Claire Young: BBC The Apprentice Finalist shares her daily routine, her successful business ‘School Speakers’ and much more…
What does an average day look like for you?
Luckily I’m an early bird and am usually up around 6am. I treasure this time of morning, the peace & quiet, and being able to get things done without any distractions – it really sets me up for the day! First things first is always a cup of Yorkshire Tea, waking up the animals – we have a French Bulldog called Martha, Piggy & Sam the cats – and putting on a load of washing. I read the news online, glance over my emails and check social media.
I try and eat as well as I can. Food is really important to me and if I eat junk I end up feeling rubbish! Scrambled eggs or an omelette are easy enough for me to do an morning and fill me up. Once showered and dressed I drag Eva my 4 year old daughter and get her ready. She really doesn’t do mornings and it requires serious motivation to get her to school on time.
My work days vary from being based in my School Speakers office, to travelling to London for events and speaking to students across the country. No day is ever the same and I really enjoy this element of being an entrepreneur. I try to travel away from home overnight as little as possible, I like the comforts of home and not staying in hotels. From 3:30pm onwards I am usually my daughter’s social secretary taking her to various clubs, nipping to the supermarket and generally looking after everyone.
I collapse on the sofa around 8pm and every night have a bath. It’s the time I switch off, think about things and plan what is coming next. I’m starting to write a book so I scribble down ideas on an evening whilst rubbish TV and let my brain switch off & rest.
You were on the apprentice? What was that like? Do you get recognised a lot?
The Apprentice was an amazing experience, it changed my life in many ways! It’s difficult to put into words how tough it is. The filming, the intensity of the competition, being away from home (you away from home for weeks with little contact), being capitulated into the public eye and you are a subject matter on social media. It was a great learning curve and I came away from it a different person. Alan Sugar was a great inspiration to me – and still is. I get recognised every day still, in a way I forget the scale of the show and millions of people watch it.
What have you done since you left the apprentice?
When I left the show I was inundated with schools contacting me asking to go and speak to their students. I really enjoyed it and started doing it more and more. I spotted a gap in the market to provide motivational speakers into schools to inspire students and started www.schoolspeakers.co.uk. We are now the UK’s No1 speaking agency working with thousands of schools, colleges and universities across the world. We often receive feedback from young people how a speaker visit really changed their thoughts about the future and inspired them to work hard & believe in themselves.
I also co-founded www.girlsoutloud.org.uk supporting teenage girls to raise aspiration and confidence.
I am a government advisor on various projects to do with helping young people start businesses, improving employability skills, encouraging more women into work. I am really proud to be an Ambassador The Prince’s Trust and Mosaic charities supporting young people. The work they do really does changes lives! I was also asked to present an award at the Child Friendly Leeds Awards in 2016, and I’m proud to be an ambassador! I’m often on the radio, writing or talking on TV.
What are you most proud of in your life?
I’m really proud to be a working parent. Being able to look after my daughter, run a business and enjoy both at the same.
My daughter was born in 2012.
Why do you think it is important to support children and young people?
As they are the future! How can we expect so much from the next generation if we don’t give them any support to start with? The age of influence is 7 years old so if we really want to see the changes we believe in we need to work with primary & secondary children. I see so much talent which is wasted from young people which is frustrating. Unlock their potential and the results would be phenomenal!
What is next for you?
My business grows from strength to strength and we are expanding more into other countries. On a personal level I would like to do more mentoring. I also need to lose some weight so I am doing more and eating less! Everyday being more active and it’s so much easier when the lighter nights are here with better weather.
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