Berkeley Today Stories

Dr. Pinkett speaks to students at the Berkeley College Woodland Park, NJ campus

Dr. Pinkett spoke to students at the Woodland Park, NJ campus



Dr. Pinkett speaks to students at the Berkeley College Woodland Park, NJ campus


On February 15, 2017, Berkeley College hosted entrepreneur, speaker, author, and scholar, Randal Pinkett, Ph.D., as their 2017 Black History Month guest lecturer. Dr. Pinkett is well-known as the winner of NBC’s The Apprentice Season 4 and the founder, chairman, and CEO of BCT Partners, a multimillion-dollar management consulting, research and evaluation, information technology, and data analytics firm based in Newark, NJ. Dr. Pinkett spoke to students at the Woodland Park, NJ campus, as well as those who viewed he event online from Berkeley’s seven other campuses throughout New Jersey and New York.

“Don’t let a setback hold you back because a setback is a setup for success,” Dr. Pinkett preached. “Failure is not falling down. Failure is staying down.”

Dr. Pinkett, who has been in business for more than 25 years, reminded the audience time and again to embrace failures as just a bump in the road. “Success is predicted on the foundation of failure,” he continued, before quoting the entertainer Beyoncé, “I embrace mistakes, that makes you who you are!”

Throughout the presentation, Dr. Pinkett shared the stories of innovators and entrepreneurs that inspired him, from a man named Wayne Abbott who sold t-shirts, to Oprah, and everyone in between.

“[Dr.] Pinkett’s speech resonated with the many things professors at Berkeley College talk about,” said Dallas Reed, Ph.D., Vice President of Student Development and Campus Life. “He really does epitomize entrepreneurship.”

After his speech, students who asked questions received a signed copy of his book, “Campus CEO: The Student Entrepreneur’s Guide to Launching a Multimillion-Dollar Business.” One of those students was Melissa Rojas, a National Security major, who asked, “You’ve been an entrepreneur for 25 years, you’re involved in community service and motivational speaking – where do you find the time?” Dr. Pinkett stressed the importance of priorities and delegation. “You need to set priorities and make tradeoffs. I know people who are public successes and private failures.” He also emphasized having a team you trust, so that all important matters don’t rest on one person’s shoulders.

Dr. Pinkett advised students in attendance to figure out what they are gifted at and what they’re passionate about. Passion, he said in an interview with before the speech, will keep individuals motivated and will help them overcome challenges.

The last question he answered, “If you could start all over, what would you do differently?” was the one that had all ears tuned in. Dr. Pinkett shared two last stories – about his winning The Apprentice and being the first black Rhodes Scholar at Rutgers University. He claims that neither were his idea – “I said ‘I’m too busy.’” If it wasn’t for his wife, who pushed him to apply for the show, and for Professor Don Brown, who pushed him to apply for the Rhodes Scholarship, they wouldn’t have happened. “Why wasn’t I the one who had these ideas that I could do these things? If I could do it differently, I would set my sights higher.” He shared a quote from Benjamin E. Mays who said, “Not failure, but low aim is sin.” Dr. Pinkett concluded, “I had low aim. Other people raised my aim. That’s what I would do differently: raise the bar for myself.”