We had an amazing day yesterday here at Choice! To kick off the morning, five University of Richmond students arrived in the office to shadow for the day as part of the Richmond Summer Shadow Program. The girls are exploring different interests in both fashion and HR, and were excited to learn about what we do here at Choice. We spent time getting to know the students and what they’re studying and thinking about doing come graduation, explained each of our winding paths that landed us here, and helped them understand the role of an agency with both candidates and clients.
We then headed out to our first stop: PVH Corp.! PVH Corp. is an apparel company that owns a variety of brands, including Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Speedo. We were lucky enough to hear from two Senior HR employees, Sara Gould and Angela Regalado. Sara began by explaining a little bit about what she does at PVH and her day-to-day processes. She then told us about her prior experience, how she ended up in her current job, and her favorite part of working for PVH – seeing the results of her work. Sara then opened up the floor to questions from the shadows. Sara explained in her answers that it is important to always be open to trying new positions, even though they may not seem like a good fit on paper.
Coincidentally, we made our own new connection in the most unusual of circumstances during our visit. The PVH Corp. building had very tight security, and getting all 11 of us through the gates took a few minutes. While standing at the security desk, Jamie bumped into a woman holding a design portfolio. She struck up a conversation, and it turned out she was going on an interview. They exchanged cards, and voila: a new potential candidate!
After our visit at PVH, we headed over to Likeable Media to meet with Brian Murray, the head of HR. Likeable is one of the first solely social media agencies and they remain rooted in their “social-first” thinking. Some of their clients include Verizon, Neutrogena, Grubhub, and more. Brian has been with Likeable from the beginning, and helped grow the company from just a few employees to over 50 employees today. Brian explained what he does on a day-to-day basis, and it was really eye opening to see the differences in working in HR for a large company (PVH) and Brian’s position at a smaller company – he wears many hats. Brian also explained to the students how important it is to network, “Network the most when you need it the least, and the easier the ask, the easier the yes.” It’s like he took the words right out of Marissa and Jamie’s mouths. At the end, Brian also explained the do’s and don’ts of interviews. Don’t: Read about the company on their website 10 minutes before the interview, ask the interviewer basic questions that you could find online, and especially don’t say that you have no questions for your interviewer. Do: Research deeper than the company’s Wikipedia page, do your homework on your interviewer, and ask engaging and unique questions.
We all learned a lot during our visits to PVH and Likeable. It was great to see the students get great advice from these HR professionals, as well as from Jamie and Marissa. Overall, the main takeaways: have an open mind about your career path and always network, even if you don’t think you need it.