By Pauline Theeuws
Senior digital media major Brooke Vernon will be wearing Christian Louboutin heels during her last semester, as she will start her co-op with the prestigious luxury retailer this January.
Vernon, who has always wanted to end up in New York City, will start her co-op with Christian Louboutin in the Big Apple as a public relations intern.
Describing the Louboutin office as “home,” she had been on an impressive journey. Being a self-proclaimed “fashion addict,” Vernon started her career early during her sophomore year at Rider, when she modeled for Seventeen. It was then that she had a revelation that would drastically change the course of her future.
“More than being in front of the camera, I like to actually be involved and like working with the products,” Vernon said.
It was during her last photoshoot that Vernon realized she wanted to make a change and begin working behind the scenes as opposed to in front of the lens.
After this revelation, Vernon began the internship process in full force, determined to make a name for herself.
Vernon started her first internship the summer after her sophomore year at Marie Claire as an accessories intern. Since then, other great opportunities kept falling into her lap.
During the spring semester of her junior year, Vernon interned with the men’s and women’s stylist at the Michael Kors office, where she got a chance to meet with the designer.
Being an accessories intern at Harper’s Bazaar was Vernon’s third stop, after which she set her true career goal of becoming an accessories director.
“I love accessories; that’s where I want to be,” Vernon said.
With Louboutin as the final internship before reaching the finish line, Vernon said that she is not afraid to work her way there and get a taste of everything the fashion industry has to offer.
“My whole goal was to get as much experience as I can, and as many things I can put on my résumé before I graduate,” Vernon said.
Although Vernon found her internships by word of mouth, she feels grateful for the help of journalism professor and Director of the communication internship program Dr. Aaron Moore, who assisted her and showed significant support when she most needed it.
With Vernon’s strong work ethic paired with Moore’s guidance throughout the process, balancing being both a student and professional wasn’t much of a challenge.
“The closer she gets to being in a real professional environment, that’s the best education she can have,” Moore said. “She’s now one step away from being a graduate, working in a professional situation, so she’ll know what to be prepared for when she graduates.”
Throughout her various internships, Vernon has made the right connections to jump-start her professional career.
“In any competitive industry, like fashion, the more experience you have, the more leg-up you’ll have on the competition,” Moore said. “So in fashion, they want to know, do you have the experience at the right places? Do you know the right people? So, she has that built into her résumé.”
Vernon said that her love for fashion and all these internships would not have been possible without the constant support of her parents as well as her grandmother, whom she described as her “greatest inspiration.”
Even though Vernon’s impressive experiences as an intern stand out, she insists that she likes to “blend in and get lost in the people” in New York.
So far, her experiences in the fashion industry have taught her to always keep trying and the importance of staying “true to who you are.”
Additional reporting by Samantha Brandbergh.