Most of the students in 2015 alumna Lauren Snyder’s management information systems classes had no interest in the fashion industry, but the MIS and marketing double major was determined to combine her interests.
“She used to drive me crazy,” said assistant professor in the MIS department Martin Doyle, who always tried to push Snyder to take IT internships. “But she’s been able to mix together her interest in fashion and her skills from the MIS department, she’s going to be a rockstar.”
Today, Snyder is living in New York City and working as a public relations assistant for American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie.
Snyder said she always knew she wanted to work in the fashion industry, but found few resources to help start her career. Instead of becoming discouraged, Snyder founded the Fashion & Business Club, an organization that connects Temple students with fashion industry professionals.
“When I was looking for internships on Temple’s website, I was getting discouraged by the fact that there weren’t a lot of fashion ones, even at small places, and none of my classmates were interested in fashion,” she said. “I felt like there was a need for a fashion community at Temple and I knew it had to be out there.”
Snyder started Fashion & Business during her sophomore year in Fall 2012. Since then, the club has hosted regular speaker sessions and events with fashion industry professionals from companies like Lilly Pulitzer, J. Crew and CollegeFashionista. Regular events with professionals give members a chance to network, learn more about the fashion industry and meet other students with similar career goals.
Conor Sheehan, graduating senior and media studies & production and public relations major and current president of Fashion & Business, said the club continues to help aspiring fashion professionals stand out in the industry, just like Snyder.
“[The club is] really an amazing way to kind of work your way into the industry,” he said. “But also every time I’ve gone to an interview, the first thing they ask me about is Fashion & Business. They know it takes a very motivated and special kind of person to be on the executive board of an organization.”
In addition to her involvement with Fashion & Business, Snyder took an internship every summer during her college career and took advantage of networking events.
“Within the business school, I felt like I really hit the ground running the first year to start networking and meeting people,” she said. “Even though it wasn’t fashion-focused, it was a great experience to just start meeting people.”
Snyder said she talked to as many professionals as she could, went to informational interviews and asked a lot of questions in order to get to her desired field. She landed her first marketing internship with Burlington Stores Inc. through the Fox School of Business.
“That was my first jump into the world and really helped my resume and got me comfortable within the corporate environment,” she said.
Snyder was also a style intern with CollegeFashionista for three years, which led her to her current position with American Eagle. CollegeFashionista, a fashion website that showcases campus style, relies on college contributors to photograph and write about fashion on campus.
Snyder said she met CollegeFashionista founder Amy Levin at an event and they kept in touch, so when American Eagle approached Levin looking for a new public relations assistant, she thought of Snyder right away.
“I never had experience in public relations before but I was excited about the new opportunity and after the interviews I felt like it was a great fit,” Snyder said.
Although Snyder said she experienced a “culture shock” when she moved to New York, she enjoys working with magazines and influencers for American Eagle.
She said working for a company that emphasizes body positivity is one of the most rewarding parts of her work. She also said she loves to see samples she sent to magazines and celebrities end up in print.
“It’s a lot of hard work,” she said. “It’s not glamorous, it’s a lot of time spent in the closet working on samples, but it’s definitely a fun, collaborative environment to be working in so I feel very lucky.”
Erin Moran can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.