A Spanish and Economic major at Binghamton University, triplet Jacquelyn Williams finds fashion, event planning and public relations to be the triple-threat she’s ready to tackle as a career. First up, Jacqelyn’s internship at Ann Taylor in the PR and special events department taught her about Ann Taylor’s brand development, while an event management opportunity at EMM gave her the opportunity to help launch American Eagle’s Rock Your Walk campaign. Connect with Jacquelyn on Twitter @jacquelyn_lei
What is your background?
To understand who I am, you must know that I’m a triplet. Since day one, my siblings and I strived for our own individuality, and with 21 years of experience, I can certainly say I know a thing or two about personal brand development. Currently, I am a senior at Binghamton University, New York, pursuing a double major in Spanish Language and Economics. I believe being bilingual proves beneficial in so many behind-the-scenes aspects of fashion, whether it is international fashion shoots or back of house at Fashion Week, I know Spanish will serve me well. I also feel that Economics is well-rounded major that will help me be the best businesswoman I can be. I am very interested in the fashion industry, and in production of all kinds—events, PR campaigns, perhaps someday a producing fashion shows at Fashion Week! I’ve been very fortunate to gain great hands-on work experience and knowledge of these industries through my internships with Ann Taylor and EMM Group. I was able to immerse into the office culture, see how teams work, how people balance their strengths and dive right in to contribute to the big picture -- things that not a single college class can teach you.
Why Fashion PR?
I have to say that I absolutely love the constant creativity that fashion PR requires. With my experiences at Ann Taylor specifically, I enjoyed surrounding myself and living the brand in promotional efforts targeted to ambitious, successful women of today. Throughout my internship at Ann Taylor, I learned that the PR department is one of the many creative departments that are responsible for both shaping and reflecting the image and definition of the “modern women”. To come up with fashion expressions that are so accessible, yet so different, authentic and innovative is much easier said than done; yet it is something I truly enjoy. I love challenging myself and building onto my creativity every day.
I was able to immerse myself into the office culture, see how teams work, how people balance their strengths and dive right in to contribute to the big picture -- things that not a single college class can teach you. – Jacquelyn Williams, Fashion PR Intern
How did you land your first position?
I laugh a little when I’m asked how I got my internship at Ann Taylor – everyone always expects me to say that I knew someone who knew someone. I actually landed this internship with a lot of diligent work and an application via the Internet. Persistence helps! . My other internship this past summer was at EMM Group, one of the most successful hospitality management companies in New York City. I actually connected with one of the directors at EMM Group. For over a year, I’d been in contact with her via email, constantly keeping in touch and learning more about her line of work since I was very interested in pursuing a career in PR and production through the hospitality and fashion industry.
What were your responsibilities?
I’m the type of person who thrives in a fast-paced environment with creative and spontaneous responsibilities to fulfill – an everyday occurrence in the world of fashion PR. Throughout my internship at Ann Taylor, there were days where I was responsible for completing sample requests, tracking the traffic log, maintaining the sample closet and managing items in the new collection. Then there were days when I would be running all over the office playing stylist piecing together potential outfits for a photo shoot. I absolutely loved it. As an intern at EMM Group, I had an array of responsibilities since I was working in three departments: Productions, Events and Public Relations. I was responsible for maintaining an extensive contact tracking list, completing market research within the metro area, creating promotional products and creating catering decks. My favorite part was working with the Productions team. I thoroughly enjoyed brainstorming creative ideas to make their events unique and high quality. I was also able to attend the actual events and through that, see how events are properly designed, produced and executed; it was so satisfying to see an event “come to life” from start to finish.
What elements of the internships were unexpected or surprising?
An element that truly surprised me was the influence of brand development and the profound impact a fashion brand has on today’s society; this was certainly recognized during my time at Ann Taylor. Through my responsibilities as a PR intern, I learned that Ann Taylor is definitely a powerful brand. Through the clothes they design, produce and sell, Ann Taylor represents the image of the women in today and defines the modern woman as successful, sophisticated, confident, driven and well-rounded. This image is something I strive to own throughout career.
What is a recent success story you’ve been a part of?
My ultimate success story so far is assisting the EMM Group producers in designing and executing an event for American Eagle’s newest campaign, Rock Your Walk – fashion and events combined! For this event, I was part of the brainstorming sessions and vendor research and sourcing. I observed them and asked specific questions regarding event execution, the significance of branding and incorporation of social media. With weeks and weeks of helping the producers conceive, plan and budget the event, I was offered the opportunity to assist executing the event on-site. Through it all, I was truly inspired by the producers and how they were able to create and manage this big event so successfully. In the process, and although I have so much yet to learn, I found out I’m actually pretty good at a few things!
My dream Fashion PR job would be…
I see myself as a global citizen. The people, the sights, the culture and the perspectives one encounters only by traveling around our globe are experiences I am very eager to have more of in my dream job. My ideal fashion PR job would take advantage my unique set of natural skills, while developing others.: A ‘won’t quit’ work ethic; very good organizational skills; the ability to think creatively and still be very detailed, task oriented and a great time manager; the ability to get along with just about anyone (I’m a triplet, I’ve been negotiating since birth!); and an insatiable curiosity about the businesses, the people, and the mechanics of helping companies, clients or individuals achieve their goals. I want to thrive somewhere where I am key to my company’s success!