Name: Tara Byrne
Major: Fashion Studies
Hometown: Byram, NJ
In just one year, Tara went from managing HCM’s Pinterest and being a contributing writer to earning the title of VP & Content Strategy Director. If this doesn’t speak volumes about her ambition and dedication to our chapter, I don’t know what does! As a Fashion Studies major, Tara has been our chapter’s expert on the business of fashion. She regularly writes articles that cover the latest trends of major designer labels and is also extensively knowledgeable about branding and marketing. Before earning the position of VP & Content Strategy Director, Tara served as the Marketing and Publicity Director where she established professional connections with other Her Campus chapters and was a mastermind in devising the theme of our annual fashion show. As a driven leader with an innate talent for trend spotting, Tara is on track to become an industry leader in the Fashion Editorial field.
HCM: What drew you to Montclair State and how did you get involved in our Her Campus chapter?
TB: I transferred to Montclair State for the spring semester of my freshman year. I originally went to another university, not too sure of what I wanted to pursue. I took so many interesting classes in high school ranging from fashion merchandising to the marine bio that I never really knew exactly what I should major in. I have always loved fashion but was too scared to fully pursue it. I knew I needed to transfer when I wasn’t enjoying my classes and all of my friends were telling me how much they love their classes and their majors. I decided to transfer and major in fashion because it was the major that excited me the most and I knew would have the most career opportunities for me. Montclair State has a great fashion program and is so close to the city, so I knew it would be a perfect fit. It was the best decision I have ever made!
I didn’t join Her Campus Montclair until my sophomore year. I learned about Her Campus Montclair because Lauren, our president, followed me on Instagram and I saw it in her bio. I had read Her Campus in high school but didn’t know Montclair had its own chapter. I loved the message behind Her Campus and knew I wanted to get involved so I decided to try it out and began as a contributing writer while helping to run our Pinterest page. I could have never imagined when I was a sophomore just starting, that a year later I would be VP of this amazing organization filled with such empowering girl bosses.
HCM: What aspect of your major excites you most, and how have you been working toward achieving a career in this field?
TB: I love how my major allows me to explore the different aspects of the fashion industry. I have been able to take courses that emphasize the design process, the marketing process, the management and business processes. The fashion industry is so large and fast-paced, so it’s helpful for me to be able to learn about this now rather than not knowing what areas I’m interested in when it comes to applying for jobs after graduation.
As for working toward a career, I have been internship hunting since I was a freshman. While I haven’t had any luck yet, I am determined to have a summer internship and internships during my senior year. I’ve also taken so many helpful classes at MSU for my major that have given me so much knowledge of careers in the fashion industry.
HCM: What’s something you wish you knew as a Freshman?
TB: I wish I knew that it’s okay to not have everything planned out perfectly! Transferring was very scary for me because I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I wish I got involved in Her Campus sooner because it opened so many doors for me. I think the sooner you get involved in college, the sooner you will be able to make new friends and explore new opportunities. As a freshman, I could have never imagined myself to where I am now, but I couldn’t be here without stepping out of my comfort zone.
HCM: Where do you aspire to be after graduation?
TB: I have so many directions I see myself following post-grad. A part of me would love to work for a magazine and explore writing and social media. I also see myself starting my own company and working for myself. I have so many dream jobs that I don’t know where to look, which I guess is better than not knowing what I want to do at all. I am so excited to see what kind of journey I will be on after graduation, but for now, I am just focusing on doing what makes me happy.
HCM: What’s your favorite Her Campus memory, and how has being a member of our chapter been a rewarding experience for you?
TB: My favorite memory was helping to organize our very first fashion show. It was such a fun experience working with the events team in the very beginning stages of planning the show to being able to watch it grow and then attending the show. It felt surreal to be at an event that started as just a crazy idea that quickly turned into something that we plan on hosting every year now.
Being a member of Her Campus Montclair has given me so many opportunities that I would not have had without this organization. From attending College Fashion Week and Her Conference to publishing my content on the site, working on creating events like our fashion show and even just working with such inspiring women, this chapter has been so rewarding. This chapter has helped me realize my potential and has helped me grow as a person and meet amazing girls.
HCM: When you’re not busy being a #HerCampusCollegiette, how do you enjoy your time off?
TB: Aside from Her Campus, I am involved in Greek life here at Montclair State. I am currently the Wellness chairman for Tri Sigma. Being in a sorority has allowed me to meet so many new and wonderful people and step out of my comfort zone. When I am not busy with classes, Her Campus or Tri Sigma, I try my best to spend as much time as I can with my friends and family, whether we are hiking, cooking, or just watching new movies on Netflix. Sometimes downtime can be the best time!
Tara is an asset to our chapter and has been valued on our team since her start as a writer and Pinterest manager. Since the day she joined Her Campus Montclair, Tara has been nothing but a positive and empowering leader, always willing to go out of her way to help our chapter succeed. Her authenticity and kindness are distinguishing qualities that have allowed her to thrive in all that she pursues. These personality traits coupled with her determination and strong work ethic leave no doubt that Tara will find success in her future endeavors. She has already contributed so much in her role as VP and Content Strategy Director that has benefited our chapter in numerous ways. Under her guidance, our chapter will surpass expectations and reach our highest goals, because that’s just the kind of person Tara is – one who goes above and beyond to achieve success. We are so excited to be a part of her creative vision and we cannot wait to see all that our chapter will accomplish under her leadership!