THE first Apprentice contestant fired from the show says she was inspired to take part by the achievements of her late brother.
Aisling Smith (26), from Cavan, flew all the way from Melbourne to take part in this year's season and she doesn't regret it despite being the first to get the chop. She told the Herald that her brother Peter's success before his tragic death at just 27 years old constantly motivated her to do better.
"I have four brothers, Peter was 17 when he went over to New York and he did very well. He became a plumber and he ended up having a big business in Manhattan," she said, adding that he made his first $1m when he was 21.
"He was a rally driver and he was standing on the sidelines one day and a car left the tracks and hit him.
"It was very difficult but we've come to terms with it. And now, he would be an inspiration to me, I've always tried to live my life by him. That's probably why I left home and pushed myself to do well abroad.
"Peter worked hard to achieve what he did -- of course he had a few lucky breaks but it was down to his [efforts]. So I'm now heading back to Australia and I'm going to work twice as hard."
Aisling was project manager in the first task of the Apprentice, as Bill Cullen divided the 16 contestants by age: the over 30s called themselves team Zest and the under 30s were called Spirit.
They were told to make as much money as possible selling a low-calorie VitHit juice drink as part of a Spar sandwich deal. The teams had to design two sandwiches and sell them in north and south Dublin.
Aisling admits that she made the cardinal mistake of taking too much on board too soon.
"When I look back on what happened on that first task, I shouldn't have volunteered to be PM. I should have taken it more slowly because I was exhausted before the process even started," she told the Herald. "When I applied to be part of the Apprentice, going through to the last stages, I had so many interviews to do. I had to finalise my business plan and sort out everything in Melbourne. My Australian boyfriend Shaun Vance flew over with me because he planned to move over to Ireland if I was successful so I was trying to get everything organised.
"And I felt I couldn't not volunteer in the first task because I created the Treehouse Juice and Smoothie Bars in Spars. I also worked for the Porterhouse group during the Shanghai World Expo so I thought the task was perfect for me. But I was very nervous I just got over consumed by that."