'The Apprentice' Stephanie Castagnier After the Boardroom

the apprentice Stephanie CastagnierWith just five people remaining on 'The Apprentice,' every move became greatly magnified. This week, Donald Trump leaned on his usual rules to pronounce "You're fired." Ultimately, a loss is the project manager's fault. But another contestant's major missteps were not overlooked.

Team Octane dominated for the fifth week in a row. With the final five contestants vying for a job with the Trump Organization, two teams were charged with creating 30-second television ads for a new mobile TV service offered by AT&T and FloTV. Commercials were judged based on creativity, as well as the ad's ability to recommend the brand and to make the message clear and concise.

Team Fortitude, now formed by Stephanie Castagnier and Liza Mucheru-Wisner, showed how people can escape by watching FloTV on AT&T wireless devices. In the role of project manager, Stephanie assigned Liza to find an outdoor sporting arena. Liza did not deliver so they tried to fake it. Fake didn't work, so they used one scene where office workers watched FloTV on mobile phones. Problem was, most managers don't want their employees watching television at work.

Team Octane, with Clint Robertson, Steuart Martens, and Brandy Kuentzel, used the concept of "odd man out" in their commercial. Clint played the actor in the role of a guy surrounded by people who use FloTV. The corporate executives found their ad a bit campy. But, the team mentioned the brand over and over, and targeted multiple demos. They earned the win, and the privilege to meet with Cathie Black, former head of Hearst magazines and new chancellor of New York City schools.

Lessons learned

Trump dealt his usual "the boss is responsible" blow in firing Stephanie. "I felt as though I was a team of one," she notes, referring to Liza's perceived participation.

Both Trump and his son, Don Jr., noted that Liza is hanging on thin ice. None of Liza's ideas has been adopted by project managers over the course of the show. Ivanka Trump nailed it: Liza can't make the strong pitch for her ideas. It's all about the sales pitch.

Stephanie said her biggest mistake was taking risks. "Had I adopted everyone else's strategy of coasting, I would have played it safe and made it to the end," she says. "It's just not in my nature to coast!"

One might say Stephanie might have learned to heed the old wives' tales of wishes: Never share wishes or they won't come true. Before the task, Stephanie shared the following about Liza, "My plan is to get dirty, win a task, and throw her under the bus."

There was no bus, just the taxi that took Stephanie home.

Behind the scenes

Stephanie told AOL Jobs that being on set was very elaborate and labor-intensive. What viewers don't see are the steps required just to get tasks done.

"It is a huge endeavor just to get permission to enter a specific store to buy supplies for our task," she says. "We needed production approval, who needed store approval and waivers needed to be signed all as we are rushing to complete our task."

If viewers think contestants' hands are always full, they are not allowed to use store-branded bags when leaving a store because of brand sponsorship considerations.

AOL Jobs Asks
Apprentice Stephanie Castagnier
5 Quick Questions

1. What was your first job? A dog walking business I started for a big condo building on my block. I was about 11 years old, and I put up a flyer in the lobby of the condo building saying I would walk dogs during my lunch hour for $10. I made $30-$50/day during my lunch break when I was 11! It was a great first job and was the beginning of my business experience!

2. What inspires you? My parents inspire me every day. I lost both my parents to AIDS in my teenage years and I live each day knowing I need to be great and need to take risks because life can be short!

3. What is the most important trait needed to succeed? Determination

4. What is your biggest challenge? It has always been I am starting from the bottom and need to work twice as hard as everyone else. I always need to be two steps ahead of the pack.

5. What is the best career advice you ever received? ‎"I wasn't satisfied just to earn a good living. I was looking to make a statement." -- Donald Trump.

Where is Stephanie today?

Stephanie, 34, is hardly resting on laurels from 15 minutes of fame. As one of the older contestants with established business experience, the Canadian's entrepreneurial spirit for her businesses was fueled by 'The Apprentice.' In addition to becoming a spokeswoman representing the Trump brand, she's built on several of her own businesses. She owns a 3-year-old mortgage banking company, Hudson Financial Group, where she's a direct lender specializing in government loans. Not to be pigeonholed in one industry, she also owns an entertainment company that manages artists including 'American Idol' cast-off Shaun Barrowes.

"We are producing 120 concerts in 2011," she told AOL Jobs. "A percentage of the concert tour sales is donated to my nonprofit, Fear to Fire which raises teen drug awareness.

"I learned once again on the show as I have learned in the past not to worry about what everyone thinks around you and to always stay true to yourself," she says. "I can honestly say I was true to myself on 'The Apprentice.'"

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Sounds like Stephanie snagged that "speaking postion" with Trump that he was looking for right out from Brandy who choked both times speaking after Trump gave her that raving review from the fashion challenge.

November 20 2010 at 12:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

who the hell is grant? and stephanie is intolerable

November 19 2010 at 8:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought these people were supposed to be dead broke without any work yet the story says she's owned a financial company for 3 years. And she owns an entertainment business. She's built on SEVERAL of her businesses. Like Mousa, who was still employed as a working attorney. When they pitched the show, I was looking forward to seeing hard working professional people get back on their feet after losing (what I thought) were corporate jobs but almost every contestant has been a stand-alone in 'sales' or 'development' or 'an entrepreneur'. This has been the whiniest, brashest, self-important group of non-team player contestants since the show started and Stephanie was their queen. I'm very disapponited with Trump picking this crowd but then again, it was all for ratings and had nothing to do with truly helping people. The fact that they hired this self described 'expert at everything' says it all.

November 19 2010 at 8:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am so glad, that loud mouth bit*h got fired! She thinks way to much of herself!

November 19 2010 at 7:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't care what any article or comment says, Stephanie's mistake was taking the role of project manager. Poor decision given her team dynamics and the fact the other team had more members. As soon as she resolutely stepped forward to be project manager, I knew her time was up.

November 19 2010 at 7:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ruth Dickson

Aside from the deification of King Trump, a couple of things really bug me about this show. First is that smarmy, self-satisfied, smirky little snot, Donnie, Jr. Looking at him affects me the same way seeing the squinty-eyed last president did: nauseous and cringing. I literally have to look away from the TV when he's on camera.
The second annoyance is the ridiculous exit of the fired contestant. They walk out of the boardroom into an obviously phony elevator, out the front door and into a cab. No destination, no handbag, no luggage, nothing but a minute more of camera time. Where do they think we think they're going? To jump off the Brooklyn Bridge? Sheesh...this is a REALITY show?!

November 19 2010 at 7:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeremy Dayton

She DESERVED to get fired last night! That lady is the biggest hypocrite on television- and it's a shame Trump hired her. She is entirely too full of herself, and only after realizing her idea was horrible- did she express concern over her "teammate" helping her. She didn't WANT her help and she made that clear.

Dirty, lying, hypocrite is what she is and she had that coming for a while.

November 19 2010 at 7:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's saying a lot after Omarosa, but if anyone ever should have been fired on Apprentice, it was Stephanie. She is an obnoxious loudmouth. I feel sorry for anyone who has to work for or around her. She's only 34 so there are many opportunities over her carrer for people to be abused and debased by her.

November 19 2010 at 6:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One of the best shows of the season.

November 19 2010 at 6:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am so glad Stephanie got fired (also David). These two are the most arrogant, conceited individuals I have seen in a long time. I don't see how anyone could stand to be around them for more than 30 seconds.

November 19 2010 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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