay curious, be energetic and look enthusiastic. He said he was optimistic about the future for the UK economy, despite Brexit and said that business will adapt to a new way of working with the EU, saying, "Britain is an enterprising country with a reputation for innovation in the business sector, particularly in financial services"
Looking to the future for the students in the room he recognised that their generation will have multiple job roles which technology will play a huge part in when it comes to the creation of jobs that are emerging everyday as the digital and tech revolution really takes hold. He stressed the importance of gaining qualifications but countered this with the importance of developing their soft skills to impress employers.
The Q & A session covered questions from students about a variety of topics which included the future of the NHS, to working in Europe after Brexit to who was the most famous person John had ever met, to which he answered "The Queen".
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