tefanie, you're hired!" Donald Trump told former trial attorney, Stefanie Schaeffer, during the finale of the Apprentice, Season Six.

Mr. Trump had two candidates left and could only choose one as his next apprentice for a project in the Dominican Republic and Las Vegas. Schaeffer and her opponent, James Sun, sat before Trump during what seemed to be a cross examination while answering a row of questions one after the other.

"I didn't exactly know at what moment Mr. Trump made his decision because it was just a series of questions and bullets flying at me and I had to defend myself," Schaeffer said and continued, "I thought that Mr. Trump hired James and then James looked at me and gave me a big hug and because James was smiling, I couldn't tell. I did not hear over the crowd what Mr. Trump said, so I was completely shocked that I had won. Pleasantly surprised," Schaeffer said.

Although Schaeffer was born in Burbank, she was raised in Palm Springs, played varsity tennis and sang in the concert choir in high school. As a teenager, she wanted more than anything to become a marine biologist and even went so far as to become a certified diver. She entered college thinking she would go to medical school after her father impressed upon her that marine biology should be a hobby and not a profession. "Upon encountering Organic Chemistry, I quickly realized that I was missing the vital part of the brain required for survival in medical school," Schaeffer laughed.

Switching gears, Schaeffer decided to attend Law School after graduating from UC Riverside in 1996 with a double major in Psychology and English and a minor in Communications. She attended Southwestern University School of Law and was accepted into the famed SCALE (Southwestern's Conceptual Approach to Legal Education) program which is the only two year fully accredited ABA Juris Doctor program in the United States. 'They only accepted 50 students and we graduated with about 23 people in the class," Schaeffer said. Following this intense year-round program, Schaeffer took the bar examination and passed on her first time. She clerked for a federal judge in downtown LA for a little bit then took a job with Wood, Smith, Henning and Ber-man defending developers in construction defect litigation. She later landed a career at Goldman, Magdalin and Krikes.

With Schaeffer's impressive credentials and background, it is clear that Trump found exactly what he was searching for. After all, he had his eye out for "the best of the best."

Prior to becoming a contestant for the recent Apprentice, Schaeffer worked for Goldman, Magdalin and Krikes as a trial attorney in Los Angeles defending California employers in Workers' Compensation litigation.

"I was a huge fan of the Apprentice at the time," Schaeffer explained. "My boss knew that and would catch me watching it. One day, he handed me an application. He went online and downloaded all the documents and said, 'You have to try out for this. You would be perfect.' I had planned to go to the casting call in Los Angeles and when my schedule precluded it, my boss at the time found out and told me that I had to go to the one in San Diego."

Schaeffer reviewed her cases while she stood in line during the casting call. The producers called her back and she went through the whole process and ended up being selected for the show out of hundreds of thousands of other people who tried out.

Originally, Schaeffer competed on the show against 17 other applicants which allowed the candidates to be split into two groups of nine. Schaeffer clarified that this season, things were done differently. 'This is the first season in six and the only season that it was filmed in LA and it was the only season where people didn't live in the life of luxury," Schaeffer said and explained that the show had been traditionally filmed in the Trump Tower in New York and the people lived in penthouses in luxurious quarters and the focus had been on the business tasks. However, in this season, the Apprentice had been transformed into Apprentice/Survivor. The team who won would live in a mansion and the team who lost had to live in the backyard of the mansion in a tent with no electricity, one port-a-pottie for nine people, no hair dryer, no dry cleaning, no lighting and no refrigeration. "It was horrible and really disgusting," Schaeffer remembers. 'The producers wanted to create the haves and the have nots and if you've lost a task then you not only have to be on the top of your business game and survive in a group of people who are all out to get you who you also have to work with as a team, but, you have to do it when you're sleep deprived, exercise deprived and anxiety ridden."

Schaeffer spent half of the time on the show in the tent and in fact, when she first started the show, she was out there for the first three weeks due to her team losing the first three tasks.

"I have a different kind of set of coping skills and I told myself that I'm just going to check my ego at the door. This backyard is my world now and whatever is thrown at me, bring it on," Stefanie said of her experience in the tent. "When life throws you lemons, I say, okay, I like lemons.... give me more," she laughed.

