Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Career Thoughts: American Eagle

Thanks to an amazing professor with equally amazing connections, I had the opportunity to visit the American Eagle headquarters in Pittsburgh this past week.  Although I spent nearly all of high school and college dreaming of working in fashion marketing, I thought that dream had died. 

Boy, was I wrong.  

Our tour and accompanying meetings were set up to compliment a class my school offers on retail marketing, which I was not able to take due to scheduling conflicts.  Since my professor (and just about anyone who knows me well) knew about my passion for the apparel and accessories industry, she invited me to come along.  

To kick off the afternoon, we toured "fake" AEO and Aerie stores within the corporate offices.  Though non-functional for customers, these stores give the visual merchandisers a place to design displays for stores across the country.  Next, we were led to a classroom type set-up where we had the incredible experience of hearing from brand marketers, fashion buyers, allocation planners, and HR personnel.   

The thing that stood out to me most during our visit was the passion and happiness that exuded from every single person we met.  Everyone was genuinely excited to work for American Eagle, which is what seemed to be one of the major factors for company success.  The feelings were contagious, and I've spent the past few days re-vamping my resumé and searching for open opportunities.  

Though it's obviously early on, it seems like this could be the perfect fit company I've been looking for. Now here's crossing fingers that the feeling will be mutual!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

In Search of the Perfect Job

Generally speaking, I'm a procrastinator.  I wait to do things until I absolutely must, and college has been a big lesson in time management for me.  When it comes to things I'm either incredibly passionate or very nervous about, though, I'm the first one to get it done.  Which has brought me here: the job search with over 6 months to go before I'll actually be graduating.

The problem is, I have high standards.  I want to leave work everyday feeling as though I've really accomplished something for my company, and I want to get more than just money or other tangible benefits.  

My ideal, dream job would...

Allow me to live abroad or travel frequently,
Have a focus on marketing, but allow me to do much more than desk work,
Give me lots of diverse and challenging projects to work on,
Be working with a great team who support and challenge each other,
Empower me to make a difference in people's lives,
Work with products or services that I'm personally passionate about,
And have a great pay and benefits package, since we're being honest here.
This perfect job would be a part of a company that...
Has a strong company vision and set of values,
Acts on those values, specifically when it comes back to giving back to the community,
Has locations or branches around the world,
And is focused on global development and cultural diversity.

Know of any jobs like that?  

No?  Me either... yet.  I have, however, begun to map out a few industries and companies, both profit and not-for-profit,  I think could be a good fit.  I'm thinking something along the lines of study abroad programs, TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), corporate social responsibility, strategic marketing, or travel/tourism management.  Honestly though, I'm open to anything that I could be a good fit for.  

Oh, and I applied for the Peace Corps.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

You know that state of excitement that most people get around early December- the giddiness at all things holiday and "Christmas" flavored?  I get that at fall too.  No, there isn't any momentous holiday or symbolic gift giving.  However, there is hot apple cider, gorgeous colored leaves, pumpkin carving, and the ability to create lovely, layered outfits.  Those things alone are enough to send me into the same Christmas-esque giddiness by the time early September rolls around.  

Are you in love with fall as well?  Although I was sad to miss it last year as I lived in southern Spain, I was able to experience small bursts of fall in different places around the world.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Paris, France

Rome, Italy

Granada, Spain

Windsor Castle, England

And lastly, a few from the past few weeks:

Latrobe, PA, USA

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Madrid, Spain

Madrid was the first stop in my study abroad journey, and had it not been for the jet lag or nerves about the months to come, I'm sure the city and I would have hit it off quite nicely.  Sadly, I don't think I was able to give Madrid the chance it really deserved.  From the countless plazas with restaurants (Which serve sangria on tap!) and performers to the perfectly manicured parks and beautiful white buildings, Madrid really does have a lot to offer.

Next time I'll be sure to plan ahead a little more and scope out more than just the easy spots.  Don't get me wrong, seeing a Spanish castle was super cool; I just wish I had gotten to know more of Madrid than just the tourist spots.   

Have you ever had to leave a city before you ever really got a feel for it?  What are your tips?