off hearing those two little words ("You're Fired!") on spring's
reality TV hit "The Apprentice," Amy Henry '97 (MBA) has been
flooded with newfound fame and job opportunities. Whatever she decides,
one thing she knows for sure -- she is ...
Holding the Trump
been swamped with job offers and media interviews since the show ended.
Tell us what you've been doing.
Well, I have
been hopping back and forth between New York and L.A. doing public appearances
and talking about the show. I have been writing a women's business book
which will be out in September and I've also been working with CNBC doing
business commentaries. Additionally, I've also been taking meetings with
people who are interested in hiring me for new business opportunities
from regular desk jobs to TV show hosting opportunities. It's run the
gamut from back-to-business to entertainment.
the show changed your life?
I can't walk
down the street these days without people shouting my name. It's really
funny. People come up to me and hug me like I'm their best friend. But
it also has opened up many fantastic opportunities that I would not have
had otherwise. I am able to get into doors and talk to people that never
would have seen me in the past. The show took off far more than I ever
expected, and the beauty of it is that it is not "The Bachelor" or "The
Bachelorette." But it actually gave each contestant the ability to demonstrate
legitimate business skills. Even though Donald Trump terminated me on
national television, a lot of people across the country looked at this
show as an interview. I think the character that I displayed on the show
was somebody who is a hard worker and a good team player. I get job offers
on a daily basis via e-mail from across the country from all types of
job offers have you had since the show ended?
Not all have
been offers, but people expressing interest. It's in the hundreds. I get
hundreds of e-mails every day, and half of those are people saying, "Hey
I'm starting this company and I think you'd be a good fit," or "I
have a business plan -- would you take a look at it? I'd love for you
to start this with me." I've even gotten ones saying, "I have
a well-established Fortune 500 company and we're looking for someone with
your skill set." So it's all kinds of situations. I've read for different
hosting positions for business news shows and daytime shows. There's no
one industry. It's all across the board. I think people look at the show
and the candidates on the show and they see the raw talent. They see that
the personality, the energy and dedication that we exhibited on the show
can translate into just about any industry.
what are you going to do?
I have been so busy I haven't had a chance to sit down and evaluate all
of them, but I plan to do that soon. My plan for the next six months is
to promote my book and continue speaking at business seminars.
you feel you are a celebrity now? And
if so, do you enjoy it or is it a hassle?
a show that was watched by 30 million people, you are thrown into this
instant celebrity status. But I look at it as being a fantastic experience
because I know now what it's like being in the public eye. It's a double-edged
sword. Anyone on reality TV goes there because they think, "Oh it will
be fun to be on television." So you briefly get to experience the life
of being in the public eye, but the beauty of it is that it only lasts
for a short period of time and you can go back to your normal life.
you apply for the show in the first place?
I was working
in a job I was not so passionate about, and I didn't necessarily know
where I was to head next. And I really think it was fate. I just happened
to be in Dallas visiting my family and one of the producers recruited
me. I thought, "Oh what a perfect fit." It was perfect for me because
of the timing and it was related to the business world. And I didn't think
there were many people out there that the job would be a better fit for
than me. I'm a tough businesswoman but I've got a little sassiness. At
the end of the day, they're looking for people who make good TV. Every
single person on the show had a legitimate resume. After the resume, the
next thing they were looking for is a unique personality that will make
think the show honed your business skills or was it just a bunch of stunts?
no stunts on the shows. They showed a lot of our good ideas, but they
didn't show all of them. People ask me if it was edited well. I think
overall they portrayed me very well, but there were a lot of ideas I contributed
that weren't shown for the purpose of creating a story. But yes I think
it showed our business acumen. It also showed humanness to everyone's
character, which is what made it such a great hit. Everyone in America
can relate to some of what we went through. Everyone in America knows
what it's like to have a job, or get promoted, or try to win a job or
keep from getting fired. Everybody has had to work with people they don't
like and yet figure out how to work with them to accomplish a goal. It's
very real. This was more real than any other reality show. "Survivor"
is interesting but not many of us live off bugs and water for six weeks.
"The Bachelorette" is entertaining but I don't anybody who is dating 25
people at the same time. This show was very real.
show have lessons for the business world or was it purely entertainment?
was the dysfunction of 16 people living together, working together and
competing against each other for the same position. But every single episode,
I think, had something to be learned and taken into the business world,
whether it's how to deal with people, how to negotiate, thinking outside
the box, being a risk-taker.
business owner Bill Rancic of Chicago won. Do you think he was the best
candidate for the job?
the final two, yes.
would have like to have won, right?
