Tag Archives: Talk

Paul Donovan’s Keys To Success

Donovan during his "Keys To Success" talk at UCL.

Donovan during his “Keys To Success” talk at UCL. || Apologies for the poor camera quality; click to enlarge.

Months ago, a friend who I haven’t met in well over four years invited me to attend a guest talk titled “Keys To Success” by the CEO of Odeon UCI Cinemas Group, Paul Donovan. The talk was organised by one of the entrepreneurship societies here at University College London (UCL), and honestly, I was expecting a talk focusing on specific tips and tricks for achieving business success, and ultimately decided to go because I wanted to reunite with my friend.

Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised when, 10 minutes into the talk, it became evident that Donovan’s tips would not only be useful for aspiring businessmen/women, but also for anyone who will become or is already part of the world’s workforce. Granted, many of the tips are suggestions many people have echoed throughout the years (which arguably doesn’t undermine their value anyway), but a couple, especially those with a modern day twist,  I found rather eye-opening. Overall, the eight tips he elaborated across the hour reflect the wealth of experience Donovan has under his belt, and I found them so handy as well as agreeable to that I wanted to share them here for anyone to discover.

>> About Paul Donovan

In case you are unfamiliar with Paul Donovan and might therefore be questioning his legitimacy as a speaker – much like I was before the talk -, here is a quick bullet-point summary of his career progression thus far as told by Donovan himself during the talk (and as I later corroborated online after the talk [1] ):

  • Pre-1999: Held various commercial positions at BT, Cable & Wireless, Optus, Apple, Coca Cola, Schweppes, and Mars
  • 1999 – 2000: Member of the Executive Committee, Vodafone
  • 2001 – 2004: CEO, Vodafone Ireland
  • 2014 – present: CEO, Odeon UCI Cinemas Group (Europe’s largest cinema operator)
  • Other current roles: Non-executive directors, Millicom Cellular International and Upstream SA
  • Fun fact: Donovan is a UCL (my uni!) alumnus.

>> Keys To Success

  • The world is unfair, who you know counts
  • Numerical reasoning is more important than you think
  • Delving into the business world as a hired hand in a start-up is risky business
  • A blue chip start gives your more options in the future

    A bit on the technical/stock market jargon side here, but simply put, “blue chip” refers to corporations that are reputable, oftentimes globally-recognised, and can consequently reap profit despite market fluctuations – for the most part. Examples of blue chip companies include Citigroup Incorporated, Walt Disney Company, and McDonald’s Corporation.

  • Find companies that align with your values
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help and/or advice
  • Pitch your opening salary at the upper quartile, not the median 
  • Re-skill and up-skill on an ongoing basis

    Quick note on “re-skill” and “up-skill”, “re-skill” refers to learning new skills, whereas “up-skill” is elevating or sharpening the skills you already learnt previously.

Donovan then concluded his talk by listing the three most important personality traits that he believes make satisfying those keys to success all the more second nature: adaptability, communication, and curiosity.

>> What Do You Think?

  • Can you think of anything that’s missing from Donovan’s list?
  • Have you ever tried implementing any of the tips to advance your career? How did it go?
  • What do you think are the three most important personality traits for achieving any type of success?

>> Latest Post On This Category: London Livin’: Free Events In June

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London Livin’: Free Events In June

Another month, another list of free public events in London! This is the third events list under my London Livin’ series; feel free to check out this post to read about why I decided to start the series in the first place.

That being said, I, unfortunately, will be taking a three-month hiatus from making these lists as I spend summer break in Jakarta and Hong Kong. Not to worry, though, more eclectic entries under the “What’s Up?” category will hopefully be coming your way throughout summer. In the meantime, please enjoy this list for June and I’ll catch you with another free London public events listing in September (for October)!

* Wed, 1 Jun

* Thu, 2 Jun

* Fri, 3 Jun

* Sat, 4 Jun

* Tue, 7 Jun

* Wed, 8 Jun

* Thu, 9 Jun

* Sat, 11 Jun

* Mon, 13 Jun

* Tue, 14 Jun

* Wed, 15 Jun

* Thu, 16 Jun

* Fri, 17 Jun

* Sat, 18 Jun

* Mon, 20 Jun

* Tue, 21 Jun

* Wed, 22 Jun

* Thu, 23 Jun

* Fri, 24 Jun

Ongoing Throughout June

>> Previous Post On This Category: London Livin’: Free Events In May

London Livin’: Free Events In May

Second post under the London Livin’ series! Listed below are free public events taking place all over London in May 2016. As per usual, please leave any suggestions you would like to add into the list and/or comments letting me know if you’re going to any of these events so that we can potentially meet up! If you’re wondering about my rationale for starting this series, you can quickly read about it on this post.

That’s all from me for this month’s “What’s Up?” category, feel free to reach out to me over social media as I’m always open to connecting with new people, considering collaboration opportunities, or just simply becoming a sounding board for fellow bloggers and/or YouTubers ☺️

* Tue, 3 May

* Wed, 4 May

* Fri, 6 May

* Tue, 10 May

* Thu, 12 May

* Fri, 13 May

* Sat, 14 May

* Sun, 15 May

* Mon, 16 May

* Tue, 17 May

* Wed, 18 May

* Thu, 19 May

* Fri, 20 May

* Sun, 22 May

* Mon, 23 May

* Tue, 24 May

* Wed, 25 May

* Sun, 29 May

* Tue, 31 May

Ongoing Throughout May

>> Previous Post On This Category: London Livin’: Free Events In April

London Livin’: Free Events In April

Ever since I moved to London, I’ve found that making and refining a list of upcoming events that are happening across the city is one of the more effective ways to procrastinate. From public lectures and debates to exhibitions and pop-up markets, a great Londoner perk is that there’s always something going on – the next thing that blows your mind might just be around the corner, literally!

I love going to free public events, and every time I do, friends of mine would always ask where or how I discovered the event. Truth be told, I just spend time researching on the web and eventually got used to where I should look. Hence, for anyone out there who would like to make use of an up-to-date list of many (albeit not all) free public events happening in London, I’ll strive to compile a list monthly (that’ll hopefully increase in quality overtime) and post them on this blog under the “What’s Up?” category.

Realistically, I won’t be attending all the events I myself listed, but fingers-crossed, the lists will be useful to people other than myself. Words in green and underlined are hyperlinks; feel free to click on those to find out more about each event. Leave a comment if you’re going to any of these events or have suggestions of events that could be added into this list (or ones in the coming months), and who knows, we might be able to run into each other!

* Fri, 1 Apr

* Sat, 2 Apr

* Sun, 3 Apr

* Tue, 5 Apr

* Wed, 6 Apr

* Thu, 7 Apr

* Fri, 8 Apr

* Sat, 9 Apr

* Mon, 11 Apr

* Tue, 12 Apr

* Wed, 13 Apr

* Thu, 14 Apr

* Fri, 15 Apr

* Sat, 16 Apr

* Wed, 20 Apr

* Sat, 23 Apr

* Sun, 24 Apr

* Tue, 26 Apr

* Wed, 27 Apr

* Thu, 28 Apr

Ongoing Throughout April

>> Previous Post On This Category: Trying Out Flexitarianism