Name: Michelle Wong
City: New York City
Job: Marketing Executive
How she got there: After earning her degree from NYU’s Stern School of Business, Wong started her brand management career at a CPG company. She then changed to American Express, where she first experienced entrepreneurship through the Enterprise Growth group. Wong’s success in online marketing led her to opportunities at Fab.com and Handy.com, where she is currently in charge of customer acquisition.
Levo: Since you graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 2004, you have held many jobs- how has your style evolved as your occupation did?
Michelle Wong: When I first started my career in consulting right out of college, I was excited to enter the corporate world and had a closet full of business attire and stilettos. However, that excitement soon wore off and I found that I prefer to wear clothes that can easily transition outside of the office. For example, instead of a fancy work bag, I use my Everlane backpack.
Levo: How would you describe your style now that you’ve traded in your briefcase for a backpack?
MW: Preppy hipster—I like to mix and match different brands and stores.
Levo: What aspects of this outfit make you feel confident and in control?
MW: I love my Tinley Road dress with vegan leather cap sleeves because no animals were harmed in its making. My Everlane backpack is also amazing — it’s versatile, and lightweight and the light grey color goes with pretty much anything. I can carry my laptop, gym clothes, wallet, toiletries, and an extra pair of shoes in it which comes in handy when I need to walk to work or go straight from the gym to plans later on.
Levo: How practical and polished! Is there anything you wear regularly that has sentimental value?
MW: Since my diamond studs were a graduation gift from my parents, they hold great sentimental value. I rarely take them off, even when I sleep. Plus, it’s reassuring to have a physical reminder of home on me at all times since my family still lives in California.
Levo: In the world of marketing, style is everything when it comes to making a good impression and closing deals. What are some of your fashion tips?
MW: Your outfit choice should be dictated by how confident you feel wearing it – confidence is key to having a great personal style.
Levo: Your Lovers+Friends heels are the perfect example of casual chic.
MW: Yes! Picking the right shoes is essential. They may look great, but can you actually walk in them?
Levo: What was the biggest lesson you learned from a setback?
MW: My most recent professional setback happened when I took the plunge and left Amex to join Fab. Unfortunately, after only a short time there, the company folded and let go of almost all its employees. Although I could have gone back to my old corporate job, I chose to stay in the start-up world. So, I reached out to my contacts from business school and beyond. That’s how I landed at Handy. And let me tell you, it’s been an incredible ride!
Levo: As common as they are, layoffs are always nerve-wracking.
MW: What I’ve learned over the years is to keep things in perspective and remember that everything happens for a reason—as cliché as that sounds. Your career isn’t going to be built after landing the one perfect job or ruined by one misstep. There’s so much to learn from each and every opportunity you get, and it’s up to you to take advantage of all of it.
Levo: Lastly, what would you suggest to millennials who want to make it in marketing and advertising?
MW: Keep up to date on new marketing trends (i.e. mobile) and what’s going on in the industries you’re interested in. Earlier on in your career, try to determine how you will differentiate yourself from the pack and be open to learning new skills.