STYLISH SOPHISTICATE: Talk about your career path in detail. Did you face any obstacles?

From my first day of college to graduation this past May, my career path has changed tremendously. While in High School, I received my cosmetology license and originally wanted to go to college for business with the hopes of starting and owning my own hair salon. Along with hair styling, I was also interested in fashion which led me to discovering LIM College in Manhattan. Going into college, I was not entirely sure what I wanted to focus on so I chose Fashion Merchandising as my major. Shortly after taking a few classes, I realized that I wanted to switch majors to something I could relate back to beauty. After taking an intro to marketing class, I decided that my interests were more aligned with this major and switched my sophomore year. My first semester of my sophomore year I also started my first internship with iluminage inc. which is a start­up skin care company. Along with this internship, I worked for multiple companies to gain the experience I wanted prior to graduation. I interned for International Cosmetics & Perfumes, Estee Lauder’s warehouse, Salvatore Ferragamo, Albea Group, Coty and Estee Lauder’s corporate office for my senior co­op internship. Throughout these experiences, I was exposed to a variety of roles including digital marketing, customer marketing, cosmetic product development, event planning, operations and global communications.
After graduating college in May, Estee Lauder offered to keep me on the team as a temp which eventually would lead to a full time permanent position for a global communications assistant position. I took this position and couldn’t be happier with my decision.
These past few months I was able to assist the global communications team, help manage backstage beauty initiatives during fashion week shows and was given the wonderful opportunity to work at the Michael Kors Gold Fragrance launch event.

Throughout my career path, I did have to face different obstacles. The first obstacle I faced was my the decision to change my major. This decision required much thought and forced me to reflect on what I was truly passionate about. I was able to identify my desire to work in the beauty industry which ultimately led me to the decision to major in marketing. Along with this challenge, I also had to decide whether or not to continue to pursue my cosmetology career while in college. I worked in a hair salon on the upper east side during my freshmen and sophomore years which gave me direct exposure to hair styling on a variety of clients. I enjoyed this job, however, it took up much of my time on the weekends which gave me little room to complete my homework assignments. I made the difficult decision to leave this job to focus on school and internship opportunities. In the future I hope to pursue hairstyling again since this is still a passion of mine.

STYLISH SOPHISTICATE: What’s a typical work day like for you?

My typical day at work usually varies. Since I am assisting the VP of my department, I like to arrive before 9:00 AM to prepare her for the day. Once I am situated, I review her calendar and make sure all of her meetings are organized. Once I look over her calendar, I review any new emails and update my to­do list for the week. Once all my emails are read and the calendar has been reviewed, I prioritize the tasks on my to­do list and get to work. Along with assisting the VP, I am also assisting the global communications PR team. Depending on the week and the project the team is working on determines my next steps for the day. I normally start working on the most time sensitive project first and stay in constant communication with the team to make sure we are aligned on the project’s progression. Along with working on projects, I also regularly monitor the VP’s schedule to keep her on track with meetings she has for the day.

These past few weeks our department was extremely busy for fashion week. Since my team works with licensed fragrances, we attend the designer fashion shows for Michael Kors and Tory Burch to support backstage beauty. Our team provides the makeup for the model looks and we are also in charge of providing backstage access to beauty editors interested in beauty stories for fashion week. Most of my days these past few weeks consisted of preparation for fashion week and events to support new fragrance launches.

STYLISH SOPHISTICATE: How does your career affect your stylistic choices?

My office dress code is corporate casual which gives me freedom to express my own personal style. Neutral colors are popular around the office along with pops of colors and patterns. Many of the women wear heels and trendy clothing. I would consider the overall style to be very fashion forward. Fridays are more casual days and many employees wear jeans and sneakers as a dress down look. The style choices I see throughout my office have a strong impact on my own personal style and influence my purchasing decisions when shopping.

careerchatCarissa3STYLISH SOPHISTICATE: What do you do to de-­stress? How do you balance work and play?

I personally feel that having positive outlets result in success. Some of my main de­stressers include running, yoga and working out. Running has always been a part of my life and it definitely keeps me balanced and energized. This fall I am running my second half marathon in Brooklyn with a director in my department. These races are challenging, however, they give me the motivation needed to make running and working out a priority.

Along with running, finding hobbies and spending time with positive and encouraging people is also an important part of keeping a healthy work­life balance.

I enjoy planning weekend trips to take a break from the city to visit friends and to go home to New Jersey where my family lives. I also like going out to dinner with my friends during the week nights to catch up and explore cool New York City restaurants. My hobbies include knitting and reading when I have a little extra time on my hands. It can be difficult balancing work, fitness, friends, family and your own personal time, however, careful planning helps clarify plans and manage time.

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