I'm so happy
that Bill won, and I think he was definitely qualified. But I think there
were a lot of other people who could have done the job. There were some
people who got terminated earlier that may have been equally qualified.
Don't get me wrong. I am Bill's biggest fan. He's the only candidate on
the show that I would enjoy working for. But that said, he was a CEO coming
into the show. I look at the apprentice role almost like an internship,
in which you look for someone with raw talent that you can mold and create.
Is he that person? I don't think so. You didn't see this on the show because
they edited it out. But in the episode when I was fired, I told Mr. Trump
in the boardroom that Bill was overqualified for the job. If you're looking
for a true apprentice that you can mold and groom, he wasn't the right
person. Consider the job itself. If you take away the title of CEO and
the salary, basically what you have is an internship. That is not a good
fit for Bill Rancic. He's been there, done that. If that's what Mr. Trump
wanted -- someone like Bill who's been there, done that -- then they should
have had 15 other candidates that currently serve in a CEO capacity competing
against each other. The experience levels of the candidates varied drastically.
are you that you didn't get the job? Or was the experience of it enough?
was such a reward. I consider the show an accelerated MBA program. There
truly are a lot of valuable things I learned while I was there, and I
would do it again in a heartbeat. It was a blessing in disguise that I
didn't get the job. I still have the ability go back to work for Mr. Trump
if I want to. I was on every single episode, and I have so many other
opportunities that may be a better fit for me than that one. To me it's
was the most difficult task?
and running the casino event. Both were extremely long and it required
us to be on our feet all day. They also involved a mass amount of people.
Also, luck played into those tasks more than the others. With Planet Hollywood,
it was a matter of what night you ran the club. We had Friday night. The
guys had Thursday night. We had the advantage. We had the bigger crowd.
With the casino task, you don't know if there are going to be big winners
or big losers that night.
was the best reward?
Mira Lago. Not because of getting on the plane and flying there. I fly
all the time for work. It was having my sister with me. We were living
in such an insane situation and such an insane lifestyle. We had hundreds
of production staff and 20 cameramen and helicopters following us. It
was great to have a family member experience that with me.
you learn about yourself having gone through the show?
consider myself a good team player, but I didn't know that other people
really consider me one as well. Not only a team player but also a strong
contributor and as a respected businesswoman. I've always thought that
I do a good job, but sometimes in the hustle and bustle of the real world,
your boss doesn't have time to recognize your performance. It was nice
to have my peers show me that. Every single time there was a shakeup of
the team, I was drafted. That was really flattering to know I was highly
respected by my competitors.
middle of the show when you kept getting picked to strengthen the losing
team, did you think you were the favorite to win the job?
the second time I was drafted, I knew there was no way I was going to
win. Yes it is a job interview, but also is a show about what makes good
TV. When in the history of reality TV have you seen the favored contestant
win? Never. Why? Because they want to create some twists. I was enjoying
winning and getting to enjoy all the prizes. But in the end, I knew it
winning 10 in a row would be my ultimate downfall.
the most impressive contestant?
the most annoying thing Omarosa did?
annoying thing was the fight on the plane [between Omarosa and Ereka when
the former accused the latter of uttering a racial slur]. The most annoying
thing to me personally? I addressed the fact that she was causing a lot
of conflict on our team. I was project manager of our team for the second
task, and she laughed in my face and said, "I know you're really worried
about me, but should really be worried about you." My reaction was to
not say anything, but to just get up and walk away. Why would you ever
fight back with her? Her goal was to get me upset and angry, and if I
let her, then she wins.
unfairly portrayed as a "villain"?
No. She was
portrayed very accurately.
much made of your relationship with Nick?
was show-mance. Innocent flirtation on the show. They were searching for
storylines there. It was a case of what makes good reality TV. We actually
did go out a few times after the show was over, but that was the extent
the status with Nick now?
good friends, but that's all. No romances.
Trump's advisers, Carolyn, warned that the women contestants were close
to crossing the line in using their sex appeal in some of the competitions.
Was that a fair assessment?
with it. The show cast eight women who are thin and relatively attractive.
And then the show's producers look for ways to create storylines that
show off these women contestants. Was some of the behavior appropriate
for the office? No.
But we weren't in a traditional office. We were at casinos and restaurants
and bars on some of those tasks. On the tasks that were corporate environments,
we responded appropriately.
end of the series after a series of interviews with Trump's CEOs, one
of them referred to you as a "Stepford Wife." What's your reaction to
know what a Stepford Wife was. It's funny. People have asked me if there
is anything that I would do different going into the interview and the
only thing I would say is to prepare more. I didn't know whom I was interviewing
with, what they did in the company or what the job was I interviewing
for. These are situations that make it a little bit unrealistic. Usually,
you would know these things and you can prepare better for an interview.
