Caroline, a current senior here at SMU, has lander her dream job of working for Lilly Pulitzer after graduating this December. She has a passion for fashion and everything fun! Read her story and get some advice on how to land your dream job too!
Did you always know what kind of industry you wanted to work in? My passion for fashion marketing honestly didn’t begin until college. Obviously, as a girl, I’ve always loved clothes and shopping, but I never saw the fashion industry as a field that I could have a legitimate job in. Since a child I’ve always loved organizing and planning creative things so marketing seemed like the perfect fit. However, I wanted to make sure I was challenging myself so came into SMU planning on majoring in Finance. At the end of my sophomore year though, I realized that I truly loved the creative aspects of all of my marketing and communications classes so much more and switched to Marketing. I then was able to see more of the business side of fashion while working in retail at the Kate Spade store in North park. As people from corporate would visit the store, I was inspired and saw the potential for a career in the industry.
How did you land your dream job? Last summer, I was the Marketing Intern for Lilly Pulitzer. To get the internship I honestly just submitted my resume blindly to the Human Resources Department and than went through a series of interviews. The internship was truly a dream come true and the entire Marketing Team made me feel like an equal. Fortunately, the department liked one of my ideas to launch a Greek Ambassador Program to help promote the Lilly Sorority Collection. They truly let me take an idea I had and go with it! It was amazing to have the departments support throughout the process, and I’m currently managing the fourteen Sorority Reps in the program from school. I guess in a nutshell since they liked me as an intern, I was offered a full-time position in the Marketing Department after I graduate from SMU this December.
What were you involved in during college that helped prepare you for your job? I had a lot of programming experience from being on Student Foundation Board and Social Chair and New Member Director of my sorority. The hands on experience I gained from internships while in college definitely prepared me the most though. I’ve interned with NBC Universal Pictures in London, Rent the Runway, Nordstrom, and Brynn Bagot Public Relations. I highly recommend the Honors Marketing Practicum course as well. Professor Foxman splits the class into teams to produce a 360-degree marketing plan for the Fox Sports Network’s coverage of the Dallas Stars. In addition, I gained so much writing and managing experience from when I launched Her Campus SMU last year ?
What will your upcoming job after graduating entail? I will be a Marketing Associate focusing on mainly social media and event promotions. I’ll get to communicate with consumers on behalf of the brand on Facebook, Twitter, the Lilly Blog, Instagram, and Pinterest. Lilly’s theme for next year is “Life’s a Party Dress Like It,” so there are a lot of fun events to be planned too! One of the things that people are always shocked to hear is that so few people make up Lilly's Marketing Department. It really is up to these few people to create awareness of the brand and execute promotions to help increase company sales. Lilly’s Marketing Department is extremely cross-functional as well as it constantly works with Ecommerce, Retail, Merchandising, and is even connected with the Print Designers. As devastated as I am to be leaving SMU, I cannot wait to get back to the Pink Palace!
What suggestions do you have for current students to land and find their dream jobs? Show your passion for the brand! I think it is so important to reach out to anyone you know if the company and explain how much a position with the company would mean to you. Go out of your way to find any connection you can to someone in the company. I actually got the e-mail of the Lilly Human Resource Department by finding the Marketing Intern from last year on Facebook. I literally just saw her name on the blog and shot her a message explaining how I’m a huge fan of the company (I know… so creepy). But it ended up being SOO worth it! Other than that, your resume obviously needs to stand out from the crowd. Get as much experience as possible and have specific stories from your internships that you can share at interviews. Don’t give up because it will all work out! I reached out to twelve companies for internships last summer and only heard back from four of them. In addition, I e-mailed Lilly for the first time in September and didn’t find out I had an internship until March. I had to have five different interviews with the company and continuously had to follow up with them after each one. As long as you are motivated and passionate, I don’t see why your dream job can’t happen ?