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Name: Meredith Clinton Bell

Class of: 2006

Major: English with a concentration in Journalism

Fairfield Alumna Meredith Clinton Bell seems to be living the life that everyone dreams of after graduating college. She married her Fairfield college sweetheart, lives in “The Big Apple,” and has a steady job. Meredith shares memories, advice and fun facts about her dreams becoming reality. And the root of this all is Fairfield University, of course.

Janelle: Where are you from and where do you live now?

Meredith: I am from Massachusetts but I am currently living in NYC with my husband that I met freshman year at FU!

J: Where was your first job after college?

M: My first job was at a start-up company called Wink International in

New York City. We were an on-demand publishing company that created printed material from websites, both capabilities brochures and catalogs. I was the first editor they hired, so I paved the way for the editorial process at the company, which was great experience. Unfortunately, they went out of business.

J: Have you changed career paths since then?

M: I now work for a direct marketing ad agency, SGA Inc. I’ve worked here for over two years as a proofreader, and I’m transitioning into a brand new position that’s part copywriter part researcher part whatever they need. My goal is to work totally on the creative side. Right now I’m still part proofreader/part creative.

J: What was your most memorable moment at Fairfield University?

M: Eek, this is a tough one. Graduation day was pretty memorable…everyone says that though, right? It was sort of like an “aha” moment. Like, ok, this is what I’ve worked for, for the past four years.

Another thing that sticks out, though I don’t think I’d say it’s “most” memorable, was walking to Athena’s at one a.m. from campus in the middle of winter because we couldn’t get a cab! Probably one of the most satisfying meals I’ve ever had.

J: If you had to choose one thing you miss about college, what would it be?

M: The schedule! As much as I love not having homework any more, I miss having more free time during the 9-5 hours to get things done…and sleep. Don’t take that for granted, enjoy it now while you still can!

J: If you could give advice to the students at Fairfield now, what would it be?

M: Minor in a language. I took the required two semesters of Spanish, and

I wish I’d gone through with the minor. I considered it, but opted out because I thought it would be too much work.

Also, take more classes that are out of your comfort zone. Looking back, I miss the opportunities for discussion in classes that weren’t even in my major or minor.

J: What was your biggest regret in college?

M: I hands down regret not studying abroad the most. I gave myself excuses like, it’s easier to stay so I can get my requirements done and have more opportunity to take the classes I want. I didn’t want to miss anything, etc. I also didn’t have any other close friends that were going abroad, which made it easier to stay as well.

Everyone says this, but college is the best time to do something like live in another country for an extended period of time! I’ve been on some great vacations since, but I always wish I experienced really living in another culture. Most people I’ve talked to have had amazing experiences in the study abroad program.

J: Did the expectations that you had for your future after college come close to your present reality?

M: I always wanted to work at a magazine after college, but then I realized that most editorial assistants don’t make enough money to live on! So that was a bit of a reality check. I realized I’d rather have enough to live on and live in Manhattan, and maybe one day I’ll cut back into the magazine world with experience that I gain up until that point.

I never thought I’d work at a direct marketing agency, but I’m still not on a totally different track than I thought I’d be. I have a few goals in mind, and I can still get there. There have just been a few detours along the way.

I married my college sweetheart, which was pretty much the plan all along, so that worked out.

J: What is a fun fact about you that not that many people know?

M: I love greeting cards. Papyrus is one of my favorite stores, and any excuse to send them out is ok with me!

J: What are your plans for the future?

M: I would like to start doing more freelance work on the side to keep my portfolio fresh. And at my full time job, I’m working towards becoming a copywriter full time, as I mentioned above. And beyond that, we’ll see what happens! I plan to be in New York City for at least a few more years, and who knows what the future will bring from there. One day I’d love to either be a creative director somewhere or be able to work freelance full time.

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