Ashleigh Hayward is a 27-year-old female working professional from South Africa. She is originally a farm girl from a sheep farm in the semi-desert Karoo region of South Africa. This upbringing has kept her humble and has motivated her to work extremely hard to achieve success in all her endeavours.
Farm life in South Africa has taught her the significance of innovative economical solutions, lessons from community living and shown her the opportunities for development in her country.
She is currently completing her Master’s degree in Strategic Management & Planning full time at the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in Dublin, Ireland. She is privileged to be a fellow in the 2017 Kader Asmal Fellowship programme who in association with Irish Aid, seek to empower and support South Africans in achieving academic success in Ireland. She looks forward to returning to her home country, South Africa, after her Master’s degree to re-enter the work place and build a successful career. Ashleigh wants to use her academic background and work experience to improve and encourage sustainable growth in her home country, South Africa.
Ashleigh’s previous work experience includes working as a Financial Adviser to assist South Africans in making the right and most sustainable financial decisions. She assisted and guided individuals and their families with their financial planning goals. As a financial adviser, her focus was on holistic financial planning which included helping clients with: Life Insurance, Investment Management, Wills and Estate Planning, Retirement Planning and relevant Tax legislation. She has also worked as a financial Operations Consultant at an asset management company in South Africa where she assisted clients with their investments and retirement savings. She has also successfully passed the Chartered Financial Planner (CFP) professional competency exam in 2017.
Her academic background includes: a Bachelor’s Degree in Investment Management, a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing, a Higher Certificate in Financial Planning, a Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning and currently a MSc in Strategic Management and Planning. She was awarded with an Outstanding Achiever Award from the University of Stellenbosch’s Department of Business Management in 2014 and she is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. She was privileged to be awarded with a Fellowship Award from the South African Association of Women Graduates in 2014 and an En Avant Award in 2009, which is awarded for ‘exceptional excellence, outstanding contribution and personal endeavor’. She has also received a President’s Gold Award for her contributions to community service projects.