Success Stories

PR majors, NYC fashion interns

Ruedisueli (left) and Roumell

Public relations major Alyssa Ruedisueli wanted to experience the exciting life of working in the fashion industry. While the thought of landing an internship with a big-time fashion designer seemed like an unrealistic dream, she knew she could make it happen. After being referred by her advisor to another public relations student who loved fashion, Lynsey Roumell, Ruedisueli found herself heading to NYC for a fashion internship at Oscar de la Renta.

Roumell interned at Oscar de la Renta the summer before Ruedisueli in 2006. With previous experience as a public relations intern at a radio station and involvement in the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), she used her skills and persistence to land the internship in the sales department as well as assist in the designer's studio at Oscar de la Renta. Additionally she returned to Oscar de la Renta in September 2006 and February 2007 to intern during the fall and spring fashion week.

With similar determination, Ruedisueli wanted to find an internship in fashion. Ruedisueli's advisor suggested that she meet with Roumell since they both shared the same passion. After meeting with Ruedisueli to discuss fashion, careers and NYC, Roumell referred her to her former boss at Oscar de la Renta.

"Alyssa seemed like a hard worker and someone who was passionate about fashion public relations. She was eager to learn and reminded me of myself before I was able to secure the internship. I wanted it so bad, but I just didn't know how to make it happen," said Roumell.

Ruedisueli participated in the internship in summer 2007. She also interned with the sales team and worked organizing the showroom, creating product collages for buyers, and reviewing sales reports. She also assisted in the public relations department and design studio.

"I've always known of Mr. de la Renta, seen his work in magazines and watched celebrities don his famous gowns and cocktail dresses on the red carpet. It was a great honor to work at the design house and be a part of the team that is Oscar de la Renta," said Ruedisueli.

Both Roumell and Ruedisueli said they would like to work in fashion public relations. Roumell graduated from Grand Valley in 2007 and is currently working for Wondergem Consulting Inc. in Grand Rapids as a public relations associate. She also writes a fashion blog called "Style Junkie" and would like to become a fashion writer or work for a fashion focused PR firm.

"Wondergem Consulting is an excellent firm to work for," said Roumell, "My firm really allows me to branch out and get my hands dirty in terms of client work. I am getting all the good experience I need right now in Grand Rapids, but plan to keep visiting New York and meeting people in the fashion industry so I can make the right move in terms of my career."

Ruedisueli completed another fashion internship this past summer at jbandme, which is a boutique that carries designer clothing, shoes and accessories in Holland, Michigan. She is continuing to work at jbandme part-time as she finishes up her degree at Grand Valley. She will be graduating this December and then hopes to find a career working in fashion public relations.

"I am extremely thankful for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live in New York and intern at Oscar de la Renta. The opportunity has not only helped me grow personally, but it has also given me the knowledge and experience that I need to continue on in my career after college," said Ruedisueli.

by Leah Burns