When DKNY International Chief Executive Officer Mark Weber ’72 welcomed nearly 30 Brooklyn College students and graduates to the fashion firm’s headquarters this summer, they knew they were in for a treat. And he did not disappoint, sharing his advice on career success.

“You may not get everything you want in your first job,” Weber warned his audience, noting that his original plan to make it in the radio and music industry did not pan out. “But in every job there’s always something of value that you’ll learn, even if it is patience or discipline,” he added. “So it is important that you find your own niche,” because what we think we want to do is not necessarily the best, or wisest, choice, he remarked.

He should know. After finishing his bachelor’s degree in psychology at Brooklyn College and trying different jobs, Weber eventually landed a position in the Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation, where he started in retail as a merchandising assistant and rose to become the company’s president and CEO.

How he made his move to the world of fashion is the subject of a new book, Always in Fashion: From Clerk to CEO—Lessons for Success in Business and in Life (McGraw Hill), to be released in January 2015.

“You’re getting all these tips ahead of everyone else,” Weber said, happy to share with students from his alma mater.

“The truth is that the education I received at Brooklyn College was not only good—it was better than the one you get in many of today’s private schools,” he said. And it prepared him to be an efficient employee wherever he went and at whatever he tried.

In recognition of his leadership in the apparel industry, Weber was named by the American Apparel and Footwear Association as 2011 Man of the Year. He is also a member of the executive committee of LVMH Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton, one of the world’s leading fashion conglomerates, which owns DKNY.

Asked by Ketayma Stewart ’14 how he got that award, Weber said, “Being kind goes a long way.”

Weber’s address and Q&A was followed by presentations by executives from DKNY, including Jessica Bonari, manager of learning and development, who recapped the history of the firm that Donna Karan started in 1985 to tap the casual wear for women in business market. Also, Senior Director of Merchandising Carmela Minervini shared information about some of the company’s current campaigns. Before Bonari wrapped up the meeting, Julie Hall, who started at DKNY as an intern and is now an internship coordinator in the company’s human resources department, shared her experience and rise in the company with the group.

“The DKNY company visit exceeded all expectations,” said Suzanne Grossman, the career education and training coordinator at the Magner Career Center. “We were thrilled that Mr. Weber made himself available to speak with Brooklyn College students. There’s nothing like hearing directly from a successful alumnus for career inspiration.”

According to Natalia Guarin-Klein, Magner’s interim director, the company visits program started in January 2007 with a trip to MTV.

“It was created to provide students direct access to top employers both for informational and recruitment purposes,” Guarin-Klein said. “Students who participate in the visit develop a stronger knowledge of the industry and career field and the visits have often resulted in students being placed in internships and jobs.” “After this visit, I am inclined to work with a fashion firm like DKNY,” said Stewart, who has a master’s degree in Psychology, Industrial and Organizational Human Relations and whose internship at the Magner Center ended recently.

“Ms. Bonari was on spot,” said Samantha Ekonomatos ’14 M.A., who, like Stewart, earned a master’s in Psychology, Industrial and Organizational Human Relations. “She said if the company cannot provide the training a particular employee needs in-house, they will find someone to do it. And she insisted that we reach out to others via social media and do plenty of networking,” said Ekonomatos.