Fashion School: Howard University, Washington D.C.
Future Fashion Professional: Lauren-Paige Woulard
Major: Public Relations; Minor: Fashion Merchandising
Graduation Year: Dec 2010
Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana
Her Site: www.25mag.com (Lauren is the Style Editor)
NIF: Why fashion?
LW: I chose fashion because it is the one thing that I think about 24/7. Ever since I was little I would look through fashion magazines and try to emulate the fashions I saw. It was kind of the one place that I felt I belonged.
NIF: When did you first realize you had a passion for fashion?
LW: I knew from an early age. Like I said earlier, I would beg my mom to buy me fashion magazines (until I could buy them myself), and spend hours playing dress-up. Everything about fashion just intrigued me-the way a person could be anyone they wanted to be through their clothes. As I grew older and really learned more about the industry, I knew that this is where I had to be. I constantly have so many ideas that run through my head –from fashion ensembles to different photo shoot ideas; it’s like I think about fashion even when I’m sleeping!!!
NIF: What is your favorite element of the fashion industry? (ex: product, designer, career, store…)
LW: My favorite element of the fashion industry would have to be PR. Not only because that’s what I want to do, but I love that it encompasses so many different things and job functions. You really learn how to do everything-not just one thing.
NIF: What is your proudest accomplishment thus far in your life?
LW: My proudest accomplishment is just making it this far and getting that much closer to my dream. When I was younger, I never would’ve thought that the day would come where I would ACTUALLY be starting my career, but I’m just so proud of myself for grinding so hard and really putting myself out there. I would’ve never gotten these internships and opportunities had I not taken a chance, and just went for what I wanted.
NIF: What are the top 3 reasons you chose to attend Howard University?
LW: I chose Howard because…
- I wanted to be somewhere where everyone around me was passionate about their fields and driven
- I loved having the best of both worlds- a campus strong in their academics, as well as a strong student life (there’s always something to do)
- I wanted to be a part of that Bison network- a network so strong that no matter where you go, you know when you’re in the presence of another Bison-it’s like a family (Go Bisons!)
NIF: Would you recommend HU to someone looking to go into fashion?
LW: I definitely would. So many people would not think of Howard for fashion, but we have an amazing program. Our professors are truly knowledgeable about fashion and have so many inside connections; when looking for internships I didn’t even have to go too far, because I would either learn about them from my professors or peers. I also love that our professors are actually out in the industry, rather than a professor who just has a degree in teaching-it is truly a great network!
NIF: What courses in your major have you found to be most valuable?
LW: Intro to Advertising taught me how Advertising and PR work together; Intro to PR taught me the fundamentals of Public Relations; Intro to Fashion Industry & Fashion Entrepreneur, which I’m currently taking, is teaching me the fundamentals of the industry and how to be a businessperson within the industry.
NIF: Besides your courses, what have you done to expand your knowledge and passion for fashion?
LW: I have completed internships and am involved with a lot of on-campus activities.
Internships: The Mattison Agency and The Fashion Group International of Greater Washington,D.C.-both current; DC Fashion Week-Cycles 9&10; Ottillie Brodmann, LLC and Simone’s Butterfly- Both Summer 2008
Campus Activities: Vice PR Chair of the Black Retail Action Group (BRAG HU Chapter), Style Editor for 25 Magazine, PR Director for the Howard University Student Ambassadors, President of the Howard University Fashion Council 2008-09, Hair/Make-up Coordinator for the HU SpringFest Fashion Show 2008 “Rorrim”, and Executive Board Member/Production Staff for the HU Model Troupe “Uforiya” Spring 2008 Fashion Show.
NIF: Does your school offer internship connections/ assistance in finding internships? Can you receive credit?
LW: The internship/job connection opportunities at Howard are truly endless. We hold career fairs where many recruiters do on-site interviews. [Also], every school/college within Howard has its own specific career advisor and job/internship boards. The best thing about Howard is the networking and connections you will accumulate through your tenure here. Not only do professors have great connections, but I’ve learned about a lot of opportunities through students! Yes you do get credit [for your internships]. Most programs here at Howard actually require you to have a supervised internship during your last semester, as well as many field and practicum requirements.
NIF: What advice would you give to someone hoping to attend this school in your major?
LW: My advice to those looking to go into PR or Fashion at Howard is to really just be focused, determined, and ready to put yourself out there. This industry will chew you up and spit you out, so you have to be focused on what you want to get where you want. Howard will give you all the tools you need to get there, but you have to come in knowing that this is what you want to do, because it’s not as pretty and glamorous as it looks on the outside.
NIF: What is the best advice you have been given concerning a future in the fashion industry?
LW: The best advice I was given was from a former HU student, Tamera Darden, who now works as a buyer at Macy’s. I interviewed her for a piece I was writing for my school’s newspaper and she told me “In this industry, you need to be like a sponge and soak up everything you can.” I think about that with every new internship or volunteer opportunity I begin.
NIF: What is next for you and what is your ultimate dream career?
LW: Next for me is the upcoming Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, which I’ll be working/volunteering. Then, at the end of February I’ll be back in NYC to assist with (Capsule) Men’s/Women’s Trade Show. I also have an upcoming photo shoot I’m overseeing for 25 Magazine. In addition, I am going to enjoy school, friends, and my internships.
NIF: What is your ultimate fashion career goal?
LW: My ultimate career goal is to have my own fashion pr firm like Kelly Cutrone. I want HER job : )
NIF: Thank you Lauren for sharing your experience with NIF!
**If you have any questions for Lauren, please leave a note for her in the comment box below.
To find out more about Howard Universities fashion programs visit: CLICK HERE