Old head on young shoul­ders

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

He’s 17 and al­ready a chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer and over the weekend Adam Wark was put through his paces with the coun­try’s best young en­trepreneurs.

As part of the Young En­ter­prise Scheme, run through schools, Adam was one of 80 stu­dents who had their busi­ness acu­men tested at Massey Univer­sity in Al­bany.

In teams, each with a men­tor from the busi­ness in­dus­try, they had to come up with a prod­uct, mar­ket­ing strat­egy and multimedia pre­sen­ta­tion to sell to a judg­ing panel that in­cluded rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Har­vard Busi­ness School and the com­pe­ti­tion spon­sors, FedEx.

Adam said last week he was ner­vous, but up for the chal­lenge.

‘‘It’s a great op­por­tu­nity for me to de­velop my skills, meet young people like my­self who are in­ter­ested in busi­ness, and make con­tacts.

‘‘I just have to go for it and see what hap­pens,’’ he said.

Al­though they did some re­search into past com­pe­ti­tions, Adam and his team went into the com­pe­ti­tion in the dark, be­cause the prod­uct they were asked to de­velop and mar­ket wasn’t re­vealed to them un­til Satur­day morn­ing.

‘‘We’ve got no idea what we’re in for, but it’s ex­cit­ing,’’ he said.

Adam is no stranger to be­ing an en­tre­pre­neur.

He and fel­low busi­ness stud­ies stu­dents Rachel Coates, Jamie Som­mer and Matt Cook cre­ated a com­pany, Or­chard Orig­i­nals, last year to sell their home­made or­ange and gin­ger jam as part of the Young En­ter­prise Scheme.

His busi­ness card lists him as chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer.

Adam and his class­mates took first place at a New Zealand-wide Dragon’s Den com­pe­ti­tion on the strength of the prod­uct and the way it was mar­keted and sold last year. In 2013, the jam made them $1300. It is avail­able at mar­kets and at the Round­about Bar in Tawa.

Adam’s year 13 sub­jects are busi­ness, eco­nom­ics, sta­tis­tics, me­dia stud­ies and his­tory.

He said he had lots of busi­ness ideas that he hoped to de­velop.

His ideas in­clude an app to help col­lege stu­dents.

Six of the 80 stu­dents from the com­pe­ti­tion in Auck­land will be cho­sen later this week to rep­re­sent New Zealand at the Ju­nior Achieve­ment In­ter­na­tional Trade Chal­lenge in Hong Kong in Au­gust.

Photo: KRIS DANDO

Busi­ness­minded: Tawa Col­lege stu­dent Adam Wark had a stern test of his busi­ness skills in Auck­land over the weekend.

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