On Wednesday 26th February, the Pearson College London Student Experience Team ran an ‘Evening With’ event with the CEO Pearson Plc (Pearson College London’s parent company), John Fallon. You can watch the full video here!


Martina, the head of the Student Experience Team kicked off the event, and was followed by Degree Apprentice, Samuel Okusaga. At the start of his Degree Apprenticeship journey, Samuel became acquainted with John through a Pearson event, where Samuel had the chance to ask John to become his mentor, to which he agreed to.



Students then got the chance to find out about what life as a CEO of a FTSE 100 company is really like through a series of questions asked by Samuel. Questions included what his day-to-day role includes, his passions and inspirations, as well as how he got to the position of CEO.

Interactive game

We also had an interactive segment where students were able to send in interesting scenarios to see how John would approach the problems. Guess what he replied when he was asked “if you had £100 what would you invest it in?”. “Pearson” of course!



After finding out more about his role, students were then able to ask questions. Some valuable and inspirational advice from John included:

  • ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ is a motto that John does not believe in. He believes you can build your own network and you can make a difference, unlike the motto which implies there’s nothing you can do about it.
  • ‘Love what you do and do what you love’ is something that he lives by. He believes you can’t fake enjoying something, so you may as well strive to do something you love and you’re passionate about. This can be seen through the Pearson motto of ‘always learning’ and the fact that he has now introduced 40 hours of learning time per year to all of his employees
  • ‘Leaders are born not made’ is another thing that he doesn’t believe in because in his opinion, we are all leaders but in all different ways – which is important as it creates a balance

One of the many interesting questions asked also included what his favourite books are. Currently, his favourites (which do frequently change) include:

  • How to Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  • Team of Rivals – Abraham Lincoln
  • Days Without End – Sebastian Barry


After the event, students got the chance to network with each other, as well as chatting with John over pizza and beer!