By Seth Jones | Reporter
Clint Harp will be the keynote speaker for the 2016 Central Texas PRSA Professional Development Day today at the Texas Farm Bureau Conference Center in Waco.
Harp owns his own carpentry business in Waco, Harp Design Co., and has made regular appearances on HGTV’s hit show “Fixer Upper,” which landed him a special on the DIY Network show “Against the Grain.”
Harp encourages Baylor students to attend the conference to learn from him and his experiences as a student and graduate.
“There isn’t a cookie-cutter way of doing this thing called life as soon as you leave Baylor,” Harp said. “I’m not telling anybody not to go use their degree or get a good job, but I am saying listen to your heart.”
Julie Tomascik, president of the Central Texas PRSA, said Harp brings a special presence to the conference and thinks it’s great to have someone that has garnered national attention to be the keynote speaker.
“It adds a little extra to the already strong lineup of speakers,” Tomascik said.
While Harp was working toward a business degree at Baylor, he knew his dreams were not in business.
“I thought I was going to be a musician when I left Baylor,” Harp said.
After graduating with a BBA in 2000, Harp soon discovered the world had other plans for him.
“A year after I graduated from Baylor, I was cleaning toilets for a church,” Harp said.
After jumping from job to job for a while, Harp found something he loved to do.
Harp has always had a love for making things, and that love led to him to pursue his passion for woodwork.
“I’ve always wanted to build stuff,” Harp said. “I didn’t know if I’d be good at it or not, but I knew that it would just take jumping into my shop and trying, and that’s what I did.”
In 2011, Harp and his wife, Kelly, started Harp Design Co. together. Harp remembers when opening the shop seemed like a terrible idea but now realizes that it was the right move for him and his family. He advises students to follow those types of ideas.
“There’s going to be opportunities that present themselves that may seem crazy,” Harp said. “Really dig into those ideas.”
Tomascik believes that Baylor students can benefit from attending the conference because of the potential connections students can make with companies offering internships, as well as future employment.
“It’s a chance to network with local professionals,” Tomascik said.
Harp has a simple message for Baylor students that he has learned the hard way.
“I want Baylor students to hear it’s okay,” Harp said. “Don’t freak out, stay steady. Things will ultimately work out. You’re not going to necessarily know what it is you’re supposed to do with your life right away. You’ve just got to give it time and hang in there.”
For more information on the event, visit the event’s home page.