I grew up watching it in movies. That dream job a young, determined girl or guy just happens to land, you know the nonexistent ones. As you watch these characters walk around Manhattan with designer clothes, working for famous successful people and the best companies, you wonder how do I get where they are? I have wondered that same question over the past four years and never expected to find the answer when I signed up for the Alumni Job Shadow Day Program last fall.
When first hearing about this program, I was unsure whether it would actually be worth my time; however, after sending my application to a dozen or so companies without receiving much response I figured it was worth a shot. As part of the program, I was placed with alum Brian Williams who worked at MSL Group, a large Public Relations firm in downtown New York City. Although I had never heard of this company I was excited at the opportunity to see the inside workings of an actual Public Relations firm versus what I had learned about them in my textbooks.
During the following winter break I went into the city to spend the day shadowing Mr. Williams at his job as Vice President of MSL’s Consumer sector. We toured the office, sat in on client meetings with famous companies and went to an informational lunch with other MSL employees who answered any and all of my questions. However, apart from all the information I learned that day some of the best moments came from our unified stag pride. We talked about different Fairfield traditions such as Clam Jam, Midnight Breakfast, and Point Days. He told me about which beach houses he lived in while a student and how nights at the grape were exactly the same then as they are now. These moments lead to a bond which put my foot in the door and landed my summer internship position at the company.
With Brian’s help getting my resume to Human Resources, I was given the opportunity to join MSL Group as a paid intern in the Personal Care sector this past summer where I became an intern for both the Feminine Care and Beauty and Luxury teams. As a member of these teams I was not assigned minimal tasks, but taken in and given work that was an important piece of the overall campaign. I was assigned tasks such as media monitoring, event planning, campaign pitching and a variety of meaningful writing projects. All of which allowed me to hone skills that will be useful in the future.
Through this internship I was able to work with clients I would never have before dreamed of such as Tiffany, Shiseido, Proctor and Gamble accounts, etc… This overall experience made for an amazing summer, but further amazing relationships. I still stay in contact with a variety of mentors and individuals I met while working at MSL. These connections leave the door open for my future possibilities in the PR industry because they already know my work habits and abilities.
On my first day in the MSL office, a few individuals had already heard from Brian “a fellow Stag” was joining the company. His pride for Fairfield led him to believe in my abilities as an intern because he knew where I had come from and what I was capable of. I cannot explain how thankful I am that I decided to apply for the Career Planning Center’s Alumni Job Shadow Program. Never in a million years did I expect to land an amazing internship by shadowing a Fairfield alum around over my winter break; however, this opportunity gave me the chance to be that determined girl who gets that inexistent, dream job.
Bottom line, if I could do it you could do it.
To apply,visit fairfield.edu/jobshadowinfo. All applications must be completed by November 1st.