Izabella De Souza: Comm's All-Star Alumni

Name: Izabella De Souza

Major: Interpersonal Communication

Hometown: East Rutherford, NJ

Hobbies: Knitting, going for walks, traveling and blogging

Izabella De Souza is definitely worthy of celebrity status at WPU. Her ambitious spirit has granted her an impressive resume since completing her BA in Interpersonal Communication from WPU in 2010. Izabella was able to utilize all resources available at the Communication Department, helping her to jumpstart her professional ventures. Today, she juggles multiple careers while completing her MA in Professional Communication— also from WPU— which she’ll complete this December. Find out more about Izabella, including who her undergad mentor was and the advice she has for current college students.

HC: You've landed an awesome job upon graduating WPU.  Where is it, and what does your job entail?

ID: For the past 3 years I've been a copywriter for Barneys.com, the e-commerce website for the luxury retailer Barneys New York. I oversee all swimwear, lingerie, and beauty postings (which include all cosmetics, apothecary, and fragrances). I am one of the primary women's and men's clothing writers as well.

Also, I have interviewed several designers for our former blog, B-Sides. Another exciting part of my job is traveling. On a regular basis I write product descriptions and attend designer showrooms to preview collections and write copy for the website. I will also be traveling to Paris and Milan next month to visit some of our exclusive designers’ European showrooms. I maintain a close relationship with our buyers, which grants me access to insider information that comes directly from our clothing designers and beauty vendors.

HC: Tell us about your other commitments!

ID: I have my own social media management business where I run social media pages and blog for my clients. I create profiles, draft editorial calendars, and create original content for my clients. I also manage Facebook ad campaigns and Google Ad Words campaigns for which I draft all the ads.

HC: Awesome! Who are some of your clients?

ID: Some of my clients for my social media business include Sharon Socol (owner of Sharon Socol Photography and author of Plus One). Sharon hired me to start a social media campaign on Facebook and Instagram from scratch to promote her book, Plus One. I wrote ads for her for Google AdWords and Facebook ads as well. I am the social media manager for NJ Kitchens and Baths. Owner Andrew Koutoudis hired me to propel his company’s social media presence on Facebook, Pinterest, and Houzz forward. I’m also the head blogger and social media manager for one of the largest entertainment companies in the tri-state area, LJ Productions. Owner Jack Bermeo— two-time DJ of the Year— hired me to take over his company’s blog last year, and just recently I signed on to take over all of LJ’s social media. In addition to my small business clients, I also do freelance work for creative agencies in New York City. All of my freelance work is done remotely, in other words, from home. It’s a great source of supplemental income and allows me to continue to work full time at Barneys.com. I hope to continue to grow my freelance business, and I believe my MA degree in Professional Communication will help me to do that.

HC: When did you attend WPU? What was your plan or course of study?

ID: I studied at WPU from September of 2006 to May of 2010. I came in as a Spanish/Education double major, then dropped Spanish and kept Education. Then I dropped Education and switched to Math. Then dropped math and switched to Interpersonal Communication. I came in as a Spanish major because I took Spanish all through high school and was fluent in it. My parents are both Brazilian, and I have dual citizenship, so picking up Spanish was easy, but it ultimately didn't fulfill me. I always wanted to teach so choosing education was easy. However, after completing my observation requirement, I realized that I was not interested in teaching K-12 after all. So, I tried being a math major because I always loved math. That lasted about one semester. Apparently college math is much harder than high school math, which is what I was good at. How was I able to switch majors so many times and still graduate in 4 years? Summer classes!

HC: How did you know Communication was the right fit for you?

ID: When I became a Communication major, I felt like I finally found a major that I knew I belonged in. Dr. Morganstern was a mentor of mine, and I had him for most classes. I liked Communication because it gave me the freedom to explore various careers. During my last semester of college, I interned at Good Housekeeping magazine, and from then on I knew I wanted to write. I was lucky enough to get the job at Barneys right after I graduated from WPU.

HC: What are your best memories as an undergraduate student at WPU?

ID: Some of my best memories as an undergrad at WPU are having lunch with my friends in the student center, working on projects with my group in my Group Discussion class senior year, and being inspired by my undergraduate mentor, Dr. Morganstern.

HC: What has given you the motivation to complete your masters while juggling all of your jobs?

ID: I am entering my final semester in my Professional Communication Master's program. I wanted to get my MA because I love learning, I love Communication, and I want to equip myself with the resources to advance my career in writing and media. I am a strong believer in education. It gives me purpose and helps me to reach the goals I set for myself. Also, it’s something that can never be taken away from you.

HC: What advice would you give other students about getting an education in a particular field?

ID: My advice to anyone (boys or girls) who is getting an education in a particular field is to think big picture. Questions college students should be asking themselves are: What kinds of careers can I get with this degree? Do those careers interest me? Do I know exactly what I want to do? Will this degree help me get there? For those students who are undecided or change their minds about their field of study (like I did) here are some questions they can ask themselves to help guide their choices: What kinds of careers am I interested (the longer the list the better)? Which of these careers interest me the most (for students who are really unsure, think about what kinds of classes interest you instead...that can help narrow things down or make the choice clearer)? And if anyone is still undecided, choose a course of study that will give you the most options once you graduate. Communication is a great option, and honestly, that’s the main reason I chose it as my degree.