Student Q&A: Going from 0 to 100 in NYC

  • Clay Lute
  • Class of 2023
Clay Lute

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Career Goal: Creative Menswear Executive

Why did you choose LIM College?
LIM was the only school that would immerse me in the fashion industry. I wanted an education that would start me off in classes specific to my major, which is Fashion Merchandising with a minor in International Business. The real-world experience LIM offers is unbeatable. When I toured the school, I was impressed by its connections to the industry and the opportunities students have to volunteer and attend events like fashion shows, trade conventions, and panels. The students at LIM were more welcoming than any other school I toured.

What was it like adjusting to life in New York City?
My life went from zero to a hundred so fast. In my first few months in NYC, I landed a job as a men's stylist for J. Crew and learned all about the suiting industry, tailoring, and gaining a clientele. I had the time of my life exploring all that the city had to offer. I visited corporate offices of companies I dreamed about working for, and met with people from Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Foot Locker, and Bentz Luxury.

You’re very involved as an LIM student. Can you talk about some of those experiences and opportunities?
At LIM, I got involved with the Student Council and BRAG. I was recently promoted to News Editor of The Lexington Line, our student magazine, and now I spend a lot of time producing and curating articles on current events, politics, culture, and public policy.

What’s it like being a male student at LIM?
I had hesitations about coming to a primarily female school. But after being here a year, I’ve never felt like I’ve had to conform to a female population. The professors and administrators always make sure my interests are accommodated. Plus, New York City is our campus. If I want to go to a Georgia Bulldogs watch party, I have options all around. I’ve made awesome guy friends both at LIM and from other schools. 

How is LIM aiding your professional development?
LIM has taught me how to network, which is everything in this industry. The College hosts networking events, offers volunteering opportunities, and invites us to industry panels. Career and Internship Services has helped me build a LinkedIn account, make business cards, and create a resume to give me an edge in a competitive industry.

How has the transition to online learning been for you?
I've always done my work away from my apartment to separate my professional mindset and my resting mindset. So after switching to online, I did as much work outside as possible. Even though I'm still technically at my house, being outdoors gives me enough separation. Staying focused can be hard with the constant news and the stress of a pandemic, but I turn on some LoFi hip-hop and work through the distractions. I’ve had awesome professors who have worked three times harder than normal to accommodate these circumstances.

What advice would you share with other students coming to LIM?
Try everything! I’ve stepped outside my comfort zone and explored my interest in politics, and I’ve even gotten to meet with leaders like Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton.

Anything else you'd like to add?
Make sure you are registered to vote!