herald

Sunday 10 December 2017

I'm so over it says Apprentice reject Caroline as she returns to work

FEISTY Apprentice contestant Caroline McHugh has shrugged off Bill Cullen's rejection and is now firmly focused on her legal career.

The legal eagle was given her marching orders by Bill Cullen in the Apprentice boardroom this week.

But Caroline has already sourced a job and is working for Mahon Sweeney solicitors in her home town of Roscommon.

"I'm back currently doing a few weeks covering maternity leave with a solicitor's," she said.

"It's great to have something to tide me over until the new year and I'll be looking again for something."

Caroline, who already has one apprenticeship under her belt, said she realised how much she missed law once she left the TV3 show.

"I probably realised I liked it more when I was away from it - that I am more comfortable in it," she said. "I did the show because I thought maybe something different would come out of it.

"I would like to get involved within the legal field, maybe in a media or entertainment department - in that sort of capacity."

Caroline (26) said she would like to represent high-profile media personalities or be responsible for the legal aspect of media production.

"Before the show I was working in a general practice, which was covering everything but I'd like to find an area that I could specialise in, that I could enjoy.

"In the Apprentice each week there was a legal team who had to view the episodes to make sure there wasn't defamation in it and at the moment that would be the kind of field I'd be directing towards."

But the qualified solicitor said that she felt the female contestants were not taken seriously in the house and has hit out of criticism of her clothes.

"Every outfit I wore I think was professional," she said. "It's stuff I would wear to my normal office, it's stuff I would wear to court as well.

"Someone said that I'm the type of girl who needs to work in a male dominated environment - that's absolutely rubbish - my office here is full of women, we're all girls, we all get on.

"I'm kind of offended by something like that. I was 100pc professional in there at all times and to read something like that is like you are being punished for being a woman.

"You are being punished by the other girls in the house for it, almost."

Caroline, who was accused of being in the middle of a three-person clique, had the full support of her family and friends during her time on the programme.

And she says she remains friends with Kieran, Niamh McDonald, Jamie Moran and Will McCreevey.

"Anytime I've been around town, people have been saying to me 'You're doing the west proud. You've remained dignified'."

Read Gerry O'Carroll, p29

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