By Samantha Brandbergh
Many people have a vision of their dream closet. For a Rider graduate, that closet is her office.
Brooke Vernon, ’16, currently does freelance work at Marie Claire Magazine’s fashion closet, where she assists at photoshoots, picks up designer clothes from different public relations companies and more.
Although fashion is a highly competitive field, Vernon is no stranger to the industry. Throughout her Rider career, she was diligent in applying for and landing internships in her field.
She previously interned at Marie Claire Magazine in the summer of 2014, and later spent time at the Michael Kors’ fashion office, interning for the men’s and women’s stylists.
Vernon’s other experiences include interning at Harper’s Bazaar Magazine in 2015, and, most recently, the Christian Louboutin public relations department from January to May of 2016.
“I wanted to do as many internships as I could in college because I know how hard it is to find a position in this field,” she said. “I personally know people who are interning after graduating to get more experience to put on their résumé.”
Once she graduated, Vernon found her newly-gained free time to be a burden.
“I hated life after graduation,” she said. “It was really hard for me to relax because I am someone who loves to work.”
Although she was working as a lifeguard over the summer and in retail from September to November, Vernon was constantly applying for jobs.
“I applied for entry level positions such as stylist assistant, fashion assistant and editorial assistant,” she said. “I applied even though all entry-level positions require one-to-two years of freelance experience within that field.”
Through her search, Vernon came across the freelance fashion closet assistant position, which she was “beyond thrilled” about. Over 100 people applied online on the first day, and Vernon was one of the few selected for an interview.
Once she got the job in early November, Vernon began working at the office located in the Hearst Tower in New York and has been enjoying every day since.
“I love working at Marie Claire because it is an extremely creative environment,” Vernon said. “I love working with products and helping assist on photoshoots. No day is ever the same but you are always doing similar daily things.”
Some of Vernon’s duties include checking in requests from editors, checking in designer products such as Chanel shoes, Fendi bags and McQueen looks, and helping on photoshoot sets.
“Every day is busy, and it is rare when we have a slow day, let alone a slow hour,” she said.
Through this position, Vernon hopes she can work her way up to an editorial position at the magazine.
“In order for me to move up in editorial, I have to have this freelance experience,” she explained. “My dream is to work in editorial, especially at Marie Claire Magazine. I love working with clothing and accessories, especially bags, shoes and jewelry.”
During her time at Rider, Vernon was guided through the internship application process by Associate Professor of Journalism Aaron Moore.
“I would always enjoy my weekly email updates to him through the internship class program at Rider,” she said. “He was very positive, which helped me to stay positive.”
These weekly emails helped provide Vernon with a classroom-like experience while being off campus.
“[Students are] out in the field and not seeing a professor on a daily basis, they’re not getting daily feedback,” Moore said. “So they might feel distant when they’re on campus.”
Moore uses this communication to advise and counsel his students through their time at Rider and beyond.
“I communicate with them about their experience and [Vernon] used this as an opportunity to gauge my advice about ways to advance her career,” he said.
Although post-graduation life can be a difficult one at first, Vernon advises future graduates to not get discouraged.
“Gain experience in order to move up, and use each and every position as a stepping stone to get you where you want to be,” she said.
Originally printed in the 12/07/16 edition.