Microsoft worker wants to be Trump's 'Apprentice'

Verna Felton already has a job at Microsoft, but she's aiming to win big on Donald Trump's TV show. Co-workers cheer her on in blogs.

Verna Felton already has a job at Microsoft, but the position she really wants is that of protege to Donald Trump.

Verna Felton
Felton, 31, is one of 18 candidates competing on this season's installment of the NBC show "The Apprentice." This year, the show is pitting street smarts against book smarts, with nine of the candidates having graduated college and the other nine having skipped higher education and headed straight into the working world.

Felton falls on the "book smarts" side, having earned a master's degree in business communications before pursuing her marketing dreams at Microsoft.

Officially, Microsoft declined to comment on Felton's "apprenticeship" beyond confirming that she indeed works for the software giant. However, several Redmondites have posted blog items supporting one of their own.

Fellow Microsoft marketer Heather Hamilton said that she figured it was only a matter of time before a Microsoft worker was on the show.

"Well, not only is our candidate for the Apprentice (a Microsoft) employee, she is in marketing," Hamilton wrote in a blog item. "Good luck Verna! I suspect that taping is already complete but we are all rooting for you!"

Other people on Hamilton's blog posted responses wondering whether she will keep her Microsoft job if she wins and whether she will accidentally use Microsoft jargon such as "oof" (that's Microsoft speak for "out of the office").

A blog called Inside Microsoft has been keeping a running tally on all things Verna. Felton is also keeping tabs on her own site. And there is always the official Apprentice Web site, which is hosted by Yahoo.

So far, Felton has survived the first week of the show, though her team did lose to the street smarts group in a contest to see who could sell more Angus Burgers at a Burger King.