Samantha Guarnieri

So, You Want to Work for Vogue?

photo copy Tips and advice on how to score your dream job at Vogue, given by Vogue employees themselves. Ingrid, my co-intern, had the opportunity to visit Conde Nast, and being the sweetheart she is invited me to tag along. A little background info on Conde Nast if you don’t already know who they are (surely, if you read the title of this post and would like to work for Vogue you must know what Conde Nast is). Conde Nast owns 18 major fashion publication such as W Magazine, Lucky, Glamour, and the prestigious Vogue. Owning fashion publications is only a small part of the Conde Nast Corporation, but the only part that I truly care about. I was given a guest pass to get into the Conde Nast Building then Ingrid and I were shown to this little auditorium with a projection screen and four empty chairs facing us. The auditorium only had about 15 other students, keeping the affair fairly personal. The presentation started with a little history of the company and lead into a panel of four young ladies who work for Conde Nast, three of which have positions at Vogue. I (very sloppily) jotted down the most important pieces of information they gave us. Now, for your convenience, I will decipher my notes and break down the best strategies to obtain a position at Vogue as well as a few things I learned about working for a fashion publication. Social Media & How to Apply In this day and age most corporate businesses have social media accounts, as well as you, so when it comes to any company you dream of working for – follow them. It is so simple, yet a vital step some people miss. Conde Nast has both a Twitter and a LinkedIn profile and the panel suggested we follow both – and I suggest that you do too. For most companies, finding an open position within a corporation is a struggle. But Conde Nast makes it easy by not only posting position openings directly on their website but actually ensuring that every application is considered and reviewed, which eliminates the worry of completely wasting your time in applying. Build Your Resume The entire panel of young ladies agreed that the ability to use InDesign as well as Excel is essential in obtaining a job at every publication. Don’t know what InDeisgn is or how to properly navigate Excel? One girl suggested watching YouTube videos – there are so many helpful skills being taught through YouTube and it’s time you use them to you advantage. This next tip is for all of you that dream of working in New York City – I know I do! You MUST relocate. Every girl on the panel agreed that they were not able to obtain a job anywhere in the city without a New York, NY address. When a corporation needs to fill a position, they are going to want to fill it as soon as they can, and they need someone who can interview within 24 hours and begin working within the next 48 hours. These position openings are cutthroat, especially in the fashion industry, and you need to show your employer that you are able to complete tasks as quickly as possible. Which leads me into the next piece of advice. Be Direct & Play Nice The words, “I don’t know” are simply unacceptable. One of the panelists said something so helpful and impactful I will directly quote her, “If you know what you want to do, tell people.” If someone were to stop you dead in your tracks and ask you, “what do you want to do?” without hesitation you should be able to give them an answer. Even if you end up changing your mind in the future, you MUST be able to provide someone with an answer when they ask you. First of all, this gives an excellent impression to hopefully a future employer – it appears as if you have your shit figured out. Second, this person may know someone who knows someone (who also knows someone) that can get you a job doing what you want. This also has a lot to do with networking which is the number one tool in obtaining a career in any competitive industry. A tip given by one of the panelists was simple and easy, “be polite.” When sending an e-mail, always sign with kind words – maybe even throw in a, “have a great day!” People appreciate politeness and a hand-written “Thank You” note could take you far in your fashion career. After all, Lazaro Hernandez became the man he is today through a hand-written note to Vogue’s very own Anna Wintour. Entry Level Positions & Salaries One of the panelists worked in Human Resources for Conde Nast and broke down the company as well as the job positions within it. Each publication has an editorial side as well as an advertising side. An entry-level role in either editorial or advertising is as an assistant. There is also the corporate section of the company, Conde Nast, and one’s first role there would also be as an assistant. The most painful part of this whole presentation was hearing what the starting salaries for these entry-level positions are. One panelist started at Vogue earning $30,000 a year while another panelist explained how she started at a mere $20,000 a year. These numbers are extremely low, especially when living in such an expensive city. One young lady explained how most of her paycheck went to paying her monthly rent. Yes, you will most likely struggle with money but that is the risk one must make if you (just like me) dream of the day you live in New York City and work for Vogue Now, deep breathes during this next part – the panelists then went into explaining what they called “jumping.” “Jumping” is when you move up a role in a company and here is where larger sums of money come in. It is essential in a fashion publication, such as Vogue, to push yourself and aspire for a bigger role. One panelist explained how she has “jumped” four times and each time recieved a $20,000 pay raise. There is a light (and a lot more money) at the end of the tunnel – Vogue employees said it themselves!

A Sprint Down 5th Ave.

photo 1 copy 2

My heart is pounding, my hands tremble as they struggle to type, and my calves ache in such a way that the pain radiates up into my thighs. Sounds like a scene from a horror movie – the horror movie I call About to Miss My Train Home. Seems a bit dramatic of me, I know. But what can I say? I’m dramatic.

I write to you from the train (good news – I made it!) and that blur of a sprint down one of the most week-known avenues in the world is beginning to sharpen. In those speedy 15 blocks I said goodbye to my boss, took a quick glimpse at that thing they’re building in Rockefeller Center (if you’ve seen it recently you’ll understand my confusion), pushed my way through a heated argument between two very well-dressed European men, and with the little breathe I had left asked a stranger where our train was headed. Now, as I sink myself deeper into this strangely comfortable seat on the train, I will introduce myself to you – whoever you are. I am Samantha, or any variation of that i.e. Sam, Sammy, Princess, etc. I’ve been called a slew of nicknames my whole life and chances are, if you call to me, I won’t answer – something my mother likes to call “selective hearing.” And as for how old I am – well, you know how older people like to lie about their age to appear younger? I do that too, except in the opposite way they do, so just don’t ask. The boss I mentioned earlier, she’s a super cool (for a lack of better words) jewelry designer located at the heart of high-fashion in New York City. My current job title is “social media intern” and in an attempt to not bore you (apologies if I already have) I will simplify my job description by saying, I am the girl who manages her social media accounts. Despite my dream to one day live in The Big Apple, I currently live at home in Connecticut with my mother, father, older sister, and cat, Mickey. Ew, I just re-read that last sentenced a threw up a little – my life sounds so ordinary, and if there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s how much I dislike anything (and everything) ordinary. The world itself causes my muscles to tense and palms to sweat. Let’s not ever use that word again – ok? OK.

I digress – let us return to this whole “blog” thing. Recently, my life has taken a huge turn, and that turn placed me straight in the fashion lane. I am so grateful and excited to be where I am – surrounded by beautiful things, beautiful clothes, beautiful places, and beautiful adventures. In an attempt to not miss a single second of it, I will combine my passion for writing and novice photography skills to create this blog.

I really hope I don’t disappoint.

Samantha Guarnieri