Name: Dan Wagner, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Powa Technologies
Which school did you go to? I went to five schools in two and a half years. It started when I was expelled from Merchant Taylors’ School at 13, and ended when I left University College School at 16. I was a joker and a trouble maker, which I put down to my unsettled home life. Had my parents not divorced, I think I probably would have gone down the normal school and university route.
What grades did you get? When it came to O levels, I just didn’t bother at all. I did the usual six or seven – maths, English, history, geography, etc – and ended up with about four, all Cs and Ds. I retook some and eventually got five, but it was painful. I wasn’t engaged and had no fixed plans for the future. Maybe it was arrogance too. By then I already had a B in photography A level, which I’d studied in my own time.
How did you handle pre-exam nerves? I didn’t. I don’t get stressed about anything, even today. I sleep like a baby. I’m very fortunate like that.
What advice would you give your teenage self? You don’t need to do things in such a hurry. Starting work so young cost me a piece of my life. While my friends were on gap years and taking long, lazy summer holidays, I was working two jobs – selling hi-fis by day, flipping burgers at McDonald’s by night. I wouldn’t do anything differently, but I was 50 before I took a proper two-week holiday.