Boardroom blitz! Sir Alan raises the bar as The Apprentice moves to BBC One
Meet the girls
Qualifications: Banking Exams
Career: Financial Adviser
Home town: Harrow, Middlesex
Profile: A street smart, strong woman with ambition and attitude, Jadine knows that she will be tested but she is ready for the challenge. Her first taste for business came as a seven-year-old, when she shrunk crisp packets in the oven and sold them on as key rings for 20 pence each to her friends. Her first job was at McDonalds; she was employed on the spot and then worked a 13-hour shift. A passionate single mother, after winning a place at university, Jadine decided to quit to support her daughter. She later moved into banking and was promoted three times in her first year. As well as running an invitation-only club night, her passions include fashion, music, singing and cars.
She says: "This is my chance to show my true potential and exceed my chances of giving myself and my daughter a real life."
Dr Sophie Kain
Qualifications: PHD, Theoretical Physics
Career: Quantum Physicist
Home town: Llanellen, Wales
Profile: Although Sophie is a bright, competitive and educated individual, she also admits that she's a bit of a control freak who doesn't suffer fools gladly. She has a PhD in Theoretical Physics and is principal research scientist for a major aviation and shipping design company. Her first entrepreneurial experience was changing her paper round shift to Sunday to make more money. She says she is more inspired by innovation than branding and is particularly annoyed that she didn't think of the iPod. Her first jobs were sweeping the floor at the local hair salon for £10 per day and as checkout girl in her local Sainsbury's. Her hobbies include playing chess and singing open-mic jazz.
She says: "I think I'm one of the few people who are blessed with using both sides of my brain. I can understand the technical side of things but also have vision."
Qualifications: MBA, Open University
Career: Housewife with a Business Degree
Home town: Upminster, Essex
Profile: This mum of two believes that she will thrive under Sir Alan's blunt and brutal managerial approach and thinks that her steeliness will carry her through. She's a self-assured, bubbly and fun former city girl whose first job was as a receptionist in a car dealership. As a teenager she swam for England but gave it up before the 1993 Commonwealth Games to attend the London College of Fashion. Having lost six stone she is a proud and determined Weight Watcher and recently completed a degree course in French.
She says: "I admire Sir Alan's achievements and attitude, I like the way he is with people. Who needs the truth wrapped up with fairy lights? Say it how it is!"
Qualifications: BA Economics, MBA
Career: Global Brand Consultant
Home Town: Exeter
Profile: An alpha female who is a ruthless natural leader with a huge drive, Katie is in it to win it. Her first job was in a local cake shop aged 14. She went on to be sponsored through university by the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and claims she can "out press up" most men. A single mother of two, prior to signing up for The Apprentice Katie was a jet-setting management consultant.
She says: "My ambition is to be CEO of a large global brand builder by 40."
Career: Business Development Manager
Home town: Glasgow
Profile: Young, feisty and driven, this go-getting 23-year-old Glaswegian can speak five languages, is the youngest-ever candidate on The Apprentice, and plans to be a millionaire by the time she's 30. In her previous job she was responsible for a turnover of £6million of services per annum and if she doesn't get the job with Sir Alan she wants to establish her own business in fashion. In just two weeks she raised more than £8,000 staging a charity fund-raising event for the Asian Tsunami.
She says: "I rate myself as a talented individual with strong business acumen."
Qualifications: BSc Hons Mathematics
Career: Pharmaceutical Sales Manager
Home town: Harrogate
Profile: Kristina is a ruthless single mother who is not afraid of fighting for what she wants. She has the mind for business and sees this as her chance to achieve success. Before The Apprentice she was the regional sales manager for a pharmaceutical company managing a team of reps across Northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. She had a son at a young age and worked her socks off to get through her university Maths degree and to care for her child. Kristina is an avid horse rider and often competes in events.
She says: "To me Sir Alan is an inspiration, where he started, what he has achieved and his directness!"
Qualifications: BA European Studies
Career: Advertising Sales Manager
Home town: Vauxhall, London
Profile: Super-efficient, super-confident and sassy – Naomi is not afraid to get what she wants. Originally from Cornwall, she moved to London to attend university and spent a year at The Sorbonne in Paris. She worked her way up the advertising industry career ladder rising from PA to Sales Team Manager in just three years. She has also spent time in Sierra Leone where her father worked in diamond and gold mining. An entrepreneur from an early age, Naomi once charged her parents to remove caterpillars from their gooseberry bushes. She has also produced a nude calendar featuring naked miners from Cornwall to raise money for a mine rescue charity. She loves running, diving and in the past year completed both the London and New York Marathons.
She says: "People that know me would describe me as loud, motivated, fun, determined, compassionate and energetic."
Qualifications: BA Hons, Tourism
Career: Transport Development Manager
Home town: Woking, Surrey
Profile: Highly driven and ambitious, Gerri believes that working for Sir Alan will be a platform where hard work achieves success. She is now a sales and marketing specialist with more than five years of management experience who gave up a job with MI5 to apply for The Apprentice; she applied for both and was offered both on the same day – and ended up choosing Sir Alan Sugar over James Bond. Her first taste of business was as a six-year-old trading sweets with her sisters to the kids in her street for a huge profit. Her first paid job was in the local fish and chip ship earning £2 an hour before eventually joining Thomas Cook as a travel agent and then moving to a sales position at Eurostar. She has also trained as an Air Traffic Control Officer. She loves shopping and offers a PA-type service to friends and relatives organising their Christmas and birthday presents.
She says: "It is easy to have confidence when you are a big fish in your own pond, but to suddenly be thrown into a sea of sharks you have a bit of a reality check."