Claire Young

Claire Young shot to fame in the fourth series of the BBC1 smash hit “The Apprentice”. She was the no-nonsense saleswoman who infuriated, then won over viewers to reach the final – becoming the biggest ever bookies favourite to win in Apprentice history. Nicknamed ‘The Rottweiller’ for her ability to go after whatever she wants; many admired her drive never to give up and were gripped by her transformation throughout the series.

An ill wind has done plenty of good for Apprentice finalist Claire Young. She believes business is a “playground of opportunity” and is having plenty of fun rising to the challenge. Famoulsy turning down a role better than what she competed for at Birmingham City Football Club to start her own consultancy. Claire has been working with  a range of clients from FMCG manufacturres to retailers.

Already running her own successful consultancy Claire launched Elegant after spotting a gap in the hospitality market. It works with some of theUK’s most prestigious and exclusive properties – privately owned homes. Elegant Venues provides you with full control and autonomy of your event; with no restrictions on which services to use. Claire believes you should have complete control over your day and your budget!

Whilst managing a busy business career self proclaimed chatterbox Claire is also enjoying media work and is a TV natural. Presenting weekly credit crunch ‘lifestyle’ on ITV’s popular LK Today; she also continues to report on business matters for Channel 5, Sky News, BBC News and various radio stations.

The contestant with plenty to say for herself  is also being tipped to become a sought after speaker talking about such things as self belief and making the most of opportunities.

It has made up for the tears she shed into her porridge the morning after losing the contest.  Needless to say she has landed a fantastic job with loads of scope for the many sales and marketing talents frequently acknowledged by Sir Alan ugar in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

The 29 year old retail buyer based in South London who was brought up in down to earthWakefield has admitted that the astute Amstrad boss doesn’t just assess potential through the filmed assignments.  He gets to know the candidates in between takes.

Unlike some of the Apprentice hopefuls she had significant grounding in marketing, merchandising and commercial sales with top companies.  Before the programme she was earning more or less the salary she was competing for as a buying manager for Superdrug.

She is now looking forward to a bright future full of the challenges she loves. The former brand leader at L’Oreal who had also worked in sales at Colgate and was head-hunted to work in a tough retail role where she overturned an under performing part of the business, had achieved everything she could in fast moving consumer goods before writing her application.

“It wasn’t the salary which attracted me. It was boredom really. I was watching the programme and thought it was brilliant, every task was completely different.  It was not being on television but the opportunity of working with some very good high calibre people, including Sir Alan which appealed.”

She is comfortable with public speaking and had a baptism of fire in front of an audience of 300 middle aged business people.  At the Royal Bank of Scotland meeting the audience was keen to know about her Apprentice experiences which she debated during a long and lively Q&A session alongside views on women in business, leadership, motivation, sales and marketing.

As a speaker she is also expected to be a major attraction not only for human resource departments wanting someone to kick start sales teams but also by event managers seeking someone to appeal to teenagers making career choices and helping employees face change.
Taking the guidance from a careers advisor of doing a degree that would bring enjoyment rather than focusing on a specific career, Claire studied equine science at Bristol University after an abortive attempt to study medicine.

In her second year she decided that rather than work in polo yards, take a year out or party like her friends, she would find out as much as she could about achieving her lifestyle aim of owning a farmhouse and horses.

“While others were partying I went to presentations about Mars, L’Oreal, Credit Suisse and the like. I realised being involved with business was definitely what I wanted.  I just wanted to get going and get on the career ladder and earn some money,” she said.

Plenty of people have been coming up to her since the programme saying she is a great new role model who will appeal to future entrepreneurs planning their university or business careers. It is clear that now opportunity has come knocking it won’t be long before that farmhouse and stable full of horses becomes reality.