Playing the Trump card

For Steuart Martens (BSM ‘05), winning a spot among the final four contestants on the fall 2010 season of NBC’s “The Apprentice” followed a pattern for success he established at an early age in swimming pools near his Washington, D.C., home.

Steuart Martens

Krannnert alumnus Steuart Martens appeared on the tenth season of NBC's “The Apprentice.” (Photo provided)

“I’ve always enjoyed competing, whether it is in athletics, the classroom or the business world,” Martens says. “I think it’s ingrained in my being.”

After earning a swimming scholarship to Purdue and Academic All-American honors in the sport while a student at Krannert, Martens tested the waters as an entrepreneur shortly after graduating. Despite a promising start, the choppy economy forced him to lay off numerous workers to keep his companies afloat.

“I don’t care who you are, if you’re only sleeping two or three hours a night, anything is going to be difficult.”
When Donald Trump announced the casting call for the tenth installment of his iconic reality show, which focused on giving those affected by the economic recession another chance at victory, Martens dove at the chance.

His competitive spirit rose to the top from an estimated 25,000 potential contestants, and Martens soon found himself in race among 16 other qualifiers for a seat in the Donald’s boardroom.

For Martens, the experience was another opportunity to showcase his skills on the national stage, but it also posed unexpected challenges.

“On the show, you are working 18 to 20 hours a day, so you get very little sleep,” he says. “I don’t care who you are, if you’re only sleeping two or three hours a night, anything is going to be difficult.”

Another challenging aspect of the competition was the unique team environment created by people who were accustomed always being in the lead.

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