Microsoft Employee on the Apprentice

I figure it was just a matter of time before a Microsoft employee was on the Apprentice. Well, not only is our candidate for the Apprentice an MS employee, she is in marketing (Product Management). Good luck Verna! I suspect that taping is already complete but we are all rooting for you!

Comments (33)

  1. gretchen says:

    I think Josh and I bought our stair stepping machine from Verna … no joke. 🙂

  2. Heather says:

    That’s cool. Hey…if she wins, you could probably sell it on eBay.

    It will be funny to see if she uses Micrososft words by accident. She might tell people she is going to be "oof", or give some "feedback". I would have a hard time turning that off ; )

  3. Gautam says:

    you mean being a recruiter you would root for Verna to win the Apprentice and then have her leave Microsoft??



  4. Heather says:

    Gautam…she can always come back. If people have big dreams they want to pursue (like being on the Apprentice), we don’t want to hold them back. The Donald only promises them the job for one year anyway. ; ) Plus the press around having a smart Microsoft Product manager, and the first female, to win the Apprentice…that would be awesome!

  5. Oh man…i was going to try to kick my addiction to the Apprentice this season…but now of course I have to watch!

  6. Matt says:

    My mom used to work with her on projects and they did some presentations together. Go Verna!

  7. Dan says:

    I had the privledge of working with Verna at MSNBC/Bldg 25, in a little hole we called Reiftown. What a shock it was to see how far she’s made it! Get em girl. Hey Matt 🙂

  8. joe says:

    good god – she got uptight and walked off the show? certainly not the type of performance I’ve seen at 15 years at Microsoft.

  9. apprentice fan says:

    Your friend could not handle the stress tonight.

  10. Heather says:

    First…thanks for ruining the suspence for those of us on the West Coast…hello!

    Second, I never said I was freinds with Verna. I don’t know her, She works at Microsoft and I’m rooting for her.

    Third…people who post only negative things with no name/link/contact…why? Come on…no trolling here. That’s no fun. If you have something to add to the conversation…bring it on. If you are just here to criticize….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  11. joe says:

    heather, it’s called the world wide web for a reason. sorry we blew it for you. verna didn’t stand up to the pressure, but she lucked out and kept her slot on the show. no name/link? really, do I want to receive 1000 calls or email tomorrow about my comments? hardly. since this is the internet, folks will have no idea whether I’m for real or not – but I can tell you this, throwing in the towel is not how we do things at Microsoft. we’d still be selling Multiplan and Windows 1.0 if that were the case.

    I would have liked to root for her too, btw. Had no idea she was on the show, but had heard that somebody from MS was on the show. A quick google later and I discover it was Verna – unfortunately for her I happened to be watching the show at the time. I know you’ll be as pained as I was when you see what happens on the west coast.

    Honest, all Microsoft pals aside, how in God’s name will Verna *ever* hold a position of responsibility in any company? As my friend Peter Parker says, "with great power comes great responsibility" – translated to mean with great opportunity comes great risk. As a recruiter I know you may be conditioned to think differently, but I’m certain I would have second thoughts before putting Verna in a critical position.

  12. Heather says:

    OK, Joe…surely you don’t think that those of us on the west coast are going to stay off the net during prime time TV. Do you?

    I haven’t seen the episode yet. So I really don’t know what you are talking about yet. I have my name, phone number, e-mail address on this blog…it just isn’t a problem for me because I am willing to defend my opinions in the light of day (and again…I didn’t say verna was going to win…just that I was rooting for her…what is wrong with that?). I’d say that if you have something to say, you should be willing to field the comments. I do every day right here. As do almost all of the other folks that comment here. It lends credibility to your opinion. Anonymous criticism just isn’t fun.

    "As a recruiter I know you may be conditioned to think differently"…say what?

  13. ggrrl says:

    I think she’ll do even better now that she had this learning experience. I still think she’ll do well, plus she has some real yahoos on her team that will probably get kicked off first before she will.

  14. Matt says:

    Verna was just stressful as she is not used to being away from her young kids. In addition, the team said she had the easiest job and she failed. What the hell are they talking about? She was the only one that stayed up thru the night while the others slept. I cannot stand tha Erin girl. She said she wants Verna out. Erin should be out because she doesn’t even know how to get a hair cut. Good luck next week Verna and I hope you are not the person that says, "I quit"

  15. Heather says:

    OK, so I watched it last night and it wasn’t *that* bad. But maybe I’m just *conditioned* to think that (as if). I’ll blog more this weekend but I definitely saw some kind of physical reaction in Verna that could have been caused by too little sleep. Either way though, her team is going to be worried about her ability to lead. It’s hard to tell if they are really supportive of her or just acting that way, given that they won and nobody is going home. But she’s going to have to do some rebuilding if she wants to lead the team. She seems to know that. And she was right to focus on customer sat…that is what won the game for them so Michael, despite the fact that he was annoyed with her, should have listened a bit more. Anyhoo, wshe made a mistake…we’lll see if she can recover. I’m still rooting for her. And I agree that Erin’s not at the top of my list.