On the show, Schaeffer was never a project manager by title. This not only makes her the second woman to win the Apprentice but, the only contestant to have ever won without being a project manager once. Because this season, in addition to filming in LA and making it a survivor element, the show also had been set up in such a way that if a person were the project manager and that person's team won, then the same contestant would remain the project manager. "We ended up in a situation where through about nine tasks we only had three project managers because we kept winning in segments of three, so the other thing was that if you were the project manager and you went to the board room, you were able to bring two people with you who you thought should be fired. Well, I was never one of those two people and the rule was that if you survived through the board room and if you were one of the two to survive, that you get first dibs on being the next project manager because you have the most to prove to Mr. Trump because you were on the firing line," Schaeffer explained. "I did volunteer but because I was never even on the firing line, they kept telling me 'no, no, you don't even have anything to prove, you're not even close to being fired' and after 10 tasks there weren't any more project managers because we were divided into three groups of two. And my answer to Mr. Trump, because he asked me during the finale, 'how do you address the fact that some people think that you were under the radar or that you were not a project manager or that you may not be a leader?' and my answer to that is, I was a leader. And a true leader leads without necessarily having the title. I didn't need to be known as the project manager. I just acted like it all the time in whatever capacity they needed me. Just making sure that we got the job done as a team. A real leader picks up the slack and makes everyone look good. I just acted like a leader naturally and as a result, I gained the respect of my peers and that's what happened to me on the show, my peers respected me, my teammates respected me," Schaeffer said and quickly apologized for sounding proud. She also added, "It's an attitude it's not the title. You can work the mail room and be a heck of a leader, you can also be the CEO and be a terrible leader. It's about taking pride in what you're doing and treating people with respect regardless of their position."

According to the show, the winner of Apprentice would be given two choices. The new apprentice could either take a high rise project in Atlanta Georgia or take the Dominican Republic project. "I chose to go to the Dominican Republic because I figured that it is out of the country. It forces me to learn another language and relate to a new group of people which would only be beneficial to both of us," Schaeffer said.

The Dominican Republic project is known as Cap Cana. This is a master planned community of which Trump is involved in about four different elements. Within the master community there are golf courses, hotels, villas, private residences and a marina. Trump is also building 68 private estates which sold out in four hours. Schaeffer says, "There are several things going on that Mr. Trump is heavily invested in and it should be really fun to see it all evolve."

When Schaeffer is not working in the Dominican Republic, she is in Las Vegas working on another project. She spends part of her time in Vegas working on marketing and selling the remaining units in Trump Tower one and Trump Tower two as well as marketing the Trump name and branding. Schaeffer described the project as beautiful. "This building is located on what will be the Vegas answer to Fifth Avenue. We're at the part of the strip that is really the height of luxury. We're right across the street from Fashion Show Mall, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and Nordstrom. There are 84 five-star restaurants within walking distance. Right outside of your door you have casinos, spas, shopping and restaurants. It's turnkey, you walk in and it's fully furnished. If you don't want to stay in it then you can place it in the rental pool and the Trump hotel brand will maintain it for you and rent it out. It's a condo/hotel. It's pretty amazing and it's non- gaming and nonsmoking luxury. You really feel like you're at an exclusive resort without any aggravation. It's peace and quiet amidst this whole strip of casinos. And yet, if you have an urge to play a game of craps, you just step outside your door," Schaeffer said and added that Tower One is expected to have its doors open by February of 2008.

In between both projects, Schaeffer resides in Los Angeles, however, would like to move to the Santa Clarita Valley someday.

"The thing that I like about Santa Clarita," Schaeffer says, "Is that there is a lot of open space. It doesn't appear to be over built. I love that there are hills everywhere and there is still green. And I love that the people seem a little bit more laid back. It's like you're stepping into your own little oasis where you're not afraid to take your dog for a walk or go for a jog or be out in the evening. You don't fear for your life, you feel like maybe if you left your car unlocked, it would still be there when you came back. I just like that it has that small town feeling with the warmth that I don't think you see in a lot of different areas of LA anymore. And there's just less hustle. It's a little more nature and a little more family oriented and a little more spread out and I just really like that."

Schaeffer really enjoys charity work and likes to help out wherever she can. She is involved with the SCV Boys and Girls Club, the American Cancer Society and the Habitat for Humanity. She is mostly active with the American Cancer Society. Schaeffer is their television spokesperson and she does (he public service announcements on CNN for them as well. She also visits children in hospitals who are undergoing chemotherapy. She claims to have a soft spot for kids, the elderly and animals.

Schaeffer's goals are to do some business technique/motivational speaking, hosting and own her own business. She is writing a book on success in business and does public speaking around the country for various businesses and charitable organizations. In fact, she still keeps in touch with her teammate and finalist from the Apprentice. Sun, and they both are doing a national speaking tour around the United States speaking together. Schaeffer says that this is the only reality show team where there has been a winner and a finalist to later team up and speak about teamwork. 'The pro of being on the show was that I met some great people who I think I will be friends with for the rest of my life and I learned a lot about myself and how strong I really am. I found that I am much stronger on many different levels than 1 ever gave myself credit for," Schaeffer said and also added, "If I had the choice to do it all over again, I would do it in a second. Win, lose or draw, I would do that without even a hesitation. It was a great experience."