The Apprentice

Nicole, 27 (Palos Verdes, California), graduated cum laude from the University of California, Irvine. She received her J.D. from Loyola Law School while holding the title of Miss Los Angeles, and placing 4th runner-up at the Miss California USA 2008 Pageant (part of the Miss USA Pageant). Determined to use her brains and beauty, Nicole left her law firm job, where she was miserable as an attorney, to prove that the recession can’t stop her from pursuing her dreams.

Mahsa, 29 (Brooklyn, New York), works as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, New York, and is the host of two web shows on the side. Dealing with the financial pressures of being the sole breadwinner in her family, Mahsa has gained personal strength in this economic downturn. Before receiving her J.D. at Brooklyn Law School, Mahsa studied biology at the University of Virginia, and film at the New York Film Academy. She passionately fights to promote justice, and is obsessed with beauty, hair and style secrets.



Liza, 30 (Corpus Christi, Texas), was born in Kenya. As part of the Kenyan National Golf Team, she was recruited to play golf at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. She completed her education and received her master’s degree while simultaneously starting an educational technology company. However, her business venture fell victim to the recession and she is struggling to make it a success. She is an avid fan of golf, and is a belly dancer and aerobics instructor on the side.


Kelly, 30 (Fayetteville, Georgia), born in North Carolina and raised in Georgia, received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Spelman College and her Master’s in Public Communication from American University. Kelly worked in the press office for the Governor of Georgia and was previously employed in the Atlanta office of a global public relations firm, where she was laid off. She was recently named one of the city’s “Power 30 Under 30.” Her expectation of purchasing her dream condo and car on her 30th birthday was abandoned when she lost her job, and now she lives with her parents. Kelly is an avid supporter of Living Water for Girls, a rehab center that rescues and restores abused girls. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a public service organization, and is a founding member of the Next Wave Society, the young professionals auxiliary of the world famous Georgia Aquarium.

James, 31 (New York, New York), a Duke graduate who received his law degree from Georgetown, was an associate at a world-class law firm in New York City until he was laid off more than a year and a half ago. James went from a successful attorney living in the West Village to an unemployed couch surfer. Unable to find a new job, he spends his time volunteering in New York.


Gene, 46 (Wylie, Texas), has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Morris Brown College, and served in the U.S. Air Force. Gene previously worked at several high profile financial companies as a financial advisor. After being laid off, Gene has been trying to get his own assisted living facility off the ground while living off of his savings and retirement. Gene was born in Jamaica, grew up in the Midwest, and currently resides in Wylie, Texas. He is an avid motorcycle enthusiast and cigar aficionado.

David, 34 (Portage, Michigan), embodies the image of the all-American father of five. The Navy veteran, part-time standup comedian and once successful account manager, married his high school sweetheart and is father to five children. David, a Portage, Michigan resident, once had two houses and could buy his family whatever they desired, but in today’s recession has become an unemployed family man who can’t pay his mortgage and is determined to prove to his children that he’s still a great provider.

Clint, 40 (Austin, Texas), received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Texas Christian University, and a Juris Doctorate in Law from Southern Methodist University. Clint went on to be a successful certified public accountant, real estate attorney, and developer, to having an estate sale where he was forced to sell a large amount of his family’s possessions due to the economy. Clint and his family now split time between a friend’s guesthouse in Weatherford, Texas, and another friend’s rental house in Post Falls, Idaho. Currently living off credit, Clint is also a strong believer in God, and spends much of his free time with his wife of 18 years and their three boys.

Brandy, 30 (San Francisco, California), received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from UCLA, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School. After working as a corporate attorney for a prestigious international law firm, she co-founded a mobile cupcake business in the San Francisco Bay Area. This entrepreneur is now ready to launch a more challenging and rewarding career. Brandy is a vegetarian and an avid supporter of animal rights. She also loves the outdoors and runs several miles a day.

Anand, 31 (Tampa, Florida), worked for a very lucrative private firm, managing several large multi-million-dollar real estate investments. This successful Emory University graduate, whose past career accomplishments also include being the youngest person to be promoted to a senior role at a Fortune 500 company, thought he was indispensable to his firm because of the high level of expertise he had developed over the years. His eventual layoff came to him as a huge shock, yet was very motivating. In the face of adversity, Anand followed his dream and moved to New York City, where today he is a struggling entrepreneur trying to launch an innovative, new vitamin-infused wine company, while still also looking to get involved in media and the entertainment business. He’s finding it rather difficult amidst today’s economic environment, and hasn’t taken a salary in over a year. An avid sports fan, Anand currently resides in New York City.