Public service, entrepreneurship, and the life of an MP with the Chancellor of the Exchequer

18th March 2024
BY Alexander Cirstea, Year 12

On Thursday 14th March, Winchester College welcomed the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, to deliver a talk to over 400 pupils, staff and students from our partner schools. Addressing the College community, Mr Hunt spoke about his extraordinary life, career, and current role as Chancellor in what was a thought-provoking and captivating talk for all.


Mr Hunt began the talk by discussing his life before his entry into politics, describing how in his early 20s he took the path of entrepreneurship, encouraging the pupils present to consider such a path and explaining the valuable lessons he learnt from this chapter in his life. Having been given such a wonderful opportunity in education, he explained, it is vital that young people in the audience seize the opportunities that they are given. Entrepreneurship would not only be an excellent way for young adults to get involved in the business and financial worlds for the first time, but can also be an unforgettable experience that sticks with you for life.

Leading the audience through his own entrepreneurial journey, Mr Hunt explained how he tried to set up a business in many different markets, determined to discover one in which his ideas could flourish. Finally, finding the market of educational resources, he managed to expand and grow the company into a successful business which is active to this day. An important lesson to take away from this was that failure is part of the process, and that perseverance is the key to achieving success.

A rollercoaster career

Mr Hunt then turned to his life in the Cabinet, offering a rousing proposal as to why young people nowadays should get involved in politics, summed up in his “three difficult things but one amazing thing about working in civil service”.

Mr Hunt made the point that day-to-day life as a Member of Parliament was not as easy as many believe — one could be on the back benches one day and be appointed into the cabinet the next, as he himself was two years ago. Far from a smooth journey, politics to him was more of a rollercoaster career, and only those who were willing to go along for the ride should consider it.

Demonstrating how the experience is one of a varied and exciting nature, the Chancellor answered pupils’ questions on many topics, ranging all the way from climate change and human rights, to defence. Overall, he explained, a career in civil service is one which offers many opportunities, and the journey is truly worth it when you can take pride in having a positive impact on people’s lives.

We would like to thank Mr Hunt and his wife, Lucia Hunt, for taking the time to come to the College and for giving such an inspiring and electrifying speech. The students here have taken away a lot from the evening, and we are all very grateful for the opportunity to hear from the Chancellor.

Related Stories