One of the most high profile business PR gurus in Birmingham is putting herself at the mercy of Lord Sugar after securing a place in the new series of The Apprentice.
Marketing director Joy Stefanicki is well-known in Birmingham’s business community, running her own PR firm Joyous Communications and was the public relations face of Crosby Lend Lease’s Orion Building.
She joins two other West Midlands hopefuls – investment banker Liz Locke, from Birmingham, and Warwickshire development manager Laura Moore.
Ahead of the show’s sixth series, which starts on Wednesday, Miss Stefanicki, a 31-year-old former Deloitte employee at Brindleyplace, cited a quote from Hollywood movie Pretty Woman, where Julia Roberts plays a prostitute who falls in love with businessman Richard Gere, as an inspiration.
“I can be a bit fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants,” said Miss Stefanicki, who cleaned dishes in her parents’ pub before working at a supermarket.
After studying public and media relations at Cardiff University, Ms Stefanicki went on to become deputy chair of Birmingham Future and relocated to America in November 2007 where she worked for GCI Group in New York and volunteered at Free Arts NYC, which provides therapy for children.
One of the other 16 contestants is Miss Locke, aged 24, who works in Birmingham as an investment banker and describes herself as ‘ambitious, energetic and loyal’ and likens herself to a Lamborghini – “fast, exciting, stylish and successful”.
And 22-year-old Miss Moore, who describes herself as “ballsy” and “a man in a woman’s body” dreamed of being a pilot before bringing in more than £500,000 of sales in her first year as a management consultant.
Former Birmingham City Football Club managing director Karren Brady, who lives in Knowle, Solihull, joins the series to advise Lord Sugar.
She said: “We’re not their friends, we’re not their mentors, we’re not their advisor.
"Our job is purely to observe and watch what they do so we can give an accurate report. We don’t fraternise.”
Viewers will see Lord Sugar waste no time in telling contestants: “I’ve read all your CVs and on paper you all look very good. But so does fish and chips.”