The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Apprentice winner Randal Pinkett speaks yesterday at the Penn Bookstore about starting his own business while in college and about his new book.

It isn't every day that directly breaking University rules pays off.

But that's exactly what happened for Randal Pinkett, the Season Four winner of The Apprentice, when he started a compact-disc business out of his dorm room at Rutgers University.

"It violated every single rule Rutgers had," Pinkett said of his CD business, which eventually evolved into BCT Partners, the multi-million dollar management, technology and policy consulting services firm of which he is currently the CEO.

Pinkett discussed his business ventures and his experience on The Apprentice yesterday at the Penn Bookstore during a book signing for his new book, Campus CEO: The Student Entrepreneur's Guide to Launching a Multi-Million Dollar Business.

"There is an ongoing trend of young people becoming business people," Pinkett explained. He cited dozens of national multi-million dollar businesses that were started by undergraduates, including FedEx, Pizza Hut, Subway, Dell and Google.

When Pinkett was starting his business, which he began with practically no capital, he discovered that there wasn't a comprehensive business resource for students.

He hopes his book can be just that.

"He was absolutely inspirational," said Wharton and College freshman Sudha Meghan. "Sometimes, you need somebody to re-voice what serves as your impetus in your academic and intellectual life."

As an undergraduate at Rutgers, Pinkett ran track and field, was a student leader for African American engineers, generated enough profit from his business to graduate debt-free - all while maintaining a 3.9 GPA. He used his experiences to write a section on time management and stress, which he feels makes Campus CEO particularly appropriate for college students.

In addition to his degree from Rutgers, Pinkett has four other degrees from Oxford and MIT - "more degrees than a thermometer."

After winning The Apprentice in 2005, Pinkett took a year off from BCT Partners to work with Trump Enterprises and to shadow Donald Trump himself. His experience, he said, took BCT Partners to a whole different level.

"People return my phone calls now," he joked.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.