Jennifer Armstrong
September 03, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

When not torturing new ”Apprentice” contestants as a guest judge, Bill Rancic has been enjoying the spoils of his hard-won victory in last season?s finale: That is, he starts most days at 5 a.m. and works seven days a week. Now the owners’ representative for Trump’s hotel and residential complex in Chicago, the 33-year-old entrepreneur is figuring out how to build a 90-story building by visiting construction sites in New York and attending meetings to choose air-conditioning and electrical systems for the project. ”Some people are like, ‘How come you’re not quarterbacking this team?”’ he says. ”I don’t know how to build a high-rise. I’m not going to bulls— anyone and pretend I do.” Meanwhile, he’s milking his 15 minutes: He’s a fixture on the gossip pages (”My sister collects my press clips so one day I’ll be able to show my kids”), hawking a small-business credit-card line and a new book (”You?re Hired” is out Aug. 31), and enjoying the perks of being an instant reality TV celebrity, which include three-hour dinners with Trump. ”Just to say that I signed one autograph in my life is cool, right?” — JA

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