Poppy, 24 (Richmond, California), a recent Stanford graduate who has a Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology and Master's in Sociology, hasn't been able to secure a full time job in her chosen field. She was offered a job doing breast cancer research, but unfortunately due to the economic recession, the funding fell through. Poppy currently lives in Richmond, California with her parents and works as a part-time caretaker for her grandmother. As a competitive synchronized swimmer, making the Olympic training squad and winning four NCAA championship titles in college, Poppy is ready to use her competition skills.
Q) Why did you want to be on the show, and why did you think you'd make a good competitor?
A) The Apprentice provided the opportunity to earn the job of a lifetime, as well as an opportunity to learn from one of the most savvy businessmen in America. As a recent Stanford University graduate, I felt as though I could offer Mr. Trump a youthful and fresh mind to represent his brand - offering the prospect of a strong future for The Trump Organization for the up-and-coming American workforce.
Q) What was your reaction when you found out you'd been picked to be on the show? How did your friends and family react?
A) When I found out I would be on the show, I had an ear-to-ear smile, and was extremely giddy as I called my mother to tell her the news. The second I got home, my mom had Season 1 of The Apprentice up on the computer for me to begin studying tactics and gain insight on the road I was about to embark on. I also shared the news over the phone with my best friend. She squealed, laughed excitedly, and then got mad at me for telling her such exciting news that she couldn't repeat for months.
Q) With cameras rolling, how does it feel to know you're under America's microscope? What surprised you about the experience?
A) I developed a monstrosity of a pimple on my nose during one of the tasks. All I could think of was, "Shoot! America's going to think I'm still going through puberty!" Other than that, when I could see the cameras focusing on me, I tended to be more reserved with my criticisms of others. However, after a while you forget about the cameras and the microphone attached to your clothing, so I'm sure there are moments when I thought nobody could hear me and I was less than nice in talking about my competitors.
I was most surprised by my ability to not be overly self-conscious about America seeing me at my worst. Before the show I thought I would be preoccupied with the way I looked on camera, but once I got paint on my face, was a hot sweaty mess, and had dirt under my fingernails, my concern about my physical appearance dissolved. I was more concerned with winning the task and doing whatever it takes than what I looked like.
Q) What about the competition was harder than you might have expected?
A) Though the women's team made a pact to like our product above and beyond the men's, I found it extremely difficult to be strictly negative about their product. I am a person who has great appreciation for things that are well done, and though I may have liked something my opponents did, I had to maintain faith in our product. This was especially difficult during the pedicab task, where I knew we had a poor performance.
Q) Do you have a favorite past winner or contestant from either the original Apprentice, or from Celebrity Apprentice?
A) As a swimmer, I have looked up to Summer Sanders since I was a child. She is smart, talented and above all carries herself with modesty and grace, giving her both a radiant inner and outer beauty that I admire. She is an excellent role model for young girls, and promotes programs that develop healthy active lifestyles for children.
Q) Beyond The Apprentice, what's your dream job? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A) I have always been an individual with multiple passions. My academic passion lies with a career in orthodontics. I love hands-on application of knowledge, enjoy working with kids, and enjoy the prospect of working in a constant learning environment where technology is continually developing. In ten years I would like to be married, starting a family, and can see myself owning my own practice.
Alternatively, as a four-time NCAA champion synchronized swimmer, my other passion lies with sports. I love baseball, basketball, football, and the Olympics, to name a few. Sports Center is one of my favorite things to watch on TV, and I have envied Erin Andrew's job for years. I would LOVE to wake up in the morning to watch and commentate on sporting events. It wouldn't be work, it would be fun!