Holdette’s first “Holdette-ing It All Together” edition features Anthropologie colleagues Emily Meyer and Kendra Levy. Emily has been working at Anthropologie for three months as their Brand Marketing Coordinator and graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor's in Marketing and Management. Kendra Levy has also been at Anthropologie for three months as their Experiential Marketing Coordinator and graduated from New York University with a Bachelor's in Media, Culture, and Communication.
These two women got real with Holdette about their workwear, the truth about graduation pressures, and creating a community inside and outside the workforce.
Q: Can you tell us about your job?
Emily: Basically, I'm a part of the brand campaign team here at Anthropologie, and we're kind of a team that works very cross-functionally. Sometimes you have to be like someone's therapist and kind of get them through the chaos that comes through the office with like deadlines and things like that. I definitely think part of my job is working making sure that I am managing the deadlines and progress of a lot of different projects that we have going on simultaneously.
Kendra: I work under someone who manages all the Anthropologie, events, programs, and then anything else that relates to experience. We do stuff on the store level, but also wider Anthropologie through brand experiences through partnerships like CurvyCon, where we were the main sponsor for a conference in New York.
Q: What would a productive day look like at the office?
Emily: I would say that on a productive day, I have a pretty clear agenda ahead of me for what I have to achieve and complete a task and I'm able to continue to make progress. I think sometimes on my ineffective days, some of the hold-ups are waiting for approvals from people above me on my team, that basically I have to wait for a follow-up. So I feel like, in a productive, efficient day, I have the approvals that I need, and kind of keep working through my to do list.
Kendra: Yeah, I would agree with that. I think I feel the most productive when I'm owning a project, making decisions for it and working my way through whatever it is I set out to do that day. Meetings are great in that, you know, you get to collaborate with teams and you get to work together to get to the final projects, but I definitely feel the most productive when I have my headphones in and I'm banging out some work for four hours at a time or something like that.
Q: What brings you the most joy at your work?
Emily: I am internally rewarded if I know that I truly did help someone and they say, thank you so much for getting this done today or I would I have had much more stress if you couldn't do this. And, I think knowing that maybe sometimes smaller tasks or larger ones can really kind of impact someone's day like this on a personal level, I think really kind of brings me joy. It's like hey, like I really truly made an impact and helped out someone on the team today.
Kendra: I am the most joyful when an event is coming together finally, and all the little details are adding up to put on really cool results.
Q: What do you think has been the most pivotal or most influential thing in getting you to where you are today?
Kendra: I think actually for me it was SheHacks, SheHacks was such a start from scratch, see where you go kind of experience and I realized I thrive in those kinds of places. I also realized through that experience, how capable I am and how I can do things if I set my mind to it. That gave me the confidence to then go forward in my next job believing I can take on more responsibility, and it also directed me towards events which I didn't know I loved. It also made me realize that the tech industry, is not where I wanted to be. I have continually gone and left the idea of working in the fashion industry since I was like probably 10 years old. SheHacks taught me if you can accomplish something huge on a subject that you're not even that passionate about, imagine what you could do if you were super, super passionate about what you're working on.
Emily: I would say that my four years of college kind of redefined my perspective on where I wanted to go in the world. I think for a while I was like I want to go in the workforce for a little bit and then I want to be a mom. I think in my younger head I was a stay at home mom. And now that I've been a part of the working force and have had a better experience, I definitely have new goals of being that working professional woman. I feel like that distinct change happened over my four years of college and I kind of saw new things from my internships and different jobs along the way that made it not seem as impossible as I originally thought.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in the work world for the first time?
Emily: I mean, I'm so, so young I feel like, I’m still chasing it till I make it. I'm a fake adult most days. I think part of the reason is that I’m still living at home and I feel like there is a bubble around me before I'm like, completely exposed to the brutality of rent every month and everything. I'm kind of in a nice little Limbo right now.
Kendra: If you had told me in literally May where I would be right now, I would never believe you. Because I thought I was going to be in New York forever. I thought that was honestly where I'd be happy. I didn't know what I wanted to be doing or where I wanted to be working. I had the general idea of the fashion industry but not in what realm. Now I found this like new passion for sustainable fashion and I want to go to the west coast and so I think my biggest advice would be you don't know what you're going to find. Don't pigeonhole yourself and also be adaptable. I had to be adaptable, in many ways, at this job and where I was living and being in a new place, but it's been so rewarding. So I guess it's a two-parter. It's like, you don't know where you're going, Don't pigeonhole yourself, be open to new opportunities, and new things you are interested in, and also when you're embracing those new things be adaptable. Try to get as much out of it as you can.
