Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How to get a job in the fashion industry: H&M First Job Profile

This summer I connected with some amazing professionals who were willing to share their wisdom. Each profile will feature how their first job out of college led to their amazing careers today (that they love, by the way), as well as their advice to help you do the same.

First Job Profile: Jennifer Ward, Senior Public Relations Director at H&M

1) What was your first job out of college and how did you get it? 

I graduated with an Advertising/PR degree but was having trouble finding a job. I took a job at Tommy Hilfiger as a sales assistant so I could learn the other side of the business until I was able to find a position in PR.

2) What was the most important thing you learned from your first job?

My first job was all about learning about the corporate world and branding. In addition to learning the sales side of the business the behind the scenes was most interesting to me. I learned how everything a brand does is strategic. Why they choose the colors, where the item is placed in the store etc. I thought it was going to be a fashion job, but most of my day was sitting in front of a computer analyzing spreadsheets.

3) What did you to leverage your first job to help you get where you are today? 

My first job helped me form a great foundation to overall understand fashion, but it did not help me much in my goals for PR. 

I had an internship in college for another fashion brand, and a year after graduating I interviewed for a full time position in their press department. It was a very small team of five which is where I learned everything to get me where I am today.

4) What advice do you have for a recent graduate who is struggling to find their first job after college? 

Talk, talk, talk. Ask anyone and everyone if they are able to help - networking is most important. A lot of jobs are not posted on website - it’s all about referrals. 

Having a strong resume will set you aside from the fierce competition. Try to have as many internships and volunteer jobs in your area of interest. If an employer is not hiring they will always remember their smart, motivated intern and help you find a position leveraging their contacts.

Great advice no matter what industry you want to pursue. Thank you so much Jennifer!

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