The best, the worst and the future of a “model” career

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Kelly Foss, 22, is a recent graduate of the Media, Information and Technoculture program at the University of Western Ontario. She has been modelling for six years, working in Canada, the Caribbean and Asia. She has also worked for CBC Television in Toronto, and has interned at the CBS show The Young and the Restless in Hollywood, California. Kelly is an avid writer and blogged about her experiences in Asia on Modelresource.ca.

Q. How did you get into modelling?
A. When I was 16, I was at the mall with my mother and there was a modelling competition being advertised. I was sort of a tomboy, but my mother encouraged me to sign up so I tried out anyway. I ended up winning the contest and the organizer of the competition brought me to Toronto to meet with a bunch of agencies and I signed with BNM Models. I’ve been with them for six years now.

Q. How did you balance modelling with your education?
A. Education is very important to me and I knew I was going to go to university, especially since I received a scholarship. I modelled part-time throughout my undergrad, commuting to Toronto on the weekends so there were a lot of long train rides. I also tried to condense my class schedule to Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday so I could get back to Toronto more often.

Q. How have your educational experiences helped you with what you are doing now?
kelly model whiteA. When you are working in any type of media you need to know how to communicate with others and handle yourself in a professional manner and I had a lot of practice with that as a student and intern.

My degree also helped me to understand the media industry, and when I am at events I can really relate to the people I meet and impress them with my knowledge.

When I was modelling, I sometimes found I felt frustrated because I wasn’t applying all of the things I had learned in university, so blogging for modelsource.ca really helped me to apply my communication skills to my current experiences.

Q. What obstacles have you encountered along the way?
A. The biggest thing is dealing with the demand changes in the industry. In the summer of 2008, I was modelling in Asia and the blonde foreign look was really in so I was in high demand, but this summer when I went back they were more interested in Eurasian models (Asian-European mix) so I had to deal with rejection.

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