If you ask Marissa Klein ’99 why she chose to attend the University of Richmond, she will tell you it was fate. While she wasn’t even planning on looking at the University of Richmond, Klein says that she owes much of who she is today to her experience at U of R.

After graduating with a degree in Business and Marketing, Klein went on to do marketing and sales for beauty companies like Revlon, Anne Klein and Estee Lauder. Klein soon left the beauty field in order to pursue a career in fashion.

“These career opportunities helped me to touch a world that I have always been passionate about,” says Klein.

Upon entering the field of fashion, Klein went to many staffing firms to find jobs. She soon realized that people at these firms were not as kind or informed as they should be. Klein recognized a need for stronger fashion staffing firms and soon convinced her father to add a fashion division to his existing staffing company, Choice Personnel Inc.

Klein now runs the Fashion and Media division of Choice. This division helps people in the fashion industry find careers in marketing, communication, and design. Klein’s main role is to build relationships between the client and major companies like Marc Jacobs and Edelman. This, Klein says, is not something that can be learned in school but is something that has proved to be very rewarding.

“I love helping people find their way and help people get what they want. They come looking for that extra professional help in order to help people to get from one stage in their career to the next.”

As passionate as Klein is about helping people in New York, she is equally passionate about helping University of Richmond students to pursue careers in fashion. Klein is very active with the Spiders in fashion alumni group which is “making a way for students who want to pursue more creative paths.” When she graduated, fashion was not a career that many students from Richmond chose to pursue. Because of her experience, Klein works hard to make it easier for people who decide to go on this different path.

In addition to her work with Choice, Klein has also recently published a children’s book called “Dream Big Academy, Rosie Wants to be a Fireman.” This book is the first in a series of books promoting the message that we can pursue any career that we want to pursue. While this is a children’s book, this message rings true for adults as well and is something that Klein strongly believes in. This book is a way for her to explain to her children (and the rest of the world) the importance of work and doing what you are passionate about.

Klein hopes to do more public engagements around her book, not only focused on children but also discussions provoking college students and adults to do what they are passionate about.