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Independent Schools’ Inspectorate, 2010 (Girls’ Division)

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Technology Assists Alumni Talks

Monday, 13 March 2017

  • Skype Talk - Rob Dobson Threatre
  • Skype Talk - Rob Dobson
  • Skype Talk - Adam Crook FaceTime
  • Skype Talk - Adam Crook

Technology allowed two Old Boys to connect with current Boys’ Division students. Rob Dobson and Adam Crook used Skype and FaceTime to speak to a Year 13 audience to give insightful and interesting accounts of their careers.

Rob Dobson is an entrepreneur who left Bolton School in 1982 and built a business for himself. He managed to get involved in the emerging industry of mobile phones, at first working with both software and hardware but then moving to just software and eventually developing what would become mobile phone network analytics. His company was a success, but after fifteen years he decided to change direction and become more involved in the technology again. He is now an ‘angel investor’, using a combination of his tech expertise and experience in running a business to help new businesses get up and running.

He gave the Year 13 students an overview of his fascinating career path before moving on to advise them on some of the attributes that entrepreneurs need. He highlighted that building a company from scratch is hard work, and that there is no limit to the amount of effort you can put in. He also said that the ability to persuade people is important. Finally, he talked about the importance of luck and the fact that luck can be created with some effort and forward-thinking by making sure that you are in the right place at the right time, or that you know the right people.

Rob took questions from the Sixth Form, talking at length about the Internet of Things. He also discussed the fact that he found the social aspect of university very much worthwhile, and gave advice about the difference between persistence and wasting energy on a lost cause, and how best to know the difference between the two.

Adam Crook left Bolton School ten years after Rob in 1992 and went on to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He reached Captain by 2001, and was then faced with the choice of remaining in the military for life or starting a second career. He decided to complete an MBA and went into investment banking, initially working for Barclays Capital before moving to Goldman Sachs where he is a Managing Director.

He was able to talk to the Year 13 students about the difference between investment banking and retail banking and also about what investment banks do, and also answered pupils’ questions about this field.

At the end of the session, the Year 13 boys were given an introduction to LinkedIn by Mrs Firth, the School’s Development Manager.

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