Preston based chef and University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) Honorary Fellow Paul Heathcote MBE has given students of the UCLan LaunchPad scheme the benefit of his business talent and skills.
The UCLan introduced LaunchPad, a prestigious leadership and career development programme designed to help students achieve professional goals. It offers a great opportunity for students to enjoy personal mentoring and coaching from industry specialists who will provide an essential link to the business world and, in their final year, guide them through the highly competitive selection process. They then have a great helping hand to either gain entry to the Top 100 companies in the UK, an international career or becoming an entrepreneur.
The two groups of Lancashire Business School undergraduates, who are members of the LaunchPad scheme, were given the opportunity to quiz the local chef and entrepreneur on how he climbed the career ladder.
During his entrepreneurial masterclass talk Paul highlighted how he learnt from the best people while honing his cooking talents at The Connaught Hotel, The Savoy and Le Monde aux Quat’Saison.
Paul then left to start his own business and received two Michelin Stars in 1994.
Over the years he has developed his restaurant portfolio but told students: “Sometimes working clever and smart is better that working hard, though to achieve something you still need to work hard.”
During the session at the Harris Library in Preston, he told them: “Being a chef and an entrepreneur taught me to plan and to listen a lot.
“The keys to success are asking good questions and mixing with really good, successful people. The same can be said when you start your career in your job. Don’t go for average, go work for the best even if you start at the bottom.”
Stephen Huyton, a BA(Hons) Marketing Management student from Chorley, said: “The presentation by Paul was really good. He’s a great inspirational speaker from the North West and has worked his way up in a successful business manner.
“It was interesting to hear how someone who comes from Bolton has turned into a nationally known businessman with a successful company. It has given us all the inspiration to actually go out and achieve our set goals.”
Francesca Walker, Launchpad Programme Leader, added: “The session with Paul Heathcote was truly inspirational on a number of levels: he’s an entrepreneur who’s successful in his own right, his vision and his drive to achieve are the messages that need to be spread at much wider level than just here.”