This week I went to two different career fairs. The first one was for the Creative/Public Service students and the second was for Business students. I decided to give both a go. I may not be a business student, but it never hurts to try!

The entire week before the fairs I thought of ways to stand out among the many fair goers. You always want to stand out but in a good way. My mom gave me some great advice. Your outfit is only noticed if you dress inappropriately. I couldn’t agree more. No one stood out among all the black and gray suits.

I wanted everything to be perfect. Unfortunately, there are many rules for dress for these types of fairs. I assumed that I should dress as I would for an interview. I also wanted to be comfortable! This past week the weather got near the sixties, I didn’t want to burn up and get red in the face.

Anyways, I tried to think of a way to be memorable. My mom said that many people notice my eyes, so play them up! And so I did. Many people didn’t notice my eyes at the career fair. They noticed something I never really thought made me stand out from the crowd: my name. Many companies commented or inquired on how I had been named ‘Kinley’.

It all started around twenty-three years ago (I turn twenty-three in May). As I understand it, I was originally supposed to be named Kellen Marie (I am not positive about the precise spelling of the names to be mentioned, but I am sure how to spell the name I was given!). Well, my mother’s brother and his wife had named their daughter (or my cousin) Kelly Marie whom was born in March. This was quite a problem, because I was due in May of the same year. It would be extremely hard to have cousins with so similar names.

My parents then came up with Kenley Ann. They liked the name Kenley. Ann is one of my mother’s sister’s middle names and was the only middle name that sounded appropriate with Kenley. There was yet another problem. My father couldn’t say Kenley,instead he said Kinley. My father is originally from Virginia (I was actually born in Norton, Virginia but only stayed there six weeks, because my mother found a job in Ohio). My father’s southern accent made Kenley sound like Kinley. My parents decided that I would develop a complex if I grew up with two different names. Therefore, I was named Kinley Ann in May of 1988.

I have liked my name for most of my life. My mom has told me that she and my father wanted to make sure that if a teacher was yelling at me, that I would have no questions as to whom the teacher was yelling at! I have only met one Kinley in person in my entire life. For the first time in my life, my name really helped to set me apart from the rest of the many students in the room of the career fair. I have never been so proud to have such a unique name.

On a side note, I recently found a coincidence that I had not noticed before. My dad‘s sister’s name is Edwina Lee, but many people call her Lee. Her husband just happens to be named Ken. What do you get when you put their names together? Kenlee! Many people ask if I was named after them, but it is simply a happy coincidence.

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