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I was raised in Palm Springs when the most trouble a kid could get into there was playing tennis or golf.  Every year during spring break, when the town was a mecca for teenagers and college kids on vacation,  I was grounded without explanation— and for no good reason I might add!  Though my parents were very strict, in retrospect I am eternally grateful.  Their example, their drive and their passion helped mold me into the woman I am today.  

  

I graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a double major in English and Psychology and a minor in communications.  I switched majors from pre-med one day after an epiphany.  It happened in organic chemistry.  The professor was talking and I realized that the part of my brain that should understand, just wasn’t.  Talk about separating the women from the girls. That class changed my life.  I took the hint, became a lawyer, and have never looked back!

  

  

Law school was a strange and hellish experience for me (more about that later).  I survived the most rigorous program in the United States at Southwestern University School of Law in the SCALE program.  It is a fully accredited two year Juris Doctor program.  All I can say is, be sure to quit your day job before embarking on such an adventure.  Overall, it was well worth the commitment and time.  The skills I learned helped me to become a successful trial attorney defending the most prominent real estate developers and California employers.

  

  

I clerked for Federal Judge Ronald S.W. Lew in Los Angeles and it was an unforgettable experience.  While there, I developed my writing skills and learned volumes about oral argument.  I added the tools to my toolbox and continued my adventure.  In 2002 I began working for Goldman, Magdalin and Krikes, LLP in Los Angeles.  I gained amazing trial experience and learned more than I could’ve ever anticipated from a great mentor and a founding partner of the firm, Paul Magdalin.  

  

  

In 2006, he encouraged me to apply for NBC’s “The Apprentice.”  I did and the rest as they say, is history!  The SHOW aired from January through April of 2007 and on April 22nd, I was chosen as Mr. Trump’s apprentice.  I am only the second woman to have won and the only one who was ever forced to live in a tent.  For those of you who are “Apprentice” fans, you know that this season was the only one ever filmed in Los Angeles and the only one that had a “Survivor” element.  The losing team for each task was forced to live outside without electricity, running water or indoor plumbing.  A more disgusting living arrangement is unimaginable.  

  

  

They say perseverance is key and truer words were never spoken.  “The Apprentice” was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done and through it, I learned a lot about myself and the importance of inner strength.  But it isn’t all about me.  A strong support system is key.  A personal network is to be treasured and nurtured.  It is true that to have a friend, you have be a friend.  In today’s society, it is so easy to get caught up in the fast paced grind that lends itself to alienating those closest to us.  I’m here to say make time!  Make time for those you love, because in the end, though it sounds so cliche, that’s all that matters.  

  

This year in particular has been incredibly hectic for me.  Since winning “The Apprentice” I have been busy in the Dominican Republic working on Mr. Trump’s Cap Cana project.  I have also been traveling to Las Vegas and am now the Vice President of Marketing for Trump International Hotel and Tower.  It has been challenging and rewarding.  I have also been fortunate enough to be sought after for professional speaking engagements  and have appeared as a television spokesperson for the American Cancer Society.

  

  

I will now be writing this column every month bringing you information and success tips for how we as women can realize tremendous success not only in the workplace, but personally as well.  Look for fitness and nutrition tips, life focus techniques, tips for etiquette in the workplace and the power of positive thinking.  It is all part of a program I call “Strut your stuff.”  So go out there ladies and remember to strut YOUR stuff every day!



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