Lauren, a Sales and Events Coordinator in Hampton, Virginia

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Your Corporate Black Girl Lauren

My name is Lauren. I was born and raised in New York City, with the exception of attending high school in Kansas. Long story short, I wanted a great education to better my changes into getting into my dream college, the Fashion Institute of Technology. It was extremely hard living away from my family but it was completely worth it. I was accepted into FIT and started college in 2013, graduating in 2017.

When I first started at FIT, I wanted to become a fashion buyer. My first major in college was Fashion Merchandising Management. After my second semester of college, I realized that I didn't want to work in the retail side of the industry (after taking a Retail Math course, I'm not the hugest fan of math). I graduated with my Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Merchandising Management and changed my major for my bachelor's degree. Advertising and Marketing Communications covered several industries, including Public Relations and Event Planning, which I was still debating which I would go into, so AMC was my new direction. I ended up loving my new major. I took it upon myself to do several internships to gain knowledge and to figure out if PR or events was what I wanted to do. Public Relations seemed interesting, and I grew up helping out at local events for my church, my school, and Habitat for Humanity. 

Through my college career, I had 5 different internships. Three of them were paid, one was for experience, and one was for college credit in London, England. All of these internships taught me about different aspects of Public Relations and Events. Ultimately, I chose events over PR because it came more naturally and easily excited me.

I would say that my career has only recently started. Upon graduating from FIT in 2017, I started a new job working as an Event Operations Coordinator for a small event conference company in New York. I learned so many things about events in my first salaried job. I was given the opportunity to travel for work, which was something I always wanted to do. I had a great experience, but I ultimately left the company because I decide to move out of state.

I relocated to Virginia, and I've recently started my new job as Sales and Events Coordinator for a convention center. I've only been working for 2 weeks and I've already learned several new skills. I am excited for this next chapter and for growth!

How would you explain your job title to a child?

I help throw parties! :)

Your Corporate Black Girl Christine
Just to always have faith in your abilities. I struggle with this a bit but I’m trying to overcome it.

What challenges have you experienced in the workplace? : 

I've experienced being afraid to dress how I truly want to dress due to potential judgment. At my previous employer, we were able to dress casually. I really appreciated this gesture, however, I was nervous to wear my headwraps. Sometimes, (ok, maybe a lot of times) my hair wasn't up to par so I would wear a headwrap to look a bit more polished. I was worried that I'd be asked to remove it, but I never was. I even got compliments on them!

I also was nervous to dance at parties during our event, because I didn't want to be seen as "doing too much." I also didn't want to be stared at either, but that happened anyway. I would try to dance moderately, but not to my full potential because I didn't want to be viewed as something that I wasn't.

What are some things that you love about your job/career? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I love being able to plan different events. Parties, meetings, etc. The feeling that I get when an event is executed is one of the best feelings for me. I love being able to help bring other people's visions to life.

In 5 years, I see myself at my current employer, having climbed the corporate ladder a bit!

What advice do you have for someone first coming into a professional space?:

Your Corporate Black Girl Lauren

Always dress professionally; at least business casual. My first interview for my first job in college was at Victoria's Secret. It was a group interview. I walked in excited, and ready to nail it (I was a huge fan of VS a few years ago). When I walked into the room and saw everyone waiting to interview in all black, I started panicking in my head. I was wearing a colorful silk jacket, a turquoise top, and blue jeans! I thought I looked fashionable, but the majority of employers would have thought that my look was unprofessional.

Because of this, I walked into the group interview nervous as I don't know what. I had to charm them with my love for the brand and knowledge of the products. I did, thankfully, but I would never recommend wearing jeans to an interview. Ever.


Fun Facts about Lauren

Lauren loves to dance, take pictures, and likes French Vanilla Coffee Creamer but HATES coffee. She also LOVES hot chocolate.

Twitter: @itslaurenchanel
Instagram: @itslaurenchanel