Apprentice-winner Michelle Dewberry shares her tips for tonight's contestants

With the eagerly anticipated second episode of The Apprentice on tonight, we spoke to series two winner Michelle Dewberry to get the inside track on what it's like to be on the show and what the contestants should be doing to become Sir Alan Sugar's very own apprentice. Plus, she's got some great advice for startups too...

  • Michelle, what advice would you give to the contestants?

"Just be yourself and don't get involved in the backstabbing. Don't wander around with a big ego going on about how amazing you are, just keep quiet and let your results prove how good you are as opposed to telling everybody.

"Just get your head down and treat it as a job interview - the fact that it's televised should make no difference."

  • What's it like when you're on the show?

"It's a couple of month living with colleagues and it's very pressured. You don't know what you're agenda's going to be, you don't have your mobile phone with you - it is a very pressured environment.

"But also it's a lot of fun. It's a fantastic experience that these guys will probably never repeat again in their lives.

"And it's hard work. You do have to remember that a task takes a few days for each task. And there's two camera crews recording constantly and that gets edited down to an hour, so you do see a heavily edited thing.

"But it's just an unbelievable experience that money will never be able to buy."

  • How did winning help you?

"It's reinforced the belief that you've got to have self confidence in what you want to do.

"And it's opened the door for me to increase my professional network immensely. It opens doors to loads of people."

  • You've recently started your own business, recession-friendly fashion and luxury newsletter Chiconomise - what advice would you give to other startups at the moment?

"It's about maintaining self-belief, that's the biggest thing. If you've got an idea that you believe in, you must never let anyone take that away from you. Just keep up with it, keep on with it, keep plugging away and don't let anyone dissuade you from your idea.

"If things don't work and things don't go to plan, it's just about dusting yourself off and attacking it from a different angle - but not giving up.

"And don't look for excuses. People say, 'Oh I can't start up my business because of the tough economic climate' - but so what? It doesn't matter, it doesn't make any difference. There's no time like the present to do what you want to do in business, that's what I think."

  • And that's exactly what we think too. Big thanks Michelle, and watch this space for more Apprentice lovin'.
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