Emily: I think it kind of goes hand in hand like trying to continually push and grow both personally and professionally. So I think constantly keeping yourself on your toes and kind of like keeping yourself in check and holding yourself accountable to not just go to a nine to five job plugin the numbers, truly try to learn something.
Q: How you have found community post-college whether that be at work or outside work?
Kendra: So I would say definitely in the office, we have created a community, whether it be somewhat tumultuous. Most of the time, it's good, and it's happy and it brings me joy.
Emily: I think it's important to have like a personal connection to people you're working with, I think when I first joined it was hard to even voice opinions, not knowing the person that well and they don't necessarily need to know every detail about your life. It's kind of getting to know you and interact with you more. I'm more comfortable. I think it's important to have a comfortable relationships with people.
Kendra: Outside of work, friends of friends, I've been able to make connections with people that I knew, or people that knew other people. It's a lot easier than I expected, I have to say. And I think that's because everyone in this time is like missing college, in a new place, in a new life, and everyone wants to make friends. It's been better than I thought. And it also honestly takes the pressure off, like when you're in college, at least for me, and I was balancing a job and like two e-boards and school and then I had all these friends that always wanted to hang out. And they were all around me and I never had time for myself.
I've kind of enjoyed this life of like, okay, everyone's at work, during this time, like our schedules are more aligned. So then there's the happy hour time, but then everyone wants to be in bed by like 11 anyway so you have to go home. Since we're all more aligned, we're all more also allowing each other to take time for ourselves.
Q: What were you most scared about when graduating?
Kendra: I wasn't scared of anything. I was so ready to graduate and start work that I think I was blinded. Honestly. Like, I didn't cry. But what I should have been scared about was like you know, everything changes. I mean it really does. And maybe I thought because I was staying in New York that things would stay the same, but I don't even want things to say the same. I don't know.
Emily: I was probably struggling with the most that I knew the end of the semester in the spring, was that I basically live within five miles of all my closest friends. And to know that we were all basically going all across the country, like whether it be West Coast, Texas, Florida, New York, like we are literally scattered across the country and it was just really hard because I can't always hop on a train or hop on a flight to see my friend that weekend. I think that was something I was definitely nervous for. I wish I could just like hug my friend or I could just like get a beer with my friend, but we're 3000 miles apart. You have moments where you just wish more than anything your best friend was right around the corner.
Kendra: Second semester a lot of my friends were graduating, and it felt like all the people who were graduating with me had jobs already. And I did not have a job. And I felt the pressure of everyone's success around me overwhelming. And it really took a toll on my last semester. My self-confidence, like the job process, was sucky. You don't know why you don't get things, you know, and it causes a lot of self doubt. I was terrified of graduating and not having a plan and what I've realized since graduating is that 1) things tend to work out if you work hard enough. And 2) once you graduate, you're off that path that you've been on with these people for the last 20 years of your life, like, you go to school and then you go to middle school and then you go to college da da da, and now all of a sudden you're in open water and you can figure out what your plan is on a different schedule than everyone else growing up and you can decide what you want to do differently than everyone else. Having that pressure off me, made me so much happier and also more confident in myself and I just realized that nobody gives a shit like everyone's trying to figure out their own stuff.
Emily: In my main organization, in college, I would say 60% are in further education right now. Whether it be medical school, dental school, some kind of higher ed. And it was just really daunting because I was one of the few in the organization that didn't have my plan completely figured out. But I also realized that like, sometimes you just need to take time to let things happen the way they should and you can't force things into the timetable that society is dictating to you and you shouldn't feel insecure about that, things will work.
Q: What has surprised you most about starting a job?
Kendra: I love the schedule. I was really worried that being in a nine to five was going to suck because that’s what people say, and that I would feel like I didn't have any time for anything. But I love working and I've been a workaholic my whole life. And I finally feel like I'm where I am supposed to be. The schedule is honestly so much more free than college when I was bouncing 1000 things like being able to just focus on this one job has been such a stress kicker.
Emily: My biggest thing is like I love that my Sundays are committed to doing whatever I want. you actually have a full weekend like, no work is required on this day. I think I'm a little surprised by just how fast you absorb so much in a workplace so quickly you learn so much. It feels like I've been here a year to me, which I think is a good thing for the most part. It just goes to show you how quickly you absorb everything and are kind of thrust into everything right from the get-go.
Thank you for sitting down with us Kendra and Emily!
Loved learning about these awesome women? Stay tuned for our next post where we'll have a chance to sit down with more working ladies!