The Apprentice Alex Delgado After the Boardroom

apprentice Donald Trump's latest pink slip recipient learned that failing the world's most visible job interview may not be such a bad thing. Alex Delgado won't be working for the Trump Organization but he's landed on his feet just fine, thank you very much.

Episode two of The Apprentice had contestants on the streets of New York selling ice cream out of push carts on two hot, sunny days. Lemonade is so pre-recession.

"Fortitude," the women's team, beat "Octane," the men's, by a profit of $300. Men donned barbershop outfits and used their sex appeal to woo potential buyers. Women wore street clothes, then hot pink tank tops for the same purpose. In a final low competitive blow, the women walked up to the men's ice cream cart and gave their remaining ice cream away for free at the end of the challenge.

In a city the size of New York, it seemed a bit forced that both "Octane," the men's teams and "Fortitude," the women's team focused on Union Square Park to hawk their treats. Surely other places with heavy foot traffic, like Times Square or Penn Station could have been considered. However, what viewers don't see is that there are limitations put on the participants.

At the end, Alex Delgado, 43, of Santa Ynez, CA, an engineer and father of two, heard, "You're fired!" Based on numbers, he was one of the worst sales people. Trump and his advisers noted that Delgado didn't seem to have the necessary passion.

Lessons Learned

The task was about selling ice cream, but in the board room, contestants have to sell themselves and prove their worth to last another week. "Whether you like it or not, you have to be a salesman about yourself," says Trump.

Delgado learned that and other lessons over the show. His strategy was to remain calm, cool, and collected, but that plan made him look passionless. From the get-go, he told Trump he "was just an engineer," for fear of revealing more information to his fellow contestants, such as that he's been a business owner and musician. He now regrets that choice.

"Hindsight's twenty-twenty," he says. "I should have showed Trump I'm a '3-D' candidate. James is 'just' a lawyer."

Still, Delgado is proud to have been chosen to compete. He did not audition for the show; producers picked him based on his online application.

A Bright Future

While Delgado was filming The Apprentice, his wife received a call from Earth Systems Pacific, a company to which he had applied. He also knew other employees there and networking helped him get the job. The company was interested despite him being on "another project." He didn't reveal his TV "side gig." However, if the company couldn't wait, Delgado was prepared to leave the show.

"I would have dropped everything and come back home," says Delgado. "Because that's real life."

Delgado is now working as an inspector in materials testing. He is responsible for verifying that construction materials are up to code.

One might say things happen for a reason. He says if his job wouldn't wait, he would have considered bowing out of The Apprentice. And, not wanting to transfer his kids to schools in New York, it would have been a bi-coastal challenge, had he won the whole thing.

His advice to other job seekers:

  • Don't burn bridges
  • Stay in contact with old employers and employees
  • Emphasize how versatile you are

Next:On the Job, Nice Guys May Finish Last >>

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