Portsmouth College Student Wins Whopping £10k in National Competition


Naima Ali, formerly a Portsmouth Academy student, has made history at Portsmouth College, winning a prestigious competition and bagging £10,000 for the college and £2,000 for herself.

Currently studying A Levels in Law, Psychology and Religious Studies, Naima entered the competition to write a short essay on the biggest innovation or disruption in the business world in her lifetime. Choosing Amazon as her topic of choice Naima submitted her essay and was invited to the grand final on Monday 29th April 2019 being shortlisted from 460 entries across the country.

On the day, Naima attended workshops where she was given the opportunity to develop her essay and presentation. Half way through the day, she presented a refined piece of work to a small panel who listened and asked questions. During the afternoon, the panel deliberated and chose their final four. Naima was informed mid-afternoon that she was in the final four and was asked to come up onto the stage in front of all of the days attendees and a larger panel. She summarised her essay and then faced the panel who asked her challenging questions. Naima was cool, collected and the only student who demonstrated a wider understanding of the subject matter.

Naima wowed the judges and went on to win overall making her the first ever winner of the competition. The competition is designed to offer students from state schools greater opportunities to access the competitive field of commercial law.

Simon Barrable, Principal of Portsmouth College, commented on the news:

Naima Ali is a very talented student and a remarkable young woman. To have been one of 460 entrants in a national competition run by the major global law firm Linklaters, and to have gone on to WIN this, is a truly fantastic achievement. It is testament to her hard work, determination and resilience and speaks volumes about all the support she has had from Portsmouth College staff and the employers we work with.”

Kath Shimmin, Naima’s mentor for the project and a Partner at law firm Blake Morgan, said:

I’m absolutely delighted for Naima, she’s an exceptional and very talented student who was a pleasure to work with. Her focus, diligence and enthusiasm was fantastic to see and I’m certain she’s one to watch for the future!” 

With this big win under her belt, we expect to see great things from Naima!

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