So how did you land that job?
I did a styling and production internship at OC and when it was finished they did not have any positions open on the production team but they did have a position for office manager. So I took it knowing that my plan was to move back over to production. I helped the studio/production team out as much as I could to stay involved. I worked my way up from there. My current position did not exist before but as the needs of the company grew and things within our team changed and the role was created for me. I saw what needed to be done on our team, so I made it happen and that is how I am where I am today.
How did you take your Teen Vogue freelance position to a job?
Networking. The job was supposed to only last 3 months and they really liked me, but since nothing was open I started looking elsewhere. Then maybe a week or two later, they had hired a new fashion director and they were looking for someone to assist her. I didn't have any time to prepare for the interview though, because they were like, "Oh, meet with Marina today." I didn't even get to pick out a nice outfit.
How was the interview process at Outdoor Voices?
I had been trying to decide through the fall whether I had wanted to do something more writing-oriented or more visually creative. I was feeling like if I chose one over the other, I could freelance for whichever I wasn’t pursuing in my day job. I was deciding which field was better to have a lot of structure and mentorship in and which was going to be better to do on my own.
I decided I'd rather be trained by professionals creatively and I felt like I could write on my own. I enjoy pitching stories and making them happen on my own time. Evaluating where your ideation is the most refined is a good way to figure out what kind of work you should do freelance. I saw an opening for an editorial assistant at Outdoor Voices online and I applied for the job. We had a phone interview first, and then subsequently a series of meetings.
What are some of the challenges that kids face when entering the fashion industry in 2016?
A lot of people want to be their own boss and have been grooming their own creative vision for the last 4 years. You get to the peak of your college career and suddenly, upon graduation, you're a new employee on the lowest rung. I think that's one of the more stifling challenges of being a creative in the fashion industry. My personal philosophy is to be really well trained very early on in your career and that that will benefit you in the long term, especially if you aspire to be entrepreneurial later.
What do you mean by that?
You should be working with people who are much higher up than you and learning from them, in whatever field you are in. If you want to be a graphic designer, you should be an assistant to a legendary person and that way I think you'll learn the most. It’s an investment for the long term. Rather than trying to do your own thing right away when you graduate, though there's occasionally the unicorns who can pull that off.
Now that you’re an editor at Into The Gloss, can you talk a little bit about the interview process for getting the position?
I graduated early so I could focus all of the third quarter on finding a job instead of juggling it with coursework. I emailed all the people I had worked with—it’s hard to know what to do when no one is hiring. But someone I knew from New York Magazine heard that Into The Gloss was looking for an editorial assistant and tipped me off. I [emailed Nick at ITG] and said who referred me, why I loved the site, and I sent them three pitches. Which I actually think is a really good idea. You shouldn't just say "Hey, looking for a job." You should be like "Hey, looking for a job, look how well I can do that [job]."
At first, he didn’t email back. I let a week go by and then email him again, figuring what’s the worst thing that could happen? On the second email he got back to me right away and was like "When can you come in?" We did a brief phone interview and he sent me this brief edit test. Maybe a week later, I came in, we got breakfast, and I met with five other people on the team, all in that one day. And then I didn't hear anything for two weeks.
I was freaking out because I got really good vibes from everyone. But hiring takes time—and people are busy. No one drops everything and just looks to hire someone. They’re juggling that with 15 other things. So I didn't hear anything for a while, and then they brought me in and I met with more people. They gave me another edit test, which they actually ended up publishing. Then I didn't hear anything again. That's when I started getting really anxious. So, I just started writing stories. I would email, "Hey, I have this idea for a story, here it is completely written in case you want to run it." And they published that one too! Finally, they wrote me up the offer. And I started as an editorial assistant two years ago in June 2014. Very different company back then than it is now. Which has been fun.
That's so nice. What’s been one of the biggest changes after college? That will be me soon so please inform.
I think relax. Take a deep breath. Don't see things as being so rushed. It's very easy after college and high school to see things on a semester turnaround. As if everything renews every 3 months or something and all of a sudden you're supposed to be in a new place. Once you're done with school that's not really the case. You have so much time. I also felt that way when I was approaching a year here. I was like, "Am I supposed to have a new job at the end of like a year?". You realize, no. You get a new job when you need a new job or when you want a new job. There's no timetable that you have to stick to.