Donald Trump (Again!)

Last night's opener to The Apprentice was fascinating television. Yes, readers of this blog know that I am no fan of The Donald. Indeed, Fast Company is one of his loudest critics. But I have to salute Mark Burnett for spinning out another great conceit: have a team of college-educated professionals compete against only those with high school degrees. As much as we like to believe that we live in a classless society in America, truth is there is a major cultural divide between the educated and the uneducated. Tapping into that conflict in a business context is nothing less than brilliant. Interestingly enough, the high school grads have a net worth that is three times that of the college-educated group on the show. Hence, the group's name: Net Worth. Who are you rooting for?

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  • Mushroom

    Hi Everyone! I just signed up for this site and am intrigued with what you all had to say, but does anyone realize that this is just a TV show, albeit entertaining? This is a promotion of, for, and by Donald Trump. He has us hooked and captured, which is fine, but this is a fake. The fellow at the award dinner who raised the question if Donald Trump really did pay off a mortgage as a way of saying thank you, was either sucking up or it was a total plant. Everyone heard of that story! So what. It was pocket change to Trump, although a nice gesture. It's for ratings. Having the now Mrs. T. on the show is for ratings as well. Just like all the other reality shows, this series is for entertainment. The more people who get hooked, the more money for Trump and the show. These high school grads were hand picked. They aren't your ordinary run of the mill people, but highly motivated and highly sucessful people. They were picked for ratings, just like on season 1, we had a lot of beautiful ladies for Mr. Trump. Of course now a wedding has put an end to some of that......bye bye Amy. It is nice to be entertained though as there isn't much else on on Thursday night to watch. How would TA fare against Alias or Lost?? Or Desperate Housewives? Thursday night is a dud

  • Tom Farmer

    Jill brings up a good point, which this season is attempting to show - can someone without a college education cut it in this (on the show) environment. It sounds like the "street smarts" group are pretty competent, and possibly more so than the college-educated group.
    I too have worked with many people who have an MBA and think that now they can walk on water (the FedEx ad where the new guy is asked to help the shipping dept. is about right), but turn out to be a complete disaster. One question I have is how committed they are this season to letting one of the "street smarts" crowd win and get the job? Yeah it brings viewers in with a somewhat provocative premise, but if they don't intend to award the job to a "street smart" candidate what's the point (besides ratings). Just keep in mind that the reason that Trump gave for not keeping Troy in the running during season 1 was because he didn't have a college degree. Later he offered to send Troy to college to get his degree, so I don't know if perhaps that might be the case for this season.

  • Spencer

    NetWorth certainly appeared to be the better-organized team, composed of more capable people. I agree with the comment that John, the PM last week, looked extremely strong compared to past seasons' leaders.

    At this point, I'm disappointed with the caliber of the Book Smarts individuals; they seem like the sort of whiny, full-time students who are only concerned with getting their parents to buy them a new Apple laptop so they can show it off at Starbucks. I would caution, of course, that the producers and editors of the program have a lot of license to create the impression they want the audience to have. For example, even though the task looked like a total blowout for Magna, the dollar results mentioned in the boardroom showed that the task was much closer than the footage seemed to have indicated. Perhaps the producers of the show are trying to create the impression that Danny and his "unbelievable" team are a bunch of kooky kumbayah-singing hippies - or maybe they really are. We'll see.

  • Jill Burke

    I'm absolutely rooting for Net Worth. I don't have a college degree but I'm doing pretty well for myself in the corporate world. Earning a college degree doesn't guarantee intelligence on the job. Trust me, I've worked with plenty of educated (do I dare say idiots?). What it tells me is that you were fortunate to have gone to school, you did your work and made your grades, but can you apply it? I expect this will be a VERY intesting season on the Apprentice but my bet is the job will go to one who is educated - corporate snobbery is alive and well, even in the Trump Tower.

  • John Aiello

    I feel after just getting my G.E.D last year at age 36 and now attending college at 37. I have street smarts and book smarts, no job is beneath me, and I would beat either team!

  • RTodd

    Commitment, dedication and resolve are the ingrediants I would look for in a new hire. But then again, if your looking for ratings and selling a book then maybe the pretty boys/girls should be your choice.

  • Zennie Abraham

    Hi All,

    I really did enjoy TA3, although I'm not sure it's the single best episode I've seen. I'm rooting for individuals on both sides, more than either Magna or Networth. I'm also developing my own TA playbook, as I'm applying to be on the show myself (There's my shamless plug. You can fire back with your advice at "Zennie's Blog" ).

    I don't think there's anything wrong with being ambitious, and it certainly doesn't mean one is shallow at all. I find such people to be intoxicating and engaging to be around.

    I think what makes Networth work as a team is that they're not afraid to do "meanial" tasks. More often than not, The Apprentice causes one to be both "Chief Cook" and "Bottle Washer." People with high degrees are less likely to want to roll up their sleeves and "just do it" and more likely to whine that they have to take on a task that's beneath them.

