Young Alumni Find Niche in Fashion and Beauty
Recent college graduates of the Schools of Liberal Arts, Business, Engineering and Science begin their careers working at top brands in the world's most stylish industries.
For generations, tastemakers in fashion and beauty have journeyed to Manhattan from all over the world to attend New York Fashion Week, and to simply experience the city’s everyday sartorial magic. Mere months after graduating from Manhattan College, four alumni from an array of academic disciplines have already realized the dream — to earn a place in these industries and to influence the future.
Below are the stories of these students, which, although varied, have a similar starting point: Manhattan College, where they received the preparation to tackle what came next.
Sean McIntyre ’15, Assistant Bookings Editor at Cosmopolitan/Seventeen
In the two years since he's left Riverdale, Sean McIntyre ’15 has resided on both the east and west coasts, and has amassed a portfolio that includes a number of glossy photo spreads for Cosmopolitan and Seventeen, two of the most widely circulated women’s magazines in the nation.
In his current role as assistant bookings and accessories editor for both publications, which he accepted after working for a year at the Los Angeles-based men’s lifestyle publisher, CraveOnline Media, McIntyre orchestrates the production of feature photo shoots. That means on a daily basis, he’s toggling between assignments for both magazines. In short, there’s rarely a dull moment — which is how he likes it.
“I never know what I’ll be working on. I come in and ask ‘What’s on today’s roster?’” the former marketing major says with a laugh.
Currently, a high-priority item on McIntyre’s agenda is a swimwear story slated to appear in the upcoming May/June issue of Seventeen, for which he’s arranged and received photos of 15 different female models. So far, McIntyre has created a “model board” of headshots that he’ll present to his senior editors, who will choose one of the candidates to be featured in the spread.
In the short time McIntyre has worked at Cosmopolitan and Seventeen, he can already reference many stories he’s proud to have contributed to. The November 2016 issue of Seventeen, for example, included an athleisure story that featured models wearing sportswear stylish enough to wear outside the gym. For this piece, he found the model while scrolling through a beauty story on the women’s lifestyle website, Refinery29, who he felt would be perfect for the job. “She was sporty but kind of edgy and cool — totally perfect for what we were looking for,” he remembers.
As McIntyre reflects on his College experience, a few takeaways that stand out are the dedication of his professors, the applicability of his coursework in the real world, and his gratitude at successfully launching a career that suited his interests.
In reflecting on his own Manhattan experience, McIntyre advises current students to keep in touch with industry contacts they’ve made through internships and other experiences. Do this and stay focused in school, and finding a career you love is an attainable dream.
“[Hearst Magazines] is a fantastic place to work. The people here are so welcoming and just want you to grow. It’s just really great,” he says.
Daise Bedolla ’16, Editorial Producer at Vogue.com
On a Tuesday morning during men’s Fashion Month — because for industry professionals, festivities that surround the unveiling of next season’s collections in New York, Paris, London and Milan are hardly limited to a week — Daise Bedolla ’16 is intently monitoring her email inbox.
The Vogue.com editorial producer is tasked this particular day in January with fielding images of Balenciaga’s fall 2017 line of menswear, which debuted the evening before at a fashion show in Paris. Any moment now, she will receive files containing approximately 40 photographs of floor-length coats, suits, oxfords, and other pieces from the Italian designer, and will upload them to Vogue.com, website to one of the most high-powered fashion publications in the world. From there, writers and copy editors will critique the collection and publish their reviews online.
“Looking at these collections on the website, you often don’t think about the kind of effort that goes into posting all of it. I love the fact that everything that goes onto the website, I have touched in some way,” says Bedolla, who landed the job just three months after graduating from Manhattan.
The previous summer, she experienced the same challenge wrought by many of her peers: sending dozens of resumes and hearing nothing in return. Then one morning, after applying on the editorial job board, Ed2010.com, she got a call. Vogue was asking whether she’d be available to interview that afternoon. After hopping on an Amtrak train from Pennsylvania and nailing the meet and greet, she was introduced to new colleagues and a few famous brands she’d soon be working with on a regular basis: Giorgio Armani, Rosie Assoulin, Christian Dior, and Giambattista Valli, to name a few.
Although this was her first job after college, Bedolla arrived at Condé Nast no novice to the responsibilities of a fast-paced working environment. During her undergraduate years studying communication at Manhattan, she worked in several high-profile fashion and editorial internships in New York City. She freelanced and interned at Domino, a publication she was introduced to through a connection of Thom Gencarelli, Ph.D., Communication department chair at Manhattan. In the classroom, Bedolla credits the College for helping her learn the techniques for pitching story ideas to a magazine.
Now, included in the many perks of her position at Vogue is the opportunity to get an advanced look at new works by her favorite designers. “It’s amazing to know that if there are 50 items in a collection, I will have seen all 50. I really feel like I’m contributing,” says Bedolla, who, in regards to her career, prefers to plan in the short-term — at least during Fashion Month. “The future could be tomorrow afternoon,” she jokes. “I’m not sure where I’ll be, but I love being at Vogue and learning about how a big company runs.”
