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Q) What was it like hearing the words "You're fired?"
A) I was extremely disappointed to hear the words "you're fired" as Mr. Trump pointed at me. However, I knew that I had given this opportunity my all, and had learned so much from my teammates that even though I was no longer competing for the apprenticeship, I would carry this experience with me for the rest of my life.
Q) Did you agree with Trump's rationale for your firing? Or did you think one of the other contestants deserved it more?
A) As project manager, I did deserve to take the blame for our loss on the task. That being said, of course I hoped that Mr. Trump would take into consideration my strong positive history from the previous eight tasks and fire someone else from my team!
Q) What moment or moments on the show were surprising to you?
A) I was stunned when Jack Welch offered me a full scholarship to his MBA program. Not only did I not have to take the GMAT and apply to the school, I don't have to figure out a way to pay for it! This is truly an amazing opportunity.
I was also shocked when Anand was caught and fired for cheating. I had developed a relationship with him during the previous task, and thought I knew him well. It was disappointing to see someone make it so far and to hear that they had been less than honest in the competition.
Q) Do you feel as though you've made any lasting friendships and business relationships from the show? With whom?
A) I have definitely made some lasting friendships from my experience on The Apprentice and hope to maintain contact with all of the cast members. Brandy and I developed a close bond early on in the show. I look up to her in a great way. Also, because she lives in San Francisco, I foresee our bond growing after the show.
Though I went after her in the boardroom, Stephanie and I have also generated a friendship. She is a very smart woman and a jack of many trades, and I look forward to paying some visits to Chicago.
Possibly the most surprising relationship that I have developed is with David. My strong dislike of him during the show rapidly melted away as I got to know him after my firing. He is truly a gentleman whose antics can captivate a room and keep people laughing for hours. The two of us have developed a personal and professional relationship that will hopefully last for years to come.
Q) What was the best part of your experience? Why?
A) Throughout this process I have learned so much from each and every one of my teammates. I learned how to be more efficient with my time, to think outside of the box and the art of negotiation. I went into this process with no prior professional experience, so I looked to my teammates for guidance and inspiration. Using my observations of their strengths and weaknesses will be exponentially helpful as I establish myself in the business world.
Additionally, my experience on the show helped clarify and reinforce my strengths and interests that I can use in potential professional paths. I have come to recognize that I am comfortable in front of a camera, I enjoy fashion and putting together pieces to make a final product, I am knowledgeable about and take pleasure in watching and talking about sports, and I am an active people person who enjoys developing relationships, networking and a job that involves "doing" rather than sitting at a desk.
Q) What have you been doing since being on the show?
A) My first week home, I went to Texas for my college roommate's wedding. It was so good to see all of my closest college friends, especially after a month of social isolation!
I also began a job doing muscle stem cell research in the Rando Lab at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs hospital. Our lab studies notch signaling and satellite cell activation in muscle. So far I have learned a lot, and am enjoying my time in the lab. After lab hours, I have been hard at work applying to dental school. The application process is extensive, and I look forward to hearing back from schools.
Q) Has the experience changed you? Do you approach decisions differently now?
A) After the show, I have noticed a huge improvement in my negotiating skills. Because I had no prior business experience, the show has helped me tenfold in that respect. I have also noticed that I am a bit more leery of other people's intentions, and I am able to stand up for myself much better. Before the show I was a bit naive, and blindly trusted that people would do their part in projects and have my back. This led to problems a couple of times throughout my school days, and I would shoulder the weight by pulling all-nighters and foregoing social activities. My experience on the show taught me to stick up for myself and to be more assertive with my needs.
Q) What has the experience taught you about people?
A) This experience has taught me that a group of people from all different backgrounds can become united and generate innovative and remarkable products when united under a common goal. I have also learned not to underestimate people who do not have college educations, while at the same time realizing that an education can be priceless when it comes to garnering respect and finding/fixing the fine details of a project.