Kwame Jackson

Kwame Jackson
"I've always been about trying to make more of opportunities than what people expect," says Jackson.
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

12/16/2004 AT 06:00 AM EST

Kwame Jackson may have lost to Bill Rancic in the first season of The Apprentice, but he's still a winner. The Harvard Business School graduate has taken his 15 minutes of reality TV fame and run with it. Jackson, 30, is in the process of writing a book (tentatively titled Betting on Yourself), is putting deals together with his company, Legacy Holdings LLC (which he founded with two college friends), and will host his own CNN business-themed show in the spring.

But the North Carolina native – a bachelor who lives in New York City – hasn't been too busy to watch the new season of The Apprentice. The original season's No. 2 man tells PEOPLE about his experience on the show, what it taught him and who he predicts will walk away the newest Donald Trump employee.

You've got a lot going on. Fill me in.
(My company) Legacy Holdings is morphing. Our main business line is our real-estate development company. And then our second business line is television production – it's called Legacy Communications Group.

And what about your CNN show? When will it premiere?
In the spring. I don't want to say much about it because I like to under-promise and over-deliver. That's the hallmark of a true businessperson.

You're writing a book, too.
My book is not, like a lot of my contemporaries, about my four or five lessons from The Apprentice. It's all about the notion of when an opportunity comes along in your life, how do you capitalize on it? The Apprentice is not a linear, logical job change for someone who went to Harvard Business School and worked on Wall Street. But opportunities present themselves and what you do with those opportunities is up to you.

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