For many of our local teenagers, August is a time for triumph or tears – depending on their A level results.
The annual agony of waiting for the results usually generates mass press coverage, including pictures of happy teens leaping with joy.
But for those who didn’t do so well, there is plenty of comfort to be had from successful entrepreneurs and business leaders who also once had the disappointing experience of opening the dreaded envelope, and discovering their aspirations hadn’t been matched by their achievements.
Richard Branson (now Sir Richard) is a classic example. So is Ultimo lingerie founder Michelle Mone (now Baroness Mone of Mayfair).
And Jeremy Clarkson (yet to be ennobled), who has made an untold fortune out of ‘Top Gear’, posts an annual message of good cheer to students who have failed to achieve their desired grades.
This August, he posted on social media: “If you didn’t get the right A-level results, don’t worry. I got a C and two Us, and my chef is preparing truffles for breakfast”.
His previous post-exam August posts have delivered similarly tongue-in-cheek payoff lines including “….and I have a Mercedes Benz”; “…..I’m currently sitting in a villa in St Tropez”; and “…..I’m currently on a superyacht in the Med”.
While it is true that those who go to university can expect to earn more when they embark on their careers, there are some jobs – in the sales sector and creative industries, for instance – where raw talent counts for more than GCSEs, A levels or a degree.
The Wealden Business Group wishes all disappointed students and their parents a happy and positive summer holiday!