Dr. Randal Pinkett, CEO of the Newark based national consulting firm BCT Partners won season four of the reality television ‘The Apprentice’. He visited Berkeley College in Woodland Park to share his experience in business with students for the school’s Black History Month speaker’s series.
So what advice does the CEO of a billion-dollar company give to college students? Pinkett says to find your passion.
“It’s that passion that will drive you to overcome the challenges that will inevitably come, to jump over the hurdles that are going to get in your way, to stay the course and persevere. Because when you are passionate about what you do, it doesn’t feel like work,” Pinkett said.
Pinkett admits his experience working alongside Donald Trump on ‘The Apprentice’ opened his business to bigger opportunities.
“Having worked for Donald, and seeing the inner workings of a multi-billion dollar corporation, it made me say at some point in my tenure as his apprentice, if he can do this so can I. There’s no reason why I can’t run as large or a larger organization.”
So what about a career in politics? It was once a consideration for him.
“Back in 2007, then Governor John Corzine was quoting me to be his running mate for Lieutenant Governor, and the biggest criticism I got as my name got floated was who would elect a reality television star? And now here we are in 2017 and who’s our president? A reality television star,” Pinkett said with laughter.
Steven Cardona is a business administration student at Berkeley College. He hopes to run his own company.
“You need positive people around you. Somebody that’s going to encourage you, a mentor, and someday you can work for him [Pinkett] or you can even work for the president.”
Another student says Pinkett told him that experience is life’s greatest teacher.
“[It] doesn’t matter what you go through you always have that ability to bounce back as long as you have a positive mindset, positive outlook, keep grinding and keep going for it. Keep that perseverance going and you’ll succeed.”
Pinkett has authored several books on entrepreneurship. The book he’s currently working on highlights the African American leaders he looks up to.
“As an entrepreneur I’m inspired by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Cathy Hughes, I’m inspired by Cephas Bowles, an icon at WBGO and in Newark. I’m inspired by lesser known names like Dave Stewart who owns the largest black owned business in the country. I look to these individuals as examples of what I aspire to be. Maybe one day I can make black history.”