Lara Gilchrist graduated in 2014 from Inverness College UHI with a BA (Hons) Business Management with Marketing.
She is currently working as a Communications Manager at Decoded Fashion in New York.
What does your job involve?
In my current role I am responsible for handing all media enquiries and gaining as much media coverage for the company and the events we host as possible. I write press releases, create story pitches for journalists and manage press invites for our global summits. I also contribute to the management of our social media channels and am responsible for sourcing suitable Fashion Tech Daily stories (FTDs) which are posted on the company website. I also ensure all partners, sponsors and exhibitors we work with gain valuable media exposure, adding to the benefits of being part of a Decoded Fashion Summit.
What did you study at the University and how does it relate to your current job?
I studied Business Management with Marketing. It helped to give me a string understanding of marketing, increasing brand awareness and strengthening a company's reputation through media exposure and publicity.
How did you get into your job?
I got my job through a lot of determination. I basically contacted every person I knew, whether they worked in fashion, marketing, PR or at the university - or if they lived in or had some connection to New York! I emailed and called people continually, and ensured my CV was up to US standards. I had several calls with the Career Centre at UHI, which I found useful on the resume side of things and thinking outside the box as to who to contact and approaching possible employers in the US.
Where would you like to go with your career in the future?
I want to climb the fashion PR ladder in New York, either within an agency or in-house. At the moment I am very passionate about Decoded Fashion and would love to stay with the company for the long term. My boss, Liz Bacelar is an extremely inspiring woman due to everything she has achieved and I want to continue learning as much as possible from her and the company.
What advice would you give current students in terms of careers and employment?
I would tell people not to think about what they want to do, but instead, think about the person they want to be. From there, work out how they can be that person and do whatever they can do to make it happen. Sounds cringey, but you can make anything happen if you work hard and truly believe you can do it and will do it.