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How She Got There: Alexis Bryan Morgan, Director of Creative Content at Rent The Runway

Name: Alexis Bryan Morgan

Job Title and Description: Director of Creative Content at Rent the Runway

Website: www.renttherunway.com

What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?

Alexis Bryan Morgan: As the Director of Creative Content, my focus is coming up with beautiful content that illustrates our brand identity and introduces our customers [to] our incredible designers. I work closely with the creative, marketing and product teams to determine how and where the content is used across all of our channels. My days vary greatly; one day I could be hopping from meeting to meeting to discuss upcoming launches and themes we’re highlighting onsite and the next I could be styling an editorial photoshoot with our visual merchandising team.

What is the best part of your job?

ABM: Two things: working with incredibly talented and inspiring people, and creating work with the meaningful end goal of adding some magic to our customers’ everyday lives. Helping women look and feel amazing and confident – whether for a party or a day at work – is definitely something I can get behind.

What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you find it?

ABM: My first job in fashion was an internship at Tommy Hilfiger, where I was lucky to have a boss that was pretty tough. I think anyone who has gone the distance in this industry has stories of “that boss,” and this one taught me to work hard and catch on quickly. I’ll never forget when I broke my wrist and was sure I would get out of writing notes during all my boss’s meetings, which was one of my daily responsibilities. To my surprise, my boss said, “I guess you’re just going to have to learn to write with your left hand!” I have to admit, I went into the bathroom and had a little cry over that. But I picked myself up, and after a couple weeks of practice with a very sore left hand, I learned how to do it!

What is one thing you wish you knew about your industry when you first started out that you know now?

ABM: I’m not the first to say that one of the most important things you can do in your career is to nurture the relationships you make, but I can’t stress enough how much this pertains to the fashion industry. The fashion world is so small – it almost feels like a little family – so you have to be good to people because there’s a good chance you’ll be working with the same people for the rest of your career. Rather than looking at your relationships as connections to leverage in meeting an end goal, remember that every interaction is important, as is turning those interactions into long-term relationships.

Who is one person who changed your professional life for the better?

​ABM: I’ve been so fortunate to have several of the most amazing mentors – truly the best in the industry. Among them were a few exemplary working mothers, and [I] know now, as a mother myself, how important it is to have role models who work full-time and also manage being a mom. Robbie Myers was particularly influential. She had two children while I was working for her and she managed to keep her cool while taking on every opportunity that came her way.

What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?

​ABM: Anna [Wintour] always said to me, “Head down and focus on your work.” It is so tempting to get caught up in gossip and wonder what people are saying about you, which only leads to self-doubt. At the end of the day, it’s a complete waste of energy because you can’t control what others think about you anyway. The only person you can control is yourself and if you focus on your work, it will speak for itself.

What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?

​ABM: The Millennial generation is widely critiqued to have a “sense of entitlement,” a characteristic that’s especially evident to senior managers interviewing them for a job. I’m not proud to say there was a time when I had a bit of this myself. Fortunately, I had another great boss who shook that out of me pretty quickly. I remember saying something pretty foolish in a meeting that revealed this sense of entitlement, and she had me handwrite apology notes to everyone who was in the room. As belittling as that felt at the time, it was a great lesson!

What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far?

​ABM: I am blown away by the pace at which this industry changes. For a while there, things were pretty routine as a fashion editor but now I am amazed at just how many innovations have come about to address the way we shop. Just five years ago I would never have imagined that I would be working at a company that is truly at the forefront of this transformation. It feels like an honor to be a part of the reshaping of an industry.

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Lily is a member of Wesleyan University's class of 2016, where she double majored in government and sociology. She's a writer, editor, and social media manager, as well as co-founder of The Prospect (www.theprospect.net), the world’s largest student-run college access organization. In addition to her work with Her Campus, she also serves in editorial roles at HelloFlo and The Muse.