South Yorkshire ‘entrepreneur’ Ashleigh Porter-Exley proved to be a big BBIS hit at Horizon College on Friday morning.
Eighteen-years-old Ashleigh, who attended Wath Comprehensive School as a student, was the deserved winner of the BBC’s 2012 Young Apprentice, and won £25,000 from Lord Alan Sugar.
She currently works for Reeds Rains Estate and Letting Agents – as well as for Claire Young’s School Speakers, travelling around presenting motivational talks and workshops.
She kindly agreed to be part of the Barnsley Businesses Inspiring Students project, the brainchild of South Yorkshire financial management company Lifetime; being impressed not only by the passion and interest the venture has generated; but also by the quality of speakers that have come on board; and by the eagerness of both Horizon staff and students for the venture.
And Ashleigh’s own passion, brilliant personality and pride in her South Yorkshire roots shone through her talk to Horizon’s Year 10 assembly.
She told the students how she had been in employment since the age of 13; that she was ‘never really an A grade student and decided once leaving school with 14 GCSE grade Cs and above that I was going down the Apprenticeship route’; and found herself working for a local accountant, studying her AAT qualification and at one point working four jobs at once!
Ashleigh went on to talk about her ‘life-changing opportunity’ in the BBC1 show ‘Young Apprentice’.
“Only 12 candidates got selected out of the 28,000 that applied and I went on to win the show and was given a £25k investment from Lord Alan Sugar,” said Ashleigh.
“I believe if you fail to prepare you should prepare to fail – and I believe being from South Yorkshire is a bloomin’ good advantage!
The inspirational young woman also offered great tips to the Year 10 students on how to realise their own dreams and personal ambitions.