Julian Azzopardi: ‘We take freedom and privilege for granted while knowingly trying to ‘get one over’ our neighbour’

Julian Azzopardi is CEO of Junior Achievement Young Enterprise Malta Foundation (JAYE Malta), a non-governmental organisation specialised in providing opportunities for youth in entrepreneurship

Julian Azzopardi
Julian Azzopardi

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

A smile is the shortest distance between two people.

What do you never leave the house without?

Keys … I hope!

Pick three words that describe yourself

Not Before Coffee

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Spending over a year volunteering around the world

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Food

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Never forget just HOW lucky you are!

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

An apartment

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

When to buy bitcoin ;)

Who’s your inspiration? Why?

Nelson Mandela. We take freedom and privilege for granted while knowingly trying to ‘get one over’ our neighbour. We have to be nicer to each other!

What has been your biggest challenge?

Dealing with the end of my football ‘career’. Why? I was going to make it.

Do you believe in God?

I believe in Creation and Death.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Penelope Cruz. Why? Why you ask?

What’s your worst habit?

Procrastination

What are you like when you’re drunk?

I have been told there are three stages to my inebriation: Fun, Emotional, Angry.

Who would you have play you in a film?

The one and only, Antonio Banderas

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Hypocrisy

What music would you have played at your funeral?

Guns ‘n Roses

What is your most treasured material possession?

A biography of Mother Teresa signed by all the Superiors of the homes I visited during my volunteering stint.

What is your earliest memory?

Running on the grass in our – what looked to me – big back garden when we lived in England.

When did you last cry, and why?

Every time I watch Top Gun

Who would you most like to meet, Why?

Barak Obama, He had a vision of changing the way politics was perceived and the results it would achieve.

What’s your favourite food?

Steak, medium/rare please!

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

What is social media?

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

Ancient Greece

What book are you reading right now?

The 80/20 Principle

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Fly

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

Drive an F1 car

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Whatever Spotify decides

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

Shower = News. Workout? What’s that?

Tell us...

Could you tell us a bit more about the Junior Achievement Young Enterprise Malta Foundation (JAYE Malta)?

JAYE Malta is a Foundation with the purpose of providing opportunities for young individuals to explore the world or work and how it interacts with daily life. Our three pillars are financial literacy, employability skills and entrepreneurship education, however they are taken as a whole rather than individually and we help students and youth co-create the scenarios they wish to explore so that they can put all these elements to the test. It’s education in practice, in a familiar context and fun. It’s been 30 years since the founders sought to help students start to understand what it means to run a company, work in a team, produce, market, sell and present in front of large audiences and the appeal today is as strong and possibly more relevant than ever.

Why do you think it is vital to provide opportunities for youth in entrepreneurship?

Opportunities abound today, more than ever. But so is the competition which transcends boundaries, language and skills. Today it is more about how well you can respond to the needs of your industry and sector. Employers are seeking individuals that can understand their company culture, be self-motivated, work in hugely multi-cultural environments without fixed time schedules, with independence and accountability. So we believe that the earlier we start instilling these seeds, the better equipped they will be when they get through their educational journey and hit the ground running.

More in Q & A