Last Friday was no ordinary day in Hazelwood College. Bill Cullen, the successful business man, famously known for his role in the popular television show ‘The Apprentice,” paid a memorable visit to the school.

The school was buzzing before his arrival; both students and teachers alike eagerly anticipating seeing the man in the flesh. Bill arrived fashionably late, with Jackie Lavin. The sixty nine year old jumped youthfully out of the Lexus and after salutations he strolled confidently into a classroom of nearly one hundred and fifty excited students. Bills presence and energy held his audience captivated for the whole talk. He began by telling us about his life growing up.

It all began by selling apples, in the markets in Dublin, with his mother and grandmother. It was this part of his life that would provide him with the selling skills he would need to make him the business man he is today. At age fourteen Bill was expelled from school for playing soccer. He then got himself a job working as a messenger boy for Waldron’s Ford Dealership in Dublin. Nine years later he was made Director General of the company. Bill then began to share the secrets of his success with us. His main ‘mantra’ as he called it was always to be in the top three of anything he ever did. This requires hard work, always striving to give that little bit extra, determination, persistence and most importantly confidence in oneself. He told us how important is to have a positive attitude and when you couple this with positive actions you can achieve powerful results. After the talk, he answered questions. In response to the question “What experience in your life stands out the most?” Bill’s answer was the time he met the Queen when she came to Ireland. This moment in his life stands out the most to him because he remembers her very animated smile on meeting him. When asked if he could see any benefits to the economic recession we are in now, his reply was “tough times make tougher people.”

Bills visit was certainly worth waiting for. His words were inspirational and his enthusiasm and happiness in his job, clearly seen, will hopefully have a positive effect and instil a ‘can do’ attitude within us for the future.

Huge congratulations are due to Celia Cremin, Patrick Twomey, Ms Griffin and the Business and LCVP Departments who have brought in two very high profile and inspirational speakers in John Brennan and Bill Cullen over the past fortnight.