This is where all the past winners of The Apprentice went to university

Surprisingly, only one of them studied business

The Apprentice is all about finding the next big thing in business. After weeks of tasks trying to impress Lord Sugar, only one candidate can take home the investment into their brand or idea. But, from watching them lose their heads in the challenges, you might forget all the cast members have created businesses and are clearly very switched on, passionate people. A lot of the past winners of The Apprentice went to university, and got degrees in subjects very close to their businesses now.

The team at Accommodation For Students has looked into which of the former winners have been to university and how their higher education benefited their entrepreneurial endeavours. Here is a rundown of all the previous winners of The Apprentice who went to university, and what they studied.

Harpreet Kaur – 2022 – Leeds Metropolitan University, The Open University

Winners of The Apprentice who went to university

via BBC

Harpreet is the latest winner of the show and recipient of Lord Sugar’s £250k investment into her dessert parlour business, Oh So Yum. The season 16 winner first studied marketing and advertising management at Leeds Metropolitan University for one year from 2009 to 2010.

Alongside her full time job at Barclays Bank, Harpreet also undertook a leadership and management course at the Open University, and received a first class honours degree.

Sian Gabbidon – 2018 – The University of Huddersfield 

via BBC

Winner of season 14 of the Apprentice, Sian received investment into her premium swimwear brand, Sian Marie, which is now a full clothing brand. Sian received a first class honours degree in fashion marketing with design and production from the University of Huddersfield in 2014. 

James White – 2017 – Keele University

via BBC

In a first for the show, at the end of season 13, James White was one of two winners, tying for the win with Sarah Lynn. They each received a £250k investment from Lord Sugar, James getting cash for his recruitment business, Right Time Recruitment.

James did a BA degree in international business, and on LinkedIn says his final year project involved him creating a business plan, which allowed him to gain valuable skills in all sectors of business, financing a plan, and adapting to help business strategies. Clearly this was helpful for him! 

Sarah Lynn – 2017 – Royal Holloway

Winners of The Apprentice who went to university

via BBC

The second joint winner of season 13 alongside James White was Sarah Lynn – who was also named as Lord Sugar’s business partner in 2017. Her online sweet business, Sweets in the City, also received investment. Sarah graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2002 with a degree in history and politics. 

Dr Leah Totton – 2013 – The University of East Anglia, The University of Cardiff

via BBC

Dr Leah, who won in season nine, partnered with Lord Sugar on her successful cosmetic skin clinic business, Dr Leah Cosmetic Skin Clinics. Dr Leah is one the highest-level educated candidates ever. She studied a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree at The University of East Anglia, and worked as an NHS doctor for eleven years. 

After winning the show and partnering with Lord Sugar, Dr Leah returned to education in 2016, undertaking a Master’s degree in clinical dermatology.

Ricky Martin – 2012 – Cardiff University

Winners of The Apprentice who went to university

via BBC

Ricky Martin ran a specialist science recruitment business, and was named as Lord Sugar’s business partner in season eight of the show. Ricky studied a BSc degree in biochemistry with medical biochemistry, graduating from Cardiff in 2006. 

Tom Pellereau – 2011 – Bath University

via BBC

Inventor and entrepreneur Tom Pellereau won the seventh season of The Apprentice. Lord Sugar initially rejected his business plan, and encouraged him to expand his business, Stylideas LTD, into a range of grooming products.

He now continues to specialise in a range of beauty products and accessories, and remains in partnership with Lord Sugar, 11 years after appearing on the show. Tom graduated from the University of Bath in 2002 after studying innovation and engineering design and mechanical engineering. 

Yasmina Siadatan – 2009 – London School of Economics (LSE)

Winners of The Apprentice who went to university

via BBC

Yasmina won The Apprentice 2009, when the format of the show meant winners got a job with Lord Sugar, rather than a cash investment into their own businesses. Yasmina took up a job with Sugar’s Amscreen Health Care business. Prior to taking part in the show, Yasmina graduated from London School of Economics with a 2:1 degree in economic history with population studies.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Ranked: The Apprentice businesses making the most millions for Lord Sugar

From 4am to midnight: This is the exact daily routine for candidates on The Apprentice

• Ranked: Just how rich are Lord Sugar and his aides on The Apprentice?