If you were to ask me what I wanted to do two years ago, I’d say I wanted to be a fashion blogger or stylist. If you were to ask me last year, I’d say I wanted to work in public relations. Ask me at the end of this summer? I’d say, great question. I guess you could say my passion for fashion (cliché, I know) began when I was just a little girl. When I was younger, I’d find myself spending my weekends sketching my favorite celebrities’ go-to outfits. Whether it was capturing their street style, or the perfect evening wear ensemble – I’d ponder over every last detail, and design it to what I envisioned matched their personality best. Crazy, I know – especially given that I’ve never actually met any of these people. But deep down, I was always in love with the story behind one’s style. And it was being able to play a part in mapping out that story – that fascinated me the most about the fashion world. Going to fashion school in the city can be really exciting yet intimidating at the same time. Most people assume that when I say I go to the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), I’m studying to be a designer. Or there’s the classic pre-conceived notion that attending the prestigious school makes for a glamorous life. That my classes are filled with sketching models, taking up garments, or building my own capsule collection. I took a chance by choosing to defer from this path, and major in Advertising and Marketing Communications. A major which might I add, has only just started to become popular, and is actually within the business school.
It’s easy to doubt yourself, and your dreams, when you feel like you’re one of the only students that strays from the typical path. But after being a Consumer Lifestyle Associate at MWWPR this summer, I learned more about myself (and my place in the industry) than I could have ever imagined. One of those lessons being, to trust my gut instincts. I learned the importance of being part of team that encourages one another to push themselves to think bigger, and take on new tasks that they wouldn’t normally feel comfortable doing. I learned the importance of holding yourself accountable, and taking your position seriously (regardless, of what tier you may fall under). I learned the importance of everyone having a chance to voice their opinions and ideas to clients, again, regardless of how old they might be. But most importantly, I’ve learned the importance of recognizing and being proud of the projects you’ve created outside of work – because sometimes, they just might lead to new opportunities and insights you can use to grow and build on your own career.
In the NY office, I was told that I was the Associate who was known to “basically be a social influencer,” because of my rather successful Instagram account @emmasquarednyc. The funny thing is, I came into this internship shying away from ever sharing that I had been working on building my brand with one of my best friends (also named Emma) – because I didn’t want to come off as a “full of it millennial” (like many “influencers” my age are portrayed. Instead, I just wanted to come in as Emma – the girl known for being one of the hardest working being in room, driven to this summer one of the best yet! However, once word got out about @emmasquarednyc I decided to own it (even though I was a little gun shy!)@emmasquarednyc is an Instagram that my friend Emma and I created during our Sophomore year at FIT. Everyone would always approach us and say, “Two Emmas? Woah.” Yes, two Emmas- so we decided to capitalize on the concept that was somehow so intriguing to society, and make an Instagram account – purely showcasing what we did on a daily basis. You know those friends that always swear they should have a reality show, because “that would only happen to them.” Well, no matter what we do, it always ends up being an adventure and I guess, people loved the authenticity in that. We soon gained a large following (no buying!) and by the time Fashion Week came around, we decided to blast some emails to about every single designer in NYC. About 30 people responded saying their shows were full, but surprisingly enough, a good 15 said they would love to have us at the show. @emmasqaurednyc took Fashion Week by storm and we constantly posted pictures and stories about our experiences- creating content, content, and more content. It was this same content that my supervisors at MWWPR were seeing, and it ultimately ended up leading me to the cool experiences I’ve been able to have here (like shadowing the social/digital team, getting to work BTS on client photoshoots, participating in influencer program brainstorms, etc.) Turns out that finding my niche in the industry, was really more about capitalizing on my own brand and leveraging it toward learning more about the field here. All in all, I don’t know if I will end up in a social media career, digital analytics or even PR. But what I do know is that everything happens for a reason, and sometimes fate had a funny way of bringing it all together..