Kayla is currently an executive office manager at a marketing company called Arrow Promotional, and a freelance writer. Kayla grew up in Homer City, Pennsylvania and went to college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania for marketing and fashion merchandising. After completing a summer internship for the amazing couture designer, Maggie Norris, Kayla knew that New York is where she needed to be to get her career started. Soon after graduating from IUP, she made the move to New York, taking her first entry level full-time promotional assistant position at a restaurant and lounge in Manhattan to get her started. Since then, Kayla has had some amazing and some not-so amazing fashion jobs, and is currently learning the marketing and advertising industry. She loves to write in her free time and tell her story to students of what she has learned so far starting out in such a tough industry in one of the biggest and most competitive cities in the world.
When I was in high school, I remember having no worries about the future. I would be successful, everything would be so easy and I would be a well-known fashion designer. Then, I got to college. I still wasn’t too worried and I just knew that everything would work out and I would move to New York and instantly get a fashion job. I had a goal. I wanted to work for Conde Nast or Hearst, or for any big fashion magazine. I loved writing, and I loved fashion. My junior year of college, I needed to find an internship in order to graduate. I started applying on Stylecareers.com and everywhere possible. I finally got one call, after applying to hundreds of internships, mostly paid ones. Of course, the one that called me was unpaid. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
When I told my parents I was going to move to New York for the summer for an unpaid internship, they thought I was crazy. I am from a really small town, and not many people just randomly decide to move to New York with no money saved. But, I had a goal and when I have something in mind I have to make it happen. My parents luckily, were supportive. My grandma said she would fund my living for the summer and I found a pretty cheap deal in the New Yorker Hotel by Penn Station, they had student housing available for the summer. My friend Jennifer also landed an internship so she would be living in the dorms as well, although we couldn’t get a room together. I had a credit card in case of emergencies and a little money saved up for food. I was so nervous for my first day.
The showroom was conveniently located across the street from where I was staying. I didn’t know that I would never again have a job that started at 10am. I had an over-all amazing experience, and made some lifetime friends at this internship. I learned a lot about social media and know every fabric store in the city inside and out. The workers get really mad if you take scissors and cut your own fabric swatches because you are impatient. I also am a pro at getting Starbucks orders exactly right. It was definitely not as glamourous of an internship as I thought it would be, it was a lot of errand-running and patience. Little did I know, this was not the end of my errand-running career.
The biggest lesson I learned from this summer, was that you have to really work for everything. Don’t give yourself even one day to be lazy at a job. You have to work for your success, it will never be handed to you. I was that girl that when the designer would ask who wants to do this? No matter what insane task it was, that made no sense to anyone of why we even had to do this, I would be the first to volunteer. Where did this get me with the internship? It got me remembered. The designer doesn’t remember anyone by name from that summer, but she has my picture up in her office to this day and remembers me. If I ever need a recommendation I know I can call her. I still have my days where I get so angry and frustrated when I have to do something like get coffee. But, never believe that any task is below you. I remember where I started and how far I have come in two short years.