Hello everyone! I am very excited to announce our new series of interviews with Young Professionals! Our first interview is with Sara Castillo, a Public Relations graduate from the University of Texas Pan-American who now finds herself living in Mexico City and working for Showroom at Sara Cuellar as their Beauty Account Manager.
Prior to working there, she interned at many of the top agencies in New York City such as PR Consulting, which works with brands such as Narciso Rodriguez and Nina Ricci, and also worked for Quinn as the E-Commerce Manager and PR assistant.
Not only that, she blogs about her personal style at www.thestreet-styler.com and has collaborated with Juicy Couture, Seventeen Magazine and the Huffington Post. During her time as a UTPA student, Sara worked for Panorama Magazine and also blogged about the campus’ sense of fashion for collegefashionista.com.
When not working, Sara enjoys writing and exploring new places and spaces in Mexico City.
Here’s more of her story:
Why did you choose PR as a career?
I started in the field of Communications because I love writing. As many students, I wasn’t sure about what specific path to take. I knew I wanted to be part of the fashion and beauty industry. While I was in college I started doing research and soon I started working in fashion internships and projects in Texas and New York – the more I worked and met people from the industry, the more I knew I wanted to stay in the PR field.
What is your favorite part of working in PR?
I really like the direct interaction with the brands, it’s like being their voice for the media. I love the fact of getting to create amazing campaigns and events, to think outside the box every day, to give the brand something new so other people can know about it and of course, the fact of working with different-amazing people every day. With every project I’m able to create something great and I learn from the people I work with as well. Working in PR is not as glamorous as it seems but if you really love it, you will enjoy it and learn a lot!
What is your average day like?
Every day I wake up, dress up casual-chic (because you never know if you have to be at an event later on that day), grab coffee and walk to work where I have to be no later than 9:00am. First thing I do is check all my emails and social media. I have to keep up with the media and our clients as well as be on top of the news and track the notes of my brands. I’m on my computer all day sending emails back and forth, calling beauty editors, planning new media strategies for the week, sending gifts, and if there’s an event around the corner, you will definitely see me running around meetings and events.
What is the best PR advice you’ve ever received?
Every company is different and everyone has its own work strategy, so I have learned a lot from the field and from both countries I have worked in, Mexico and the US. The most valuable thing I have learned is that everyone is replaceable and you have to work every day as if its your first – there’s always going to be somebody waiting for your spot. Work is never enough and you always have to SOLVE problems instead of COMPLAINING. Never try to imitate, just be yourself and always keep your head up high no matter how hard it gets, either on the job or with people, because that is what will get you far in the industry.
Any advice to those looking to get into PR?
Start doing internships! Experience is the main key to succeed in PR – many students have no idea what PR is and at the end they don’t work exactly on the field. I recommend getting as much experience as you can get before graduating because that will give you the tools to succeed in PR and to figure out if its really what you want. PR is not easy and you either hate it or you love it, so looking for options and experiencing it beforehand is the best advice I would give for sure.
What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?
That is not as glamorous as it seems and that every country has its own way of working in PR. I would’ve done more internships if I had the time. Get more feedback and learn more about the digital programs. The media and technology are changing every day and you have to always be a step ahead to keep track of everything and be the best PR expert you can be.
How does technology and social media affect your daily work?
It affects it every day! We live in the new digital era where immediate news are so easy to reach out yet so careful to work with. I thank God for social media because it makes my job easier, yet I have to be careful with the information I provide because it’s the name of my brand and my client and any word can be misinterpreted.
Featured Image by: Reynaldo Vento
Photography by: Natalia Feliú
Follow Sara on Social Media!