Dear Mr. Trump,
It’s been almost seven years since I met you in a conference room at a nondescript hotel in California. I’m sure you don’t remember me – you must have shaken a million hands since then – but when someone makes an impact on me, even inadvertently, I like to acknowledge it.
Back then, I was a recently graduated 24-year-old public relations account executive with reasonable expectations for a normal, simple life – the kind folks back home expected me to have. I took the first job I could find and settled in for the long haul. Life was fine, good even, but quite average.
When I auditioned for Season 6 of The Apprentice on a whim, I was astonished every time I received a callback from the producers. I’ve been told I’m smart cookie and a sparkplug, but I confess to that point I still felt like I was playing dress up.
What could a normal gal from small town Florida ever really expect other than more normalcy?
I advanced round after round after round, and a few months into the process I found myself in LA for the final selection. Out of thousands of hopefuls, only 50 had made it to that point, and I was elated. A week of intensive interviews and auditions with Mark Burnett, various casting directors and producers had me thinking bigger than I ever had before.
When you and I met, it was for the very last audition of the week, and unlike the rest, this was a group audition. I sat in the waiting area with four women I’d never met, eagerly wondering what in the world awaited us in the conference room.
What awaited was none other than you – the Donald Trump – and an interview akin to the infamous boardroom on The Apprentice. I won’t give the details away here, but I suspect at that point in my life I just wasn’t aggressive enough for TV.
I believe something inside me began to change on the flight home that night. I knew I hadn’t been selected and I was sorely disappointed. Instead of giving up and going back to my average life, I channeled every bit of that letdown feeling into formulating a new game plan.
I’d had a taste of excitement and adventure and what could be, and I was never going back to normal.
I hatched a scheme to move to New York and to search out a fulfilling dream job in travel public relations. Within a few months, I was standing on 5th Avenue pinching myself. I made it!
After five years as a Hell’s Kitchen resident and employee at the world’s largest PR firm, I’m confident the meek young lady you met in the boardroom in 2006 has been taken over by a woman who lets nothing and no one intimidate her.
I’ve since traveled around the world alone, chronicling my adventures every step of the way. I run my own business and my own website, I’m a successful independent PR & social media consultant and I’m planning to take a crack at writing a book later this year.
In the past seven years, I’ve learned that nothing is impossible and no dream is too crazy, and you don’t have to win every battle, so long as you win at life.
I’m not a Miss USA or an MBA, so only through the powers of the reality TV audition process did our paths cross. And I’m so glad they did. I would not be the savvy, confident woman I am today without the lessons I learned from my Apprentice experience.
Thank you for the impact you made. It’s made all the difference.