In her career as the assistant director of press with the famous, high-end footwear company Manolo Blahnik USA, Amy Smith ‘06 (New York, N.Y.) rubs elbows with celebrities as part of her day-to-day routine.
“It amazes me every day when I get to work with people I’ve always admired. Working with unbelievably talented people such as Anna Wintour, Carolina Herrara, Jason Wu, Zac Posen, Nicole Kidman and Rihanna is certainly something I didn’t see in my future,” Amy said when describing a career that frequently offers opportunities to visit new places and meet exciting people.
During one of Manolo’s recent U.S. tours, she accompanied him to press events at The View and The Martha Stewart Show, among other locations. Amy said she continues to learn something new every day from the extraordinary people she interacts with in the fashion industry.
“This is an industry that is astonishingly quick,” she explained. The ability to think on her feet, foresee problems before they arise and come up with creative solutions are just a few of the skills essential in Amy’s daily work. “And even though I’m surrounded by Ivy Leaguers, it’s YCP that gave me the confidence to stand among them,” she said.
One of Amy’s most useful lessons as a Speech Communications major at York College was taught by Brian Furio, Ph.D., who stressed the importance of knowing current events in your industry. “Having the ability to relate to anyone on several different levels not only makes for a more enjoyable experience, but makes you more memorable to them,” Amy explained. “In today’s digital world and competitive economy, the ability to socialize knowledgably, respectfully and memorably seems to be a lost art.”
Amy advises students to learn everything they can from those around them, both in school and after they graduate. “Never be afraid to ask someone you admire if you can pick their brain. Most people are more than willing, and everyone has time for a cup of coffee, just ask!”
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