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How She Got There: Meaghan Rose, CEO and Founder of RocksBox

Name: Meaghan Rose
Age: 34
Job Title and Description: CEO and Founder of RocksBox
College/Major: George Mason University/ Economics (Undergraduate); University of Pennsylvania/ The Wharton School MBA Program
Website: www.rocksbox.com
Twitter Handle: @megkendall and @myrocksbox

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

Meaghan Rose: At this stage, the company is growing so fast that my role changes pretty significantly on a monthly basis. I spend most of my time right now meeting investors; pitching ideas; negotiating with designers; and recruiting and managing the team.  What I really love is that my job cuts across all aspects of the business. The best thing about my job is that is changes all the time. Every single day, I am doing something I have never done before.  And that’s pretty awesome!

What is the best part of your job?

MR: Our customers. We have the most amazing women as members of RocksBox. Part of what women love about RocksBox is that they can wear new styles all the time without spending tons of money or time hunting through boutiques and department stores. In general, our members tend to be really awesome, smart women who have a lot going on but still love to look and feel good (and love to experiment with new styles).  We get the best love notes from our members –sometimes through email, sometimes handwritten, and a lot of the time on Twitter or Instagram – and it always makes my day.  We have a big wall in our office covered with the notes and photos that our customers post or send us, and I get to walk by it everyday. That’s the best.  

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

MR: I have been working since I was 13 years old.  As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to have a job.  To me, that meant independence.  My first job out of college was as an analyst at Booz Allen.  I was really lucky to get that job – I spent my senior year in London (at the London School of Economics, which was amazing), traveled around Europe for a few weeks after graduation, and then came back to the States without a job.  I was actually pretty nervous that no one was going to hire me.  But I tapped every network I had, did a lot of research and was very passionate.  I took a pretty junior role but within three years, I was promoted three times.  I think you have to be willing to take a junior role and work your way up, but you also have to push for those bigger roles and not be afraid to ask for those promotions!

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

MR: I wish I had started earlier! I was working at McKinsey & Co. in New York when I finally decided I was ready to start my own business.  I do think that was good experience, and I really value those years, but I am still learning my way through everything as CEO. 

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

MR: I worked with a partner at McKinsey who was just amazing with people.  She really listens to people and as a result, she is a better manager, negotiator, and is incredible at influencing people.  She has this amazing ability to get inside someone’s head and really understand what was important to them.  That’s a pretty powerful thing.  That is why we spend so much effort getting to know and engaging our customers – we believe it will make us better at sending them jewelry that they love, and that will make us a better business!

What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?

MR: Jeff Bezos (founder & CEO of Amazon) is someone I have a lot of admiration for – both as a person and an entrepreneur.  I love his philosophy on building an e-commerce company.  This quote from him pretty much summarizes it:   “We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: put the customer first, invent, and be patient.”

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

MR: When I was younger, I was afraid to really go for what I wanted – I was afraid to fail or get rejected.  But working on this business has been so empowering. I’m out there all the time, asking people to invest, help, or work with us.  A lot of times people will say no, but a lot of times they say yes!  And without those awesome people, RocksBox wouldn’t be here at all! 

Okay, enough business for a second—what jewelry trends are you loving right now?

MR: Cocktail rings!  Cocktail rings are my favorite right now.  You just automatically feel more fashionable when you are wearing one. CC Skye has some pretty impressive ones that I pull out when I’m feeling especially adventurous. 

What do you look for when considering hiring someone?

MR: I look for someone who is exceptionally smart, thoughtful, and passionate at whatever it is that we are hiring [him or her] to do. [Also], I look for people who want to work hard and are driven to make an impact. 

What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?

MR: Go out and earn your own opportunities.  Build relationships, [create] a reputation for yourself, and learn the skills that you need. It’s not enough to say that you are passionate about something, you need to prove it.  Be scrappy, don’t be afraid to fail, and work hard!

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Kelsey is a senior at Boston University, studying Magazine Journalism  in the College of Communication. As a magazine junkie and fashion fanatic, she loves being a part of the Her Campus team! At BU, Kelsey is president of Ed2010 at Boston University.  She has interned for Time Out New York, Lucky, Anthropologie, and Marie Claire. Kelsey also has a fashion blog, The Trendologist, where she covers the latest trends, fashion shows, and red carpet reports. When she isn't busy, Kelsey loves hanging out with her friends and family, shopping, reading style blogs, going for a nice jog, listening to music, creating baked goods in the kitchen, watching movies, and eating tons of frozen yogurt and sushi! After graduation, Kelsey hopes to work as an editor for a fashion magazine. Follow Kelsey on Twitter and Instagram at @kmulvs and don't  forget to check out her "Catwalk to Campus" blog posts!
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