Alumni Profile: Kelly Parham '05
Kelly Parham ’05 had never heard of Drury University prior to her high school graduation. A native of Texas, she had her heart set on attending New York University in New York City, but Parham eventually settled on Baylor University. Her mother began browsing for colleges during Parham’s senior year at Happy Hill Academy, a Texas boarding school, and stumbled upon Drury while on an Internet search. Shortly thereafter, Parham had to alert her Baylor roommate that she would not be attending in the fall. Parham chose Drury instead. Now the Junior Account Executive for Erin Fetherston, an up-and-coming fashion designer known well on the streets of New York City, Parham credits Drury for making her confident and fearless in a cutthroat business.
While Parham has greatly succeeded with her Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations and advertising, she began her Drury career in the Theatre department. She soon realized that though she had always been a dramatic teenager, the life of a theatre major was not for her. She switched majors and took classes from Professor Schie and Dr. Regina Waters. Under the tutelage of these professors, she credits them with teaching her to march to her own drum and to believe in her own talents. In her Freshman year, she co-hosted a Drury radio show entitled, Two Blondes for Two Hours, with her best friend Jaime. Besides participating in activities related to the Communications department, Parham joined Zeta Tau Alpha, worked in the Admissions Office, and recruited new Drury students as a tour guide. But she did not stick to just touring Drury. In her junior year, Parham studied abroad in Greece, a terrifying, yet valuable, time that she feels changed her life for the better. The variety of activities Parham joined during her Drury career gave her hands-on experience in facing a range of opportunities and challenges in her future career.
Parham’s first job after graduation as a publishing assistant for the Newsletter Company in Dallas did not quite fit her grand dreams that began at Drury. She realized quickly that she needed a career that allowed her to work with people. And she still had not completed her dream of living in New York City. A long-time fashionista, Parham gained a position at Gap, Inc. in San Francisco and worked in their Visual Merchandising department for several years. Soon after she began this job, she picked up and moved to New York City. Her dreams had started to become reality.
Today, Kelly Parham is the Junior Account Executive for Erin Fetherston. She feels that she is making a difference in the fashion community as well as fulfilling her own personal dreams. She manages Erin Fetherston’s specialty accounts, ensuring the success of the contemporary clothing line at boutiques all over the world like Saks, Neiman Marcus, and Bloomingdales. Here in Springfield, Missouri, the Erin Fetherston line can be found downtown at Harem & Company Boutique, 4339 South National Ave. Parham hopes that wherever her career takes her, she will continue to make a difference in the world around her.
Written by Megan Waterman '13