Wake Forest 2015 Fashion and PR Career Treks

Over Winter break, Jordan and I traveled to New York City with other Wake Forest students for two amazing Career Treks. We dove into the worlds of the PR and Fashion Industries and took Manhattan by storm. Jordan attended the PR trek, while I attended the Fashion Trek. Here are a few of our favorite moments from the trip!

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Fashion Day 1:

Us Fashion Trekkers began our journey in the best way possible, with a trip to Saks! For those of you who haven’t seen the gorgeous windows of Saks Fifth Avenue, put it at the top of your places to visit in NYC. The displays were enticing and stunning—they really got us in the holiday spirit!

Next we visited H&M and Bergdorf Goodman to examine the different window displays and marketing strategies used by the various retailers. We then sat through a wonderful presentation by clothing company Alfred Dunner, where we ate a delicious lunch and learned all there is to know about the design, processing and merchandising processes. We toured the showrooms, design studios and fabric closets, and spoke to people in each department about the ins and out of the industry.

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Fashion Day 2:

Our next and final day began with a fabulous trip to Tommy Hilfiger. We were given advice and inside information from insightful employees who are extremely passionate about their jobs. The work environment is simply phenomenal, the team is energetic and driven, and the showrooms are meticulous and on-trend. This visit was my personal favorite because I was simply in awe of the beautiful showrooms, driven employees and inviting atmosphere.

Our last stop was to the legendary beauty company Revlon, where we were wowed by a fabulous professional presentation, stunning office views, and delectable treats. Here we learned about the role of law in the fashion and beauty industries, and the company’s rich history and influence on the industry. We even got to take home goodie bags filled with samples of some of the company’s most successful products!

PR/Advertising Day 1:

To kick off the Career Trek, we first went to Edelman, the largest worldwide PR firm of their kind, where we were greeted by Wake Forest alumni who were at all levels of the company. We truly learned about how valuable a Wake Forest education can be in the world of public relations! Although you might not know the name Edelman, you are sure to recognize their work. Remember the inspiring Dove Real Beauty sketches? Those were the amazing product of Edelman’s PR team, and that’s why we still remember that campaign today.

Secondly, we took a trip to the New York Public Library to look at an exhibit that illustrated the impact of photography over the years. Not only is the library architecturally stunning, but also the exhibit provided an intriguing outlook about the portrayal of beauty through photography. The part of the exhibit that most struck me was that an average civilian has the ability to take an iconic photo if the timing is right.

We ended our day at Ogilvy, which differed from the rest because this presentation was focused on advertising rather than public relations. With the evolution of technology, the ability to track advertising is evolving and impressions (the amount of times an advertisement is viewed) are more easily measured. Advertising is prevalent in everything that we do and everywhere that we go; therefore, the goal of advertising companies such as Ogilvy is to make an impression through their out-of-home and in-home advertising.

PR/Advertising Day 2:

After a great first day, expectations were high as we headed to Weber Shandwick; however, they definitely did not disappoint. Weber Shandwick works with a wide array of major brands from Fisher-Price to Simple Skin Care. Although it was great to hear about the work of Weber Shandwick and the evolving industry of public relations, my favorite part of their presentation was the open panel. It was great to hear about the stories of these employees that detailed their major to their prospective dream job in the company.

Lastly, we ended our New York City career trek at Fleishman Hillard. There we were exposed to the many different roles of the public relations firm including business development, reputation management, and design. It was valuable to learn about the varying aspects of the company in addition to what we all were specifically interested in. I think the best attribute about Fleishman Hillard is their combination of public relations and advertising, which allows them to meet varying needs for a diversified clientele.

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Although Sara and I went on different career treks, we would both highly recommending going at least one if possible! Whether you a trying to network and find a job or just learn more about an industry you might be interested in, the career treks are the perfect opportunity to explore. To learn more about future career treks you can visit the Office of Personal Career & Development or search for them on Handshake. It’s never too early to get a head start on your future!

– Sara DeCicco and Jordan Campbell

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