We did important pulls with editors, collected relevant archives on trips to the New York Times and FIT, picked up and delivered packages for editors and vendors, and helped with press days. We also partook in clinics and store meetings; it was really a multifaceted and priceless education in fashion PR. – Mollye Rogel, PR & Special Events Intern, Bergdorf Godman
An Art History and English major at the University of Michigan, Mollye Rogel finds fashion to be a natural extension of her studies, and her favorite sector of public relations in which to work. This summer, a PR & Special Events internship at Bergdorf Goodman gave this New Jersey the opportunity to support the iconic 5th Avenue luxury goods department store gear up for its it’s 111th anniversary.
What is your background?
I grew up in suburban New Jersey, right over the border from Manhattan. The city has played a great role in my upbringing and interest in fashion because it is a place where one can truly be themselves and create their style based off any inspiration without judgment. I like the freedom one has to do whatever they desire but also the drive the constant movement of the city manifests to make one try harder and constantly improve. I currently attend the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where I am majoring in Art History and English. I find art and fashion to be so intertwined that my studies go hand in hand with my desired career. Leading up to my summer with Bergdorf Goodman this year, I have held PR and event planning internships with both fashion and nonprofit companies to experience all sides of this career path. Though I enjoy PR in all its capacities, the fashion side is what excites me most and is what I most want to pursue.
Why Fashion PR?
I have always been inspired by fashion and the varying styles individuals possess over time and throughout different cultures. I like to channel this interest through PR and event planning because the more business oriented side excites me most. To be in charge of promoting a company or organization that has such a say in the style choices and opinions of countless individuals is a really rewarding prospect because it means I get to partake in the bigger picture of culture. I enjoy event planning also because it requires a lot of patience, attention to detail and organization. Making lists are a really important aspect to how I complete tasks and are also an extremely crucial element of event planning. Though this may make these jobs seem daunting and serious, the payoff is so great and shows up in so many ways, from social media and the public recognizing your company to a great event that creates many more clients and friends, it is really worth all the hard work.
How did you land your position?
Persistance, persistance, persistance! I emailed and called the people in charge of hiring for the internship regularly. It is important to remember that there are a million students out there who want the same position, so one must stay relevant and at the forefront of the company’s attention. It is certainly a thin line between showing dedication to the internship and annoying potential employers, but in the long run I think it was my ability to stay on top of correspondence with the company and relevant previous experience that really helped me land the position. A relevant resume is also key because it shows that you will be able to handle all the responsibilities with ease so your employer will not have to walk you through every step of the internship. With every job and internship and job I have held leading up to my most current, I made sure that it had something to do with fashion or PR or event planning. Not only can you make valuable connections this way, but you show potential employers that this is what you are really interested in and good at.
As a PR & Special Events Intern at Bergdorf Goodman, what are your responsibilities?
As a PR and special events intern, I was in charge of helping make sure everything in those departments ran smoothly. Because there are so many tasks and details associated with this profession, my daily responsibilities varied endlessly. Walking the store and doing pulls with editors was the most consistent activity, though I could be doing anything else throughout the day such as researching gift bags for special events or creating archives and vendor lists. I got to sit in on meeting with vendors and higher-ups in the company, which was especially interesting because it gave me a chance to see all responsibilities of the PR and event planning world and what I might expect once this is my actual career. All my responsibilities, no matter how big or small, were rewarding because they helped my bosses do their jobs efficiently.
What is a recent success story that you have been a part of?
There were so many successful and rewarding moments as a PR and event planning intern with Bergdorf Goodman it is hard to choose just one. Something that really stands out however was the amount of work the other PR intern and I put into organizing the memo loan book, which held the paperwork for pulls done throughout the past year or so. Because these pulls are such a crucial part of PR, it is important to stay on top of the plethora of paperwork and make sure all items are returned in a timely fashion. Most of the memos were eventually closed, which was rewarding to us because this helped the company function more efficiently and regain many of the funds they would have lost had the items not been returned.
My dream fashion PR job would be…
New York City has the most optimistic and energizing vibe of any place I have ever been, so I know this is the scene that I want to live and work in. The experiences that one can attain in this city are unlike any other, both professionally and on a personal level. Ideally, I will utilize my love of PR and event planning to one day work for either a fashion PR firm that handles fashion events and shows or for a firm in NYC that concentrates on publicizing restaurants and clubs. My favorite experiences are those where I get to make connections and socialize, and fashion PR and event planning are certainly the central route to attaining these goals. The people that I have met in fashion are certainly some of the most driven and enthusiastic professionals, which is continuous and nonstop drive to constantly improve myself. PR and event planning are hard work but pay off in really obvious and rewarding ways.