  16. Anusha says:

    I dont get it. If they gave the graveyard shift to someone, why was that same person incharge of getting breakfast? Especially when there were others who got good night’s sleeps and seemed to have no other duties that morning?

  17. Matt says:

    my point exactly heather and Anusha. let said she had the easiest job, when in fact she had the hardest by having to stay up for two days straight. without her great "customer" service to being with, they would have lost. she was very nice and convincing to the customers.

  18. Matt says:

    they said*

  19. Erin says:

    My husband and I actually worked with Verna at US West (now Qwest). He asked me last week (when we realized it was her) what stunt I thought she was going to pull (based on some things that happened then)? I said to him, based on her performance at USW it would not be long before she found a way to make herself the center of attention, and sure enough….I can tell you from personal experience, when Verna wants something, she goes for it, and others better get out of the way. I would be surprised if she won though based on the politics of the show; I don’t think she made any fans from her group last night inspite of the hugs, pats on the bag. Next time they fail a project her name has to be thrown out, people have short memories ya know. But if the game were just based on smarts and smarts only, she would have it in the bag! I’m rooting for her. It’s kind of neat knowing someone on a reality TV show!

  20. Heather says:

    Erin…I guess I’d have to say that there isn’t anyone chosen to be on that show that isn’t comfortable being the center of attention. I agree that her team might try to get her out because of the episode, but I liked her focus on customer satisfaction. That’s ultimately what won it for the team.

    I keep reminding myself that it’s a game…it’s totally set up to be high drama. And these are just people.

  21. Steve says:

    He that is without sin…please cast the first stone. You judgmental people. Like her or hate her, she is a member of an elite club that is filled with Reality Show Contestants who can not speak the truth about production secrets, what the real rules of the tasks are, or what they are told to do (“go on a walk with an empty bag while we act like we have no idea what you are doing” or from season one “put this HUGE sign by the dumpster so it is not ready when Bill Rancic has to meet with the sponsors.”). It is very easy to judge from the comfort of your chair. Using one of our favorite terms…THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX PEOPLE!!! It is TELEVISION…ENTERTAINMENT…AD SALES and RATINGS. I have worked at Microsoft for years. I can honestly say that we are some of the most condescending, self centered, pompous, arrogant, b@st@rds in the workforce (myself included at times). Give me 32 cameras and let me film the Windows Team a week before ship. No one on this silly thread could go 3 days with 5-6 hours of sleep and little to no food without flipping out in some way ESPECIALLY if we are needled by a silly member of the production staff. Did no one see the VH1 special called Reality Secrets Revealed ( or

    From VH1:

    …this news show investigates the world of so-called "reality" TV to find that these shows rely more on fiction than fact. Editing out of sequence, written lines and overt acting has become commonplace for this genre, which once advertised raw, unscripted programs…

    You are silly to say that this woman should suffer on her job in the real world based off of her actions in a fictional one. Think about YOUR actions over the last 16 weeks. What if I could take all of that footage and reduce 2688 hours into 16 little chunks of 44 minutes each. With that…I could create a show that would sell many ads too.

  22. Matt says:

    I agree. this probably isn’t true, but they might pay people to act dramatic and not themselves. Do you really think Omarosa is really that dumb and unprofessional. Or do you think that Bradford really would have given up his "exemption"?. And now the Verna Episode. It seems like every year they pick two people to do weird and uncharactrisitc things to boost the shows ratings. Steve is right. It is just a show. Not the REAL business world.

  23. Check this site out:

    It’s got a great business advice column and a really funny recap.

  24. joe says:

    well… all I can say is that the true person shines through in stressful environments. the outcome tonight didn’t surprise me one bit.

    yeah, i know, reality tv. not sure, though, that somebody is gonna put their professional image on the line for a few bucks to take a fall. I wouldn’t.

  25. Matt says:

    how could verna do that and let herself and friends/family down. She was picked out of millions of people to be on the show. i know she is better than her actions. VERY disappointed.

  26. Sibbling says:

    I am a close family member and not disappointed. Thanks for the concern though. Verna made the right decision. You only saw 5% of what really happened.

  27. Bryan says:

    This encapsulates Microsoft’s whole ideology in a nut shell. Knowing all the problems Microsoft has had with it’s products over the years, and the problems that continue. It looks as if walking away from them is the way Microsoft employees do things. She probably coulden’t do it because she was spoiled by the marketing budget Microsoft has and the lesser ammount given on the Apprentice.

  28. Does The Donald judge candidates in the same way that BillG does? Find out on Thursday. Heather mentioned on her blog today that a Microsoft employee will finally be featured on the upcoming season of The Apprentice . <Hey Heather … Didn’t I tell you

  29. Does The Donald judge candidates in the same way that BillG does? Find out on Thursday. Heather mentioned on her blog today that a Microsoft employee will finally be featured on the upcoming season of The Apprentice . <Hey Heather … Didn’t I tell you