    From that perspective, the deck may already be stacked against Magna, because the vast majority of jobs on The Apprentice do call for humbling work. What may save Magna is their ability to come up with inventive ways to execute their work. That and their emotional maturity.

    We shall see.

  • Craig Thomler

    The Aprentice 3 has clearly demonstrated that you can't turn a pig into a silk purse.

    Shallow, ambitious people with education are still shallow ambitious people. While they may do well at carving out a political niche in the corporate world they'll never be known for creating something of value or achieve the level of wealth people with the right attitude and a relevant enducation will achieve.

    It's a shame the entire Networth team can't win.

  • Eric James

    It seems to me that we are focusing to much on who has a piece of paper and who doesn't. Education has nothing to do with who has and who doesn't have a diploma. The difference in the two groups has more to do with how someone became educated. Having a college degree is not conclusive evidence that someone is educated. It just means that a person can move with the herd and follow instructions. The "Net Worth" team is made up of very motivated idividuals who were confident enough to go out into the world and learn what they needed to know as they needed it. The "Magna" team needed the reasurance that a college degree implies that they did in fact know what they needed to compete in the real-world.

  • Kyle

    This was the first episode of The Apprentice I've seen, and I have to say, brilliant concept! For someone without a college degree, who lives and works in a city(Wash., DC) that highly favors those with graduate degrees, it was great to see the common sense approach taken by N/W win the first episode!

    Too early to tell who will carry the season, but I know who I'll be rooting for along the way.

  • Exuper

    I'm rooting for Net Worth. From the past season's all I have seen are big egoes. I think the Net Worth team will win because they all seem like people that can work with each other.

  • John A. Byrne

    Definitely agree on the college grad name: Magna. Pleeese! Who could possibly root for that team. Will be interesting to see how all this evolves.

  • Doug Morris

    It's not possible to pick the ultimate winner after one episode. After last night, I'm rooting for Networth, they are the first team to avoid the whining, backstabbing, and they actually had enthusiasm and energy for the job. I got the feeling that a few of them worked at BK or McD's before. The Magna team seemed to think it was "above" the fast food fray. They didn't show any sort of teamwork; it looks like they can't stand each other. And, to top it all, they have a ridiculous team name.

  • Donna

    I watched the first season with interest, because it was a new concept. The second season, only if there was nothing else on tv at all. Last nights show was the best show in all three seasons. I agree that the PM (John) for Net Worth was dynamic and definitely a strong leader. Todd (leader for Magna) was weak, whiny and unwilling to accept responsibility for his decisions (well danny did this and so-and-so did that.. ). Don't get me started with Alex! He was safe until he piped up about it being his fault! He tried to train Todd and he would have none of it.. he should have mentioned that he made the decision to train more people but Todd disagreed. Danny was a disappointment as far as marketing/promotion was concerned but I think he just needs to get over his own self-importance and get down to what he does best..he's an intelligent man and I have this feeling he's going to blow away the Net Worth team in the marketing/promotion arena because he has the education AND he's unconventional. We will see. I don't really fit into either group.. I graduated from high school and went to college but don't have a degree.

    I have to say I'm more interested in this season of Apprentice then I have been in the past. Heck, my 18 yo daughter was yelling at the tv because she thought Trump was gonna fire Danny!! I do have to say I'm extremely impressed with Kristen for not selling him out just because everyone else did..I'd have to say she expressed my feelings about last nights show.

  • Chris

    Yea, I'm rooting for Net Worth. From the past season's all I have seen are egoes in self destruct mode. I think the Net Worth team will win because they will want to prove themselves a bit more in front of the world.

  • Charles

    I'm rooting for Networth. Regardless of their educational background, they seem to have a better group of people so far. In the task last night, they were able to complete the task in a timely, efficient manner. The PM was excellent and individuals on the team had a very good grasp of the project's parameters, and what was needed to promote & SELL their product.
    Magna is going to need some strong PM's in order to organize all the 'personalities' on that team.

  • Doug Hill

    Probably the reason the HS grads net worth is higher is because they've been in the workforce longer. Net Worth was a group of Know It Alls. You know these people. They didn't go to college because they already know it all. So if you want to hang with a shallow group who talk nothing but sports, TV and what they're going to buy next with all their net worth, Net Worth are your buds.

  • Chris Woodruff

    You have to root for Networth team. The guy who was the Project manager was the best PM I have seen in all 3 seasons so far. He was a great communicator, lead extremely well and had a great leader attitude. The Networth team all seem like people that can work with each other. The Magna team from the first episode all seem like the teams from the first 2 seasons: whiny, selfish and backstabbing.

    Unless the tasks favor Magna team they will get picked off fast due to the lack of vision on teamwork I saw in the first episode.