BT Non-Executive Chairman visits Henley College

We were delighted to welcome a high profile business speaker to The Henley College this week. Jan Du Plessis is the non-executive chairman of BT Group, former non-executive Chairman of Rio Tinto Group plc, and a former non-executive director of the Lloyds TSB Group. He was placed tenth in The Times 2006 Power 100, a list which rates the most powerful people in British business.

Jan shared his very interesting experiences and life achievements, as well as sharing some key transferable lessons and insights. He came to London when he was 28, and travelled and worked extensively across the world including China, Australia, US and Europe.

Mr Du Plessis also emphasised how important qualities like hard work, effort, emotional intelligence and resilience along with making the most of every opportunity are key in being successful.

​The talk was arranged in collaboration with Speakers for Schools’, a charity giving state schools access to talks from today’s leading professionals and academics. Our enrichment at The Henley College aims to provide a quality education programme producing independent and resilient learners.

Students gave some fantastic feedback including:

"I went in there with a closed mind, not knowing what I would get from it. However, I found the talk very interesting. Jan's journey to his success is extremely inspiring. Thank you for inviting him in." Rosie Moody - BTEC Business Level 2

“Mr Jan Du Plessis was very interesting in his conversation about creating opportunities in his life and overcoming challenges.  It was a good insight into what it would be like to work in such a high powered management position.  They key learning point for me was that working hard will help you reap rewards in life.” Amadeo Kryekurti – BTEC Business Level 3 

Head of Faculty Tristan Arnison added; “It was a real privilege to have Jan in to speak with our students and give so willingly of his valuable time. Despite his high-level experience as chair of four FTSE 100 companies, Jan was readily able to connect with our students and provide a straightforward overview of what is required for success. His emphasis on the importance of effort and emotional intelligence struck a strong chord. Jan’s reputation for clarity and common sense in the face of complexity is obviously well deserved and he cuts an understated but inspirational figure.”

Pictured with Jan Du Plessis and Head of Faculty Tristan Arnison, are Business and Economics students Arek Jeczalik, Raquel Miranda, George Baxter, Raamie Falck and Daniel Price.