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Q&A with LIM Alum: Stefani O'Sullivan '13

posted by Gail Nardin, Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Every day, our grads are making a name for themselves out there in the fashion world. So every once in a while, we like to check in and see what they're up to.

We recently caught up with Stefani O'Sullivan, who graduated from LIM in 2013 with a BBA in Marketing. We asked her about her current work, and how her time at LIM led to a pretty awesome job: Assistant Manager of Events at Chanel.

thumbnail.jpgWhat is it like to be a part of one of the top fashion companies in the world? What kind of things do you do on a daily basis at your job?
It’s an incredible dream come true. I completed my Senior Co-Op at Chanel on the Marketing & Events team and I was so hopeful to be hired. It’s a very inspirational, creative, and passionate company. I feel very empowered here to grow and make decisions. I manage all client and collection-related events for the brand across the United States for the Fashion, Watches, Fine Jewelry, High Jewelry, and Fragrance & Beauty divisions. It’s a big job. A lot of it is strategy and partnering with the various business teams to understand their needs/challenges and how I can support them and answer their needs with event programs. I manage a lot of different relationships internally and externally. And then there is the tactical piece of being on-site at an event and managing all of the details perfectly.

How did your studies at LIM prepare you for the position you're in today
I really felt so prepared to step into the workforce upon graduation. It’s a good thing, because I graduated on a Friday and then I started my new position at Chanel that Monday. Since then I have had the opportunity to mentor so many LIM, and other, college students and the difference is really obvious; the students that have clear focus on how to operate in a professional environment—how to write emails, how to interact with executives, how to dress, etc.—really set themselves apart. I found that at LIM.

On average, LIM students take on three different internships during their studies. Where did you intern? What can you tell us about your experience there? 
All I did was intern during my time at LIM! Here's the rundown:

Q1 Cashmere: Sales & Marketing Intern: This was my first internship and was a total 360-package which was perfect. I learned about licensing, design, advertising, sales, marketing, and public relations. 

Cosmopolitan Magazine: Fashion Intern. I loved the fast-paced environment but it was here I learned that I had no interest in working in fashion publishing.

Fendi: Public Relations Intern. My manager here taught me about luxury and about its depth and creativeness and exclusivity. This is when I knew I wanted to work in the luxury sector.

Prada: Public Relations Intern. At this point I thought I wanted to have a career in PR—I found out that my second time around interning in PR that that wasn’t the case. Incredible career path and super rewarding and interesting, just not for me!

Elie Tahari: Marketing Intern. This is where I found my passion. I knew I was a “marketing person” after this internship. It was also my first time working for a US brand so I saw a lot that I didn’t typically get to be a part of—fashion shows, presentations, etc.

Chanel: Marketing & Events Intern. I learned so much as an intern here. Everything from contract development to direct marketing to CRM database analytics. Unforgettable and absolutely prepared me for my permanent position on the team. Because I was there five days a week and did my co-op online, I was able to be very intimately involved in many projects. I helped reopen two boutiques, helped QA and launch the new It was an awesome experience.

What initially led you to choose LIM?
I knew I wanted to attend LIM after I visited the college and went on a tour with my father. I didn’t want to go to a large university and get lost in the shuffle. I wanted to be somewhere that I could stand out, have personal relationships with the professors and staff, and really become integrated with New York City since ultimately that was where I wanted to end up. I met amazing peers at LIM—many of whom I am personal and professional friends with today. 

Do you have any advice to prospective students that you wish someone gave you when you first started at LIM?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions to any and everyone. Don’t be intimated, but be humble. One more thing—read! Read everything. Read WWD, CNN, NYT, WSJ, the Economist, Time. I read every single Time Magazine and have so many talking points for any event I go to or new person I meet.

One last question. It's 2023, 10 years since you've graduated. Where do you see yourself
Oy! I’m going to tell you that my career path is a surprise. But I expect to be living abroad in Asia or Europe. I travel a lot for work right now, almost 75% of the time, but crave a real living experience in a different country.

I’ll keep you posted on my next adventure!

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Topics: LIM Students