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Apprentice Finalist Expands her Business
Despite Not Being Hired by Bill Cullen Joanne Does it Anyway
Letterkenny, Ireland (December 20, 2011) – Apprentice finalist Joanne Sweeney-Burke has carried on and “done it anyway” after coming third in this year’s The Apprentice.
Described by Bill Cullen as “a great sales person and fiercely focused in business” the Donegal woman has expanded her marketing company Media Box by opening a second office in Galway.
Speaking after last night’s Final Showdown, which saw her pitched against Maurice O’Callaghan, Noel Rowland and Eugene Heary for the €200,000 prize, the 33-year old said, “I’m thrilled to have reached the final. I was the only finalist to have offered Bill 50% of an existing company, and in reality losing 50% of my livelihood scared me. Despite not winning I have continued my expansion plan by opening a Media Box office in Galway.”
Joanne set up Media Box from her kitchen table just as the recession hit Ireland in October 2008. Despite the economic downturn Joanne says, “my business has me in the driving seat. That’s one of our unique selling points. Whenever I set myself a goal I achieve it. That’s just me. Media Box sales increased by 165% in the past 12 months while our targets for 2012 are similarly aggressive. Not winning the Apprentice, but reaching the final, is probably the best outcome for me.
“Since leaving the filming process in August I have put the wheels in motion to expand Media Box, which is what I wanted Bill’s investment for, but I have gone and done it on my own anyway. And I still own 100% of the company. So I’m really pleased with the outcome.”
Joanne’s track record in this year’s The Apprentice has been impressive. She was the last woman standing; she was part of the team that had the highest sales record in the entire history of The Irish Apprentice securing €3.49 million car sales for the Bill Cullen Motor Group in the semi-final; she topped the leader board in terms of tasks won – she won eight out of 11 tasks and she project-managed three tasks and led her team to victory on two of them.
Kildare native and former Auctioneer Eugene Heary was hired by Bill Cullen and walked away with a €200,000 investment in his new company Auction House.
Congratulating Eugene on winning The Apprentice 2011, Joanne says, “Eugene is now a great friend and we worked extremely well together. I am delighted that he won and we will certainly keep in touch, as I will with all the candidates.”
Joanne is now looking forward to a quiet Christmas with her family before getting back into her stride and executing her expansion plan for Media Box.
Apprentice Finalist Joanne Sweeney Burke, Sophie Burke and the Media Box Girls, Corinne Temple & Erin Coyle pictured with The 2011 Apprentice winner Eugene Heary
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