Believe You Can Paint Your Own Future!

By Dayna Vasilik

What do you see yourself doing in the future?

Oh, the dreaded, overwhelming question many college students are asked. I am constantly asked this mind-boggling question from my family, friends and professors.  Therefore, naturally I had a little fun when I turned the tables on Daniel Strassburger, senior director of marketing and communications, Ralph Lauren Home at Polo Ralph Lauren.

I asked Strassburger if he envisioned pursuing the career he has today during his college years.  He admitted, like many of us, that he didn’t exactly have a set plan or vision of what he wanted to do.   Strassburger chose to get an extensive education, earning his BA studying Communication Arts at University of Wisconsin Madison and an AAS degree in Fashion Marketing at Parsons School of Design.  During his time at Parsons, he realized he had a special creative talent; however, he admits he wasn’t interested in nor fit to be a fashion designer.

Strassburger feels there are many people who are talented and passionate about something but don’t know how to apply it. He is still truly grateful for the help and attention Parsons’ Career Services gave him by turning him in the direction that best suited him and giving him guidance as to where he could find an outlet to apply his unique creativity.

With his education as a base, Strassburger also sought out internships, which included Seventh House PR, Kenneth Cole Urban Designs Department, and Donna Karen, which lead to employment the company’s marketing department where he then progressed to become their global marketing manager.

“You learn and develop a better understanding of your career goals, likes and dislikes during an internship,” he said, adding one comment that really struck home. “We all have doubts and fears when starting something new, but life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” he said. “The more internship experience you have, the more confident and well-rounded you become.  You eventually begin to believe in yourself and therefore, others believe in you too.”

“Never be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and lead the way,” he continued. “You also have to be prepared to think on your feet, make decisions and show leadership in your internships because you never know if they could lead into a career.”

At Ralph Lauren Home, some of Strassburger’s many responsibilities focus on showcasing the furniture, paint and lighting in ad campaigns. In addition, he is currently working on developing and making improvements to the website content, including creating videos for the Ralph Lauren website and reshooting their paint images.  He revealed how they are working on creating YouTube videos to give their audience more visuals when selecting Ralph Lauren paint.  Strassburger suggests that the use of digital media, social media and blogging today is taking over and will change the fashion business.

After speaking with Daniel, his advice holds true that the bottom line when marketing yourself to achieve the career of your dreams is to always be versatile and keep up to date with technology while creating avenues in which you can stand out from your peers. Let’s face it, the world is filled with talented people, but it is up to each one of us to be the show stopper on the runway of our chosen career path!

Dayna Vasilik is currently a senior pursuing a BA in Communications/Advertising with a minor in Fashion at Marist College. She has interned for The Hampton Models, Accessories Magazine, and College Fashionista. While writing columns for The Circle, the school newspaper, Dayna believes writing with a little whit and sense of humor is essential. She posts on her blog regularly hoping to entertain readers!

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