You prepare yourself for the professional path you want to take in life, but you never know where your career might take you. Just ask Kelly Smith Beaty, a 30-year-old public relations rep and former Black Enterprise intern who will appear on the newest season of Donald Trump’s The Apprentice.
Beaty, who was born in North Carolina and raised in Georgia, earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Spelman College and a master’s degree in public communication from American University. She’s dreamed big since she was a little girl, and her knack for spotting opportunities and capitalizing on them has served her well throughout her career.
In this second installment of our three-part interview (read Part I), Beaty updates Black Enterprise on what she’s been doing since her summer internship.
Where did you go after your Black Enterprise internship?
After Black Enterprise, I went EVERYWHERE.Â I have literally managed PR campaigns in New York, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ukraine, and others.Â I have worked on behalf of mayors of small towns and presidents of African nations.Â My clients consistently included Fortune 500 CEOs, government officials, NGO leaders, celebrities, and marquee brands.Â I have truly had an amazing career, and I’d like to think that this has only been the beginning.
How did you get cast on The Apprentice?
Ultimately, I went through many arduous rounds of casting to finally make it onto the show, but it all began at a casting call in Atlanta.Â In many ways, I can thank my alma mater, Spelman College, for my getting cast because I found out about the casting on its Facebook page. The open call was scheduled for 9:00 a.m. at an Atlanta hotel. I arrived at 3:00 a.m. that morning and, after a whirlwind of interviews, I found myself sitting in the infamous boardroom, across from Donald Trump!
Can you speak about anything that went on during the taping? Any of the challenges the teams were put up to?
I could, but what would be the fun in that?!Â Take it from me, as a person who has seen every single season of The Apprentice, this is going to be a CAN’T-MISS season. This season’s show, Donald Trump is offering second chances to professionals who have been negatively affected by the recession.Â That includes college graduates who can’t find jobs,Â fathers who can no longer feed their families, and the shopping-obsessed who can no longer buy new shoes- i.e., me! If you think past contestants have fought tooth and nail for the opportunity to work for The Trump Organization, wait until you see what happens with 16 people who have nothing else to lose!
Who are the other African American competitors?
There are two other African American competitors on the show–Gene Folkes and Liza Mucheru-Wisner.Â Gene is a former banker from Texas, and Liza is a native of Kenya who came to the U.S. on a golf scholarship. She currently lives in Texas, also.
Did you work with any of them?
I had the opportunity to get to know all of my cast mates. Gene and Liza are extremely smart.Â What stood out to me about Gene is that he has the wisdom of an old man. Even though he is the most senior person on the cast, he is wise well beyond his years.Â And Liza is a true competitor. She’s fearless and unshakable. Both offered stiff competition, but I’d like to think that I’m pretty formidable myself!
The Apprentice premieres this Thursday, Sept. 16, at 9:00 p.m. EST on the NBC network.