Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Would you?

Last night I finished a book called Been There, Done That, about a 30-something woman who goes back to college as an undercover reporter. She realizes that she has a chance to do some of the things she wished she had done while actually in college. It was a fun, quick read that has me thinking about having a second chance to do things I wished had.

While in college I had the best internship ever. I interned with a public relations icon at I.Magnin in San Francisco. Her name was Shirley Wilson and she was tremendously well known and all powerful… but at the time, I did not really know who she was. My very first day she threw me right in the mix and made me follow Calvin Klein (yes, THAT Calvin Klein) around as he prepared for a media blitz promoting the Annual Valentine’s Ball held at the Museum of Modern Art.
I had no idea what I was doing. I did not even know where the bathroom was in the store. I learned more in that one day than I had my entire four years of college!

After college I was offered a job as an assistant in that same office. The office was small with two event coordinators, one PR person, one fashion stylist, one manager and me. A total of six people and we handled the events for all 12 stores. I worked with so many wonderful and interesting people, but I couldn’t stand the fact that I never really had a specific job. Sometimes I would design invitations; sometimes I helped pick out place settings, other times I’d sit in on marketing meetings. I’d write press releases and stuff swag bags. I answered phones and helped decide our target market for events. I had to be a dresser during a huge fashion show because there wasn’t enough help. I hung out with San Francisco’s social elite. One time the fashion guru took me shopping and acted like my personal shopper. Every person in the office was a professional with flair, but my 21 year old self felt out of place. I had so many opportunities, these people took me under their wing and wanted to teach me… but I wasn’t ready to learn. I didn’t appreciate the fact that they let me be a part of every aspect of the events.

If I could, I would relive that opportunity now. I would absorb every aspect of the job. I would listen intently and ask questions. I’d smile and be happy when told I had to be Donna Karan’s assistant for the day because hers was sick, even knowing I was going to miss the other events planned for the day. I wouldn’t be hurt when told I had to man the phones while every one else had to be at an early morning TV talk show… because then I would be happy when Kate Moss showed up because she couldn’t remember where she was supposed to be. When the fashion guru takes me shopping, I would ask more questions as to why he picked certain colors and styles for me instead of feeling like he was putting down my current taste in clothing. When my boss, Brent, asks what I think about the many fashion models that come through our office I’d have an opinion instead of worrying about saying the wrong thing. When he tries to teach me how to walk on the catwalk, I’d do it instead of feeling embarrassed because I know I’ll never be a fashion model. I'd take advantage of all the freebies instead of felling like a fraud.

I missed out on so many learning opportunities because I was too young to appreciate the chance. Now I would welcome them, I would take notes; ask questions and be thankful for the kindness these people showed me even when I forgot to give them important phone messages.


At 8:00 PM, Blogger suburban mom said...

Very cool!

BTW - I would not tell my friend she looked bad in an ugly blue dress, but I would tell her it was a damn stupid idea to leave her husband. That's what friends are for :)

At 10:47 AM, Blogger tommiea said...

how cool that sounds! It does sound like a dream job.

I have only one thing I would do over..and I don't usually spill that little tidbit until we have consumed at least one bottle of wine.....each! LOL


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