Crysta Pompa ’16, Deployment Analyst at New Avon, LLC
When Crysta Pompa ’16 first applied to work at the fashion and lifestyle brand, Avon Products, it was for an internship she saw posted to Manhattan’s online career services job board. That summer, the newly minted College graduate headed to a two-week training camp in Mexico to begin preparing for an entirely different position: deployment analyst, responsible for managing the distribution of Avon’s fashion and home-related products.
She was chosen for the position after a hiring manager came across her resume during the internship application process and felt her experience would be better suited for the full-time job.
Six months in, Pompa officiates the delivery of thousands of items from Avon’s distribution center in Pasadena, Calif., to other parts of the U.S. To accomplish this, she works directly with the company’s logistics team to keep transportation costs low, and collaborates with planning professionals to strategize ways of reaching inventory-related goals. All of her work is done digitally from the company’s midtown Manhattan office.
“It’s nice to know that I’m the last person to ‘touch’ fashion and home items before they reach our service representatives. I enjoy having the ability to allocate goods throughout the U.S. and oversee the ways in which they are sent to those individuals,” says Pompa, who is one of four deployment analysts at the North American-based company. The others make sure products sent overseas, those in its beauty department and items from third party manufacturers, all reach their destinations in a timely manner.
When Pompa was a student in the Mathematics department at Manhattan, finding ways to maintain and increase supply chain productivity was a task she carried out on a theoretical level. Her senior year, she completed MATH 455/655: Operations Research, which directly relates to her job now. Taught by mathematics professor Ira Gerhardt, Ph.D., this course focused on the fundamentals of planning and allocating different goods, and finding the most cost-effective ways to conduct business.
Pompa says this course and other experiences at the College provided beneficial training for current job. Also during her last year on campus, she conducted mathematical modeling research with data from Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C). In partnership with three other students and under supervision of a professor, the group worked to help the organization decipher patterns and trends involving the animals they came to acquire, and the circumstances of which they were surrendered.
“As a mathematics major, everyone assumes you’re crunching numbers all day, but what you’re really doing is developing skills that help you problem-solve every situation. It’s not adding two plus two,” says Pompa, who plans to remain in the supply chain industry throughout her career.
“The skills I learned in college help me think in a more logical way. You’re taught that the goal is to find an answer.”
Valerie Scarinci ’16, Process Expert for L’Oreal
Before it’s available at Sephora or displayed on your favorite department store makeup counter, every L’Oreal cosmetic undergoes a series of tests to ensure its quality, efficacy, and most importantly, safety for use. Valerie Scarinci ’16, who mastered the art of applying liquid eyeliner by age 11, plays an integral role in these procedures.
A process expert for the multinational beauty conglomerate since June of 2016, the Manhattan College alumna oversees the manufacturing of eyeshadows, foundations and other powder-based products from Lancôme and other brands. As part of her job, Scarinci, who earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, assists in all activities occurring at the L’Oreal laboratory in Piscataway, N.J., where she has recently expanded her responsibilities to assessing the formulas for creating mascara and skin care lines by Kiehl’s, which are created there as well.
What exactly does manufacturing a powder product entail? All eyeshadows, for instance, begin as a base powder to which a pigment or color is added. Step two is adding a bit of pearl to make it shimmer, and three is binding the materials together and adding oil, which softens the texture. All elements are then pressed firmly into a metal pan, and the color is checked and compared to a standard established by L’Oreal. Following these processes, Scarinci and her team examine the item’s packaging for scratches, smudges and fingerprints.
When she’s not in a lab coat and goggles, Scarinci is at her desk writing procedures for Kiehl’s, Lancôme and other industry giants. The combination of her daily tasks, which offer her the opportunity to work alongside beauty products all day, has been the perfect utilization of her interests and skillset.
“I’ve loved makeup since I was seven,” remembers the Staten Island native, whose interest in beauty piqued at a young age. As a child, she participated in prestigious dance competitions, having her mother apply the stage makeup for her. That was, until she turned 11, and learned to do it herself.
In college, Scarinci realized she could turn her passion into a profession. The summer between her junior and senior years, she landed a technical process internship at NuWorld Beauty, where she surveyed, analyzed and approved the efficiency of processes necessary to bring new cosmetics to the market.
When it came time to consider life after graduation, Scarinci knew she wanted to remain in the beauty industry, but it was chemical engineering professor Gennaro Maffia, Ph.D., who helped her set an attainable goal. “We were talking in the hallway when he asked me where I saw myself in five years,” she says. “From there he wrote me a recommendation letter to someone he knew at L’Oreal, and it all fell into place after that.”
Now that Scarinci’s five-year plan is underway, the goal is to increase her knowledge of the beauty industry. Currently, she’s enrolled in night courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) that will eventually earn her a master’s degree in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management.