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Stella English had been basking in the glow of her Apprentice victory for less than 24 hours when we had a chance to speak to her and get the lowdown on the show...and her advice for cracking in to the male-dominated world of business.
"Basically, I didn't choose the easiest industry to go into," English said in an exclusive conversation with GLAMOUR.COM. "But I think what  I've learnt through all of this is that if you're dedicated and you continue to try and educate yourself...there's nothing to stop you." English famously grew up on Europe's largest council estate, in Thamesmead, East London, and left school with no qualifications - but nonetheless had already propelled herself into a high-flying banking career before she went on The Apprentice.
"I was always a budding businesswoman," English explained. "I remember [as a child] trying to work out how people bought houses, and how people got money for them." Though school was not a success, she went on to enrol on a training scheme that proved to be the first step in her rise to the top. "I had to really swallow my pride and go and do [a] job for £20 a week," she said, of her first apprenticeship when she was just a teenager. "I'm so glad I did."
Has English struggled with sexism in her career? "Being tall and blonde and things hasn't necessarily helped me," she admitted, but explained that she felt overall that her professionalism had always won the day. "I've not ever had a problem," she said. "You're just professional, and ultimately earn people's respect by being professional, by being good [at your job] - that's what I've always found.
And what would she tell young women who'd like to follow in her footsteps -  whether or not they've got qualifications? English's optimism is contagious. "I think the first thing is [to] choose something which you're passionate about - don't do a job that you're not going to enjoy," English said." Choose something that you know you're going to be good at, so you have a flair for that particular industry," she said.
"Once you can get in there, then you can set your sights on what level you can get to." And judging from her performance on The Apprentice, we think it's pretty sound advice.

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