The Apprentice 2010: The female applicants


Joanna Riley

Age: 25
Occupation: Cleaning Company Owner
Lives:  Leicester

Leicestershire born Joanna rose from humble beginnings to corporate success with her Midlands based cleaning company after setting up the business at the age of 22.  Joanna, whose first job was as a hotel waitress, later moved into telecommunications at a call centre where she called every Leicester-based business in the Yellow Pages until she eventually decided to become her own boss.  She describes herself as ‘honest, direct and funny’ and is inspired by her twin sons.

She says“Don’t complicate business.  Keep it simple and get on with the people you’re working with – it’s common sense.” 

Joy Stefanicki

Age: 31
Occupation: Marketing Director
Lives: Birmingham

Hailing from Southampton, Joy is a keen traveller having spent extended time abroad in Israel, Peru and New York before returning to the UK after falling victim to the recession in 2008.  She started her working life cleaning dishes in her parent’s pub before joining a supermarket at the age of 16. 

She says“Be careful who you tread on as you go up as it’s likely you’ll need them on the way down.”

Laura Moore

Age: 22
Occupation: Business Development Manager
Lives: Warwickshire 

Laura, a trained violinist and keen astronomer, originally dreamed of being a pilot before finding her niche and single-handily bringing in over £500,000 of sales in her first year as a management consultant.  She calls Anita Roddick one of her biggest business inspirations and has lived and worked as far afield as Boston and the Phillipines developing new business ideas.

She says: “A lot of people can talk the talk, it’s very easy to fluff up what you’ve done but my results are hard-proven.”

Liz Locke

Age: 24
Occupation: Investment Banker
Lives: Birmingham

Fashion and food aficionado Liz describes herself as “ambitious, energetic and loyal.”  Young and experienced in investment banking, she has recently ventured into property development and project management.  A self confessed health fanatic, Liz visits the gym three times a week and lists badminton, tennis and running as key interests.

She says: “I’d liken myself to Lamborghini, fast, exciting, stylish and successful.”

Melissa Cohen

Age: 27
Occupation: Food Business Manager 
Lives: London

Londoner Melissa started her working life as a hairdresser before successfully venturing into food business management, where she single-handedly increased Tesco’s share of the Kosher food market to 75%.  She is inspired by the entrepreneurial prowess of Richard Branson and Kimora Lee Simmons and describes herself as “analytical, effervescent and intelligent.”

She says: “If you get in my way, I’ll mow you down.”

Paloma Vivanco

Age: 29
Occupation: Senior Marketing Manager
Lives: London

Born and raised in Peru, Paloma has lived an international life with stints in North America, Australia, New Zealand and now, the UK.  A self-confessed “no-nonsense” candidate, Paloma started working life frying donuts in Donut King before launching her first company at the age of 21 straight out of university. She eventually moved into the telecommunications industry and since then she has continued to cultivate her passion for business development.

She says“I’m a hyper-achiever.  Everything I do is always a success.”

Sandeesh Samra

Age: 26
Occupation: Recruitment Consultant
Lives: Nottingham

Born and raised in Nottingham, Sandeesh describes herself as “ambitious and opinionated” and believes that repeat business is the key to success.  She admires the Tosphop brand and their ability to remain on trend and would love to have been the brain behind digital giants Facebook and Google.  Sandeesh started her working life as a sales assistant for Toys R Us and as a recruitment consultant managed to break a company revenue record.

She says: “Don’t go for the quick win.  Look after your customers and clients.

Stella English

Age: 30
Occupation: Head of Business Management
Lives: London

Mother-of-two Stella identifies “resilience” as her greatest strength and has managed to forge a flourishing business career as the only female in the management on the trading floor of a Japanese investment bank, despite leaving school with no qualifications.  She describes Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as “phenomenal” inspirations and defines herself as “passionate, funny and energetic.” 

She says: “I’m like a dog with a bone, I can’t let go.  If I want something, I get it.”