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Wouldn’t it be great if you could get paid to sell makeup to your friends? And wouldn’t it be even better if doing so led to a fabulous internship at a top-notch cosmetics company?

Sounds like a dream, right? Not for Natalie Kitson, whose dream has quickly become reality. This summer, Natalie is interning with mark, a division of Avon in New York City.

Natalie first heard about mark’s Rep program during high school when her friend’s sister became a mark Rep. A few years later, Natalie—like many other mark Representatives, started to gain valuable business experience by selling beauty and fashion accessories through the use of social media tools.  She earns a 30% commission on beauty products and fashion sales and has gained marketing, sales and leadership skills along the way.

A senior at Arizona State University, Natalie attends the school’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and majors in public relations. She says her internship in mark’s Marketing & Advertising Department has helped her realize the type of career she’d like to pursue. Her Campus spoke with Natalie about her work as a mark Rep and her internship.

Here’s what she had to say! 

Her Campus: You’re interning in the marketing and advertising department at mark this summer. How are you enjoying the experience so far?

Natalie Kitson: I’m really liking it. My major is public relations but we’ve had a lot of mentors [from different fields] coming in to speak with us. We’ve had little luncheons that [they] set up for us and they’ll have inspiring women who’ve really ‘made their mark’ on the world. They’ll come in and just speak to us about their careers and how they got there and the path that they took to get there. I think that’s [one of] the coolest parts for me: that I’ve actually been able to hear them talk about how your career is going to be like a roller coaster. It’s going to go up and it’s going to go down, and you’re not always going to know exactly what your focus is. And you’re going to have to be able to reinvent yourself. So the fact that I can major in public relations and then also have this experience in the marketing and advertising world to supplement my major, I think that it’s really benefiting me.

What’s a typical day at your internship like?

NK: [All of the interns] have our own individual mentor that we report to and so basically from day to day if we don’t have events planned through the internship program for the day, we’re working on our projects that we have assigned to each of us for the summer. Or we’re working on individual projects that our mentors assigned to us from day to day. We’re just basically here to help them out with whatever they need.

HC: Is there one overriding lesson that you’ve learned from your time with mark that you feel you’ll be able to apply to the workforce in the future?

NK: A common theme [that I’ve heard from all of the mentors] is that it’s so important to be present in the moment; to be present where you are and when you’re there. So when you’re at work, you’re worried about the stuff you need to get done at work and when you’re at home, you’re with your family. And I think that’s really important. I’ve heard that from all [of the mentors], actually.

HC: Is this the type of work you could see yourself continuing to do in the long-term?

NK: I went into the major of public relations thinking that it would cover a lot of ground and I’d have a lot of options….But I wasn’t always exactly sure what I wanted to do. So being here in this internship especially opened my eyes to the public relations world. Actually being a part of it and seeing what [mark employees] do from day to day…[has been an eye-opener.]

We had the chance to visit [the public relations firm] Kaplow and that was really an experience for me. Being a public relations major, it really made me see that I’d like to work in a PR firm agency type of atmosphere [rather than] working in corporate or nonprofit.

HC: Do you have any particular advice you’d like to offer our readers?

NK: This internship has really benefitted me in that I wasn’t always exactly sure what I wanted to do beforehand and so the fact that I was actually able to come here and get this hands on experience and see what these people do day to do in this business has really opened my eyes. And I think that the best thing you can do is really strive to get those internships. There are so many of them out there and it’s frustrating when you don’t get the one you applied for or the one that you really wanted but…you’ve just got to keep putting your application in there because what will give [you] ideas of what [you] want to do or make [you] decide what career path [you] want to take is going to be actually getting that hands on experience.

Chrissy Callahan is a double major in journalism and media studies (self-designed) and French and Francophone studies at Brandeis University, graduating December 2010. A Medford, Mass. native, she works in Brandeis' Department of Creative Services, helping edit and maintain the Brandeis website. Before writing and interning for Her Campus, Chrissy was features editor for the student newspaper the Brandeis Hoot for three years. When she's not hard at work, you're most likely going to find Chrissy indulging her passion for shopping, wearing way too much pink, or eating cookie dough ice cream. She also enjoys traveling, and dreams of traveling to Paris frequently for her future career. After graduating, Chrissy hopes to get a job in beauty or fashion journalism.
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