Tara: Your First Job Will Lay a Foundation
After graduating from college, my career started at Marc Jacobs where I was a Business Planning Analyst. Every summer internship I had was in finance, which taught me one of the most critical lessons–that I didn’t want to work in finance. I knew I was meant to be in fashion, and my first job felt like a perfect marriage of my education and passion–a role in the business of fashion! I was thrilled by both the sound of the role and that it was at a credible and multi-dimensional global fashion brand. Fast forward two years later, and I spent the majority of my time at Marc Jacobs (days that often lasted 12+ hours) behind Excel spreadsheets with minimal exposure to actual products. In hindsight, it felt more in line with a financial position than what I had envisioned a fashion one would be. That being said, I learned fundamental, quantitative parts of the business that I would not have learned nearly as robustly if I jumped immediately into a Sales role. I now had an analytical foundation that would set me apart from my peers at my next jobs. Boiled down, I think what I recommend is trying to seek a first job that teaches you the why behind what it is you really want to do, as un-glamorous as the day to day may be! In addition, the office I sat in at Marc Jacobs was next to that of the President. Having such close access was very valuable and I recommend thinking about how you can gain exposure to senior leaders at your company early on.