Last summer, after months of confinement, isolation, and Zoom frustrations, I hit that dark day. Disconnected and despondent, I was uncertain of the world’s future and my own.
But then, a social media post took me to an unlikely place: the banks of the Seine, where I watched models float by on a barge while dressed in Balmain’s latest fashion line. I couldn’t stop smiling. Watching clips of the event on repeat, I realized the exhibition was a bold celebration in the face of last year’s adversity. “Balmain Sur Seine” was more than a publicity stunt powered by a social media campaign: it was joy and hope.
The moment captures so much of what I envision for my career as an advertising creative. A career I hope to launch with the MSc in Fashion, Design and Luxury Management program at the Grenoble École de Management in Paris, France. Hosting the fashion show on the water was innovative and beautiful, but the exhibition was also the first to be streamed on the social media platform TikTok. It was a groundbreaking venture in new media and connectivity –– connectivity that moves beyond physical borders and the limitations of a pandemic to reach global audiences.
As new media continues to integrate perspectives from around the world, a multicultural learning environment is crucial. To create innovative campaigns like “Balmain Sur Seine,” I must leave the United States’ social bubble and cross new borders myself. This program will provide me with that multicultural integration along with the solid foundation of industry skills and professional experience that I need.
I’ve always been intrigued by how words can be leveraged to connect with people. This fascination led me to study media and journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While studying abroad in 2019, I interned for the Paris-based journalism agency Worldcrunch. I translated articles from Le Monde and Les Echos into English, developed social media content and even wrote stories of my own. This experience helped me realize that rather than being a reporter on trends, I want to use storytelling to cultivate brand culture. This epiphany was a revelation of how I envision a meaningful career: one that influences taste and creates tangible impact.
With that fresh perspective, I redirected my career goals to advertising and public relations by exploring courses in marketing and joining Clairemont Communications in Raleigh, NC as a marketing and public relations intern. Over the past ten months, I’ve had the opportunity to work with clients big and small, develop social media strategy, compile coverage reports, attend press events, assemble media lists, pitch news outlets, edit videos, write blog posts and so much more.
In addition, I’ve gained valuable soft skills in time management, problem-solving, collaboration, effective communication and leadership. I’ve experienced both the joys and challenges of working in PR, which gives me an incredible head start in the marketing world as I embark on my next adventure. I’m forever grateful.
While I have built a solid foundation in media through my studies and professional experiences, I know enough now to realize what I have yet to learn and what I could accomplish by continuing my education. The MSc in Fashion, Design, and Luxury Management program at Grenoble École de Management would supply me with the industry knowledge and marketing fundamentals that I require to continue my career. My dream career is to be an in-house copywriter for a luxury fashion brand. This degree would supply me with the industry knowledge, marketing essentials and cultural immersion that are critical for success in the luxury industry.
Earlier this month, I graduated with distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Media and Journalism. Earning my degree not only marks the end of my time at UNC-Chapel Hill, but it also signals the end of my time as an intern at Clairemont Communications. While I’m excited to start this next chapter, I am sad to leave the Clairemont Team. Through their leadership and guidance, I have grown as both a professional and a person.
From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.
By Clairemont intern Maia Guterbock, a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill.