Clinton Kelly, Boston College class of ’91, walked into Devlin 008 on Thursday, February 24th with a smile that lit up the room, igniting cheers and applause from the entire audience (which was at least 90% female). Throughout his interview with Professor Annmarie Barry of the Communications Department and his following interview ensemble critiques, he dispensed several tidbits of sage advice to those who were lucky enough to squeeze into the lecture hall. Those who didn’t get a seat were still lucky enough to pose for pictures with Clinton.
For those who have not yet decided on a vocation, Clinton’s story is a comforting one; he came into BC as a Psychology major, switched to Economics, then Environmental Geoscience, and finally landed with a degree in the Communications. He decided only in his final semester that he wanted to go into journalism. With that, he went to Northwestern University to get his Master’s in journalism, and from there moved to New York City to try to break into the magazine business.
“I’m not one to sit around and wait for something to happen,” said Clinton of his attitude towards life. This also happens to be a successful job-hunting strategy, and his first bit of sage advice: “If you just wait around for stuff to happen, nothing’s gonna happen.” To get his position at Marie Claire, Clinton wrote the editor-in-chief, promising that, if she gave him five minutes of her time, he would give her 100 story ideas. Compelled, she accepted, and hired him on-the-spot after their meeting the next day.
Money was not one of Clinton’s top criterion in his early job search, which leads to his second bit of sage advice: “It’s not about taking jobs for the money, it’s about doing the stuff you love.” By working at Marie Claire, Clinton was able to build up a quality resume (he moved on to the reputable men’s fashion trade paper DNR), which then allowed him to go further, all the while enjoying his work. “Follow happiness, and the money will follow,” he explained. “You develop a passion, you get good at it, and eventually you are rewarded for it.”
Before the interview outfit critiques, Clinton reminded the audience, “You are being judged on your appearance all the time.” When you dress a certain way, you are telling people something about yourself, whether you intend to or not. With that, here’s how, according to Clinton’s sage fashion advice, to tell employers that you are the right one for the job:
-Keep your armpits covered. The longer your sleeves are, the more formal your look is.
-Above-the-knee skirts are as short as it gets for the office.
-“You want people to remember you” – Add some flare to your nondescript dark suit by wearing a colorful top underneath, for example.
-Jacket sleeves length: should come down to the fleshy part of your thumb when your arms are by your side.
-Make sure all of your clothes are wrinkle-free.
-During the day, wear a light-colored shirt under your dark suit. (A dark shirt under a dark suit is a nighttime look.)
-Proper-length suit sleeves should reach the fleshy part of your thumb when your arms are by your side. Your shirt should peak out about ½ inch.
-If you are wearing a two-button jacket, only button the top button.
-If you are wearing a three-button jacket, only button the middle button.
-Jacket length: your jacket should end “where your butt meets your leg.”
-Pants length: your pants should form a gentle break on your foot, making one gentle fold on top.
-Match the color of your socks to the color of your pants.
-If you are wearing khaki pants for an even more casual look, pair them with brown shoes and a brown belt (brown goes with khaki better than black does).
Although Clinton never pictured himself working on a makeover show during his time at BC or his job hunt afterwards, he loves what he does; “Not a day goes by without a belly laugh,” he admitted. His happiness is contagious, and he left BC students with one more morsel of advice before leaving:
“It all goes by so, so fast… enjoy every second of your firm skin!”
Written by Ellen Willemin, A&S Class of 2011