None of us got to do that. My downfall was when I interview I act myself,
which is energetic and vivacious. I think that's why I was drafted to
go to other teams. I think it was the things that make me me are the things
they couldn't identify with. They are very conservative. In the end, it
wasn't something they felt aligned with my personality. In the real world,
I am interviewing them as much as they interviewing me. And in this case,
my background, my personality, my skill set was not such a good fit.
something about Donald Trump that might surprise me?
fact, he called me five minutes ago and offered me a job again and to
make sure I am en route to New York. Another fact, he hasn't consumed
an ounce of alcohol in his life. Doesn't drink and doesn't smoke.
job did he offer you?
sales. Real estate sales. He has a couple of properties in New York, you
you going to take it?
Oh, I don't
know. I am working on my book and have a lot speaking engagements I am
doing at universities around the country and for conferences in women
in business. And right now I am just going to enjoy that. When things
die down, I may take him up on the offer.
you been surprised at the show's popularity, or did you know at the time
it was going to be such a big hit?
a surprise, but a pleasant one. If you choose to be on a reality show,
which better one to be on than one that shows your business acumen to
everyone in America? This reality show reaches CEOs that never watch television.
We have professors at the top business schools across the country that
followed the show religiously because there are true business lessons
and value that can be learned. Not only was on a television show, but
in essence, I was applying for jobs across the country.
anything about the way you were portrayed or the way the show was edited
that bothered you?
No. Not at
all. Of course there are things I said I wish I hadn't. But at the end
of the day it shows you're human. I think they portrayed me as pretty
Southern -- you know sugar and spice and everything nice -- almost a little
too nice and quiet in the beginning. The portrayed many of the good ideas
I came up with, but not all of them. I have watched over the last few
months and said, "Hey, you didn't show this good thing that I did!" But
then they also omitted some of my more stupid moments, which I'm thankful
for. When you sign up for reality TV, you have to know that they're going
to edit as they deem appropriate.
advice would you give the candidates for the next "Apprentice" show?
Don't over-strategize. And don't wear short skirts in the boardroom.
Did Trump say something about that?
No. I just
don't think it's a good way to earn points with Carolyn. She got on a
couple of the women.
you did decide to do a photo shoot in your underwear with FHM magazine.
What made you decide to do that?
It was our
first publication and we were all excited about it. And I made a bad decision.
But that being said, I think the pictures were tasteful, and I don't think
it undermines my credibility as a businesswoman. Anyone who meets me knows
that I am capable, and I don't think there is anything that says successful
businesswomen can't be sexy, too.
you regret it?
Yeah I do.
But again not because it undermines my credibility, but primarily for
the fact that we women on the show have the ability to be role models
for young women who are watching the show. The reason that I regret it
is that I don't want young women who are getting ready to go to college
or considering a career in business to think that they can't be successful
if they're not a thin size 4 that looks like an all-made-up Victoria's
Secret model. That's the only reason. I'm not embarrassed by the pictures.
I think they're nice. I have received a lot of fan mail from young women,
and I want them to know that they don't have to bare all to be a successful
you remember about your days at TCU?
I spent a
lot of time in the Center for Professional Communication. I remember enjoying
helping undergraduate students with their presentations and written assignments.
It was a good learning experience for me, too. It helped me with my communication
skills. I think that my MBA at TCU was not really about textbook education
so much as it was learning communication skills, interpersonal skills
and teamwork skills. Those things are the most critical in the real business
world and in the competition on "The Apprentice." I think the reason I
fared so well was less to do with that textbook education and more about
the interpersonal skills I developed doing the projects while getting
my MBA at TCU. I have described the show as an accelerated MBA program
because it is all about taking on challenges that have tight deadlines
and high-pressure stakes. And you do them all with teammates you may or
may not enjoy working with, and yet you still have to accomplish the task.
Every challenge on "The Apprentice" was like that, and every task I had
while getting my MBA was like that, too.
prepared you well for the business world and this show?
less through the textbook. That program is exceptional because of the
project work that requires teamwork skills. I was also a part of the Educational
Investment Fund, which involved working with people, evaluating stocks,
making recommendations and preparing reports. Those are all relevant for
real-world business. It's not all understanding how to create a balance
Amy's comings and goings or her new book, What It Takes: Speak Up
Step Up Move Up...A Modern Woman's Guide to Success in Business, check
out her web site: www.ameliahenry.com.