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Melissa


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Candidate

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Hometown: Tampa, Florida

Age: 30

Occupation: Real Estate Investor

Current Application Status:

[ X ] Active ~ [ X ] Hired ~ [ X ] Fired

Bio

Melissa, 30, was a star softball and soccer athlete for much of her youth. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Denver, with a dual B.S. degree in Accounting and International Finance, and two Master Degrees in Accounting and Computer Information Systems. Melissa's Fortune 500 professional foundation includes accounting and tax consulting at KPMG, followed by becoming Vice President of Investments at Wachovia Securities. She built a portfolio of investments valued more than $48 million in her first year as a stockbroker.

True to her entrepreneurial spirit, Melissa founded Mosaic Co., offering title and inspection services, mortgage lending, and lease-option housing, after many years of buying, selling, and rehabbing properties. She recently acquired several apartment buildings in Florida and is currently expanding into the hospitality and senior housing industries.

Up Close

What is your favorite music?

Anything really. I love many different types of music: jazz, dance, classical, pop-country, etc. I don't like heavy metal or hard rap.

What are your favorite books?

"Seven Habits of Highly Successful People" and "How to Win Friends and Influence People." Any well-written business or life-skills book that I could learn from and apply its' principles to my life.

What are your favorite TV shows?

"The Apprentice," "Contender," most sports and CNN

What are your favorite movies?

"A Few Good Men," "Jerry Maguire," "Coach Carter" and "Meet the Parents" (one and two)

Interview

When will you consider yourself "a success"?

I already do consider myself a success: in my education - with two undergraduate degrees and two masters degrees. In sports: I'm an All-American in softball and soccer. But, mostly, in my marriage: I have married the love of my life! Yet, even though I truly feel I am already successful, I will always strive to be a better person, wife, friend and business person. Daily, I will continue to learn, try, and hopefully succeed in many new endeavors!

How would you describe your leadership style?

I am definitely more of a collaborative, "team player" type leader. I don't believe in ordering people around and dictating what it is they should do next. I like to get to know a person's strengths and weaknesses, and then utilize them to the best of their ability while getting them motivated toward a common team goal.

How do you deal with personal and professional challenges?

I embrace them! I absolutely love to be challenged in any way possible! I enjoy learning new things and pushing myself beyond my comfort level. Actually, that is a big reason I wanted to be on the show!

What, in your opinion, is the most important quality to have in order to succeed in life and why?

Probably either "heart" or a "never quit attitude" toward anything in life that you want to accomplish. They certainly go hand in hand. The reason is quite obvious: I believe that if an individual gives a goal their all and never quits, that individual will accomplish their goal, sooner or later. It may take a bit longer, more effort, or a few tears, but in the end, it will get accomplished.

What's more important: college education or real-world experience?

That's a hard one. if I had to choose, my choice would be an education. However, that being said, I am a strong believer in the "total package," which would be a combination of education and life experiences.

Have any previous Apprentice winners motivated or inspired you? If so, who and why?

If not, what did you think of the winners?

Anytime I witness an individual accomplishing a goal or a lifelong dream, I am inspired. My favorite past 'Apprentice' is Bill from Season One. He was educated, hard working, and ethical. He never gave up and was full of heart! He has all the qualities a person needs in order to be a winner! He is the "total package."

What have you learned from watching previous seasons of "The Apprentice"?

As much as I hate to say it, "fly under the radar, and you will go far!" That was Kendra's biggest reason for winning! Not that she wasn't hard working, or smart and ethical - she was all that and more, but she herself stated her strategy was to "fly under the radar." You risk less chances of making mistakes, and hence not being called into the boardroom to be fired!

Would you rather be stranded on a desert island with Donald, George or Carolyn, and why?

Oh my, that is a tough one. If I had to choose, probably Donald, because he is accustomed to luxury and is an out-of-the-box thinker, and therefore would be quite innovative in creating a comfortable environment in which we'd survive until being rescued. We would be rescued, right?

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  • 3 weeks later...

How stupid was it for her to say that she couldn't work with woman when she's on an all girl's team!!! Not a smart cookie! I'm glad she's gone!

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