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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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The Apprentice – Meet the girls

The Apprentice: (L-R) Mona, Yasmina, Kimberly, Anita, Sir Alan, Lorraine, Kate, Paula and Debra

Anita Shah
Age: 35
Career: Business Strategist
Qualifications: LLB in Law & Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice
Lives: Birmingham

Cricket fanatic Anita is a qualified lawyer and self-confessed perfectionist. Anita, who led a team to win at the Visa Business School in 2008, hopes to one day complete a chick-lit novel and launch a new business providing emotional, psychological and spiritual therapy. She is inspired by James Caan for believing that you can be successful by investing in relationships and being nice to people, rather than being ruthless or devious. Anita considers herself to be a humanitarian with a Bridget Jones alter-ego.

She says: "My CV is strong. I am articulate. I can deal with questions and make impactful statements. Many lawyers can't. People want to chat with me."

Debra Barr
Age: 24
Career: Senior Sales Consultant
Qualifications: BA in English Literature
Lives: Surrey

Outspoken sales-woman Debra was awarded "mouth of the year" at her office Christmas party and confesses to being a bit tenacious. Buckinghamshire-born Debra considers herself to be a direct and driven sales-woman with a passion for business ... and a love of horses. She has had to fight illiteracy in her youth having struggled through her primary school years when, aged 10, she had the reading age of a six-year-old. Embodying her belief in overcoming objections, Debra went on to study English Literature at university. Inspired by Bill Gates and Sir Richard Branson, she is a go-getter who would rather ask for forgiveness than permission.

She says: "When I set my sights on something I have to make sure I get it. I am very cautious and only let the people that I can trust see the softer side of me."

Kate Walsh
Age: 27
Career: Licensing Development Manager
Qualifications: BSc in Psychology and Management
Lives: Hampshire

Born in Staffordshire, Kate is confident and resilient with what she describes as an ability to develop and sustain business relationships at all levels. The indie music fan lists cooking, snowboarding and gym workouts as passions she pursues with relentless enthusiasm. Although she regrets not applying to Oxbridge Kate, who admires the ballsy approach to business of Sex & The City's Samantha, continues to be a highly motivated and ambitious professional with an educated opinion on most issues.

She says: "My CV speaks for itself. I've always excelled academically and I have really achieved within a corporate environment across sales, marketing and a number of different aspects of business."

Kimberly Davis
Age: 33
Career: Marketing Consultant
Qualifications: BA in Music Management
Lives: London

Born in The Bronx, New-Yorker Kimberly is an accomplished musician and business owner who believes that no dream is too big. Kimberly's entrepreneurial spirit blossomed at an early age when, aged five, she started her own lemonade and ice tea stand. She has since gone on to launch highly successful marketing and development businesses. With an impressive musical history, Kimberly has performed Mozart at Carnegie Hall, danced onstage at Disney World, played flute in Disneyland's Electric Light Parade, and toured the US East Coast playing violin with the Essex County Chamber Orchestra. A strong believer in karma, Kimberly insists she has no poker face and lists Tiffany & Co, Chanel and Apple as her most inspiring brands.

She says: "I bring honesty and integrity to the table – I don't lie, cheat or backstab. I am not the stereotypical New Yorker and it's a stereotype I've faced."

Lorraine Tighe
Age: 36
Career: National Accounts Manager
Qualifications: NHC in Business Studies
Lives: Kent

Mother-of-two Lorraine was born in London and left school at 16. Since then she has gone on to be the top sales person in every company she has ever worked for and admires Victoria Beckham for being equally resourceful when doubted for having "not much talent". Talkative Lorraine admits to having very little education and has endured many trials and tribulations throughout her life. She sums up her attitude to business as the ability to drive a dead horse to the winning line.

She says: "I've fought against all the odds. I'm a single mum with no education and I've had a very hard time. It is tough, but to have the confidence I have I should be very proud of myself."

Mona Lewis
Age: 28
Career: Senior Financial Manager
Qualifications: A-Levels
Lives: Kent

Born in Karachi, former Tanzanian beauty-queen and stubborn mother-of-one Mona would love to have been the brains behind Tesco. She sees herself as shrewd and honest in business and believes that personal emotions should never interfere with decision making. Describing herself as an open-minded decision maker, Mona chose to apply for The Apprentice based on her desire to step out of her comfort zone and change the lives of herself and her son.

She says: "I knew I would be selected, not to sound big-headed ... I've succeeded in the companies I've worked for because I work hard and I'm honest."

Paula Jones
Age: 29
Career: Human Resource Consultant
Qualifications: Masters Degree in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management
Lives: Walsall, West Midlands

Fashion conscious Paula is an academic with a love for interior design. Born and raised in Walsall, Paula, a self-confessed scatter brain, admits to liking being liked and shying away from conflict, finding that as a result she is often left with issues unresolved. At the age of 18, Paula was a four-star sergeant in the army cadets and represented the army at county level in shooting.

She says: "I am the girl with a plan. I have great wit and strength of character, and I am resilient to the core."

Yasmina Siadatan
Age: 27
Career: Restaurateur
Qualifications: BSc Economic History with Population Studies
Lives: London

Highly ambitious restaurant owner and marathon runner Yasmina was born in Hull and spent time living in Los Angeles and Iran before settling in London. Yasmina, who first experienced the world of business in her dad's restaurant, describes herself as dominating yet adaptable and believes that business is about spotting a gap in the market and filling it better than anyone else can. She admires Sir Richard Branson's attitude to personal service and would love to have been the brains behind Microsoft, where the right idea at the right time led to riches.

She says: "Business is about a simple formula. Make more than you spend. That's what I do, I keep business simple and it works – I'm good at it."

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