"It's just so crazy that my career has already taken me to an event like that," said Klein College of Media and Communication alumna Olivia Falcone, KLN '21 (she/her) of her experience at New York Fashion Week (NYFW).
Falcone attended NYFW in September 2021, and will attend again in February 2022, through her job as a junior associate at public relations firm Weber Shandwick.
Falcone started at Weber Shandwick just one week after graduating in spring 2021. There, she works on the Unilever account's beauty category with companies such as TRESemmé, St. Ives and Nexxus. Falcone has always been interested in the beauty accounts, but new applicants to Weber Shandwick usually don't know which account they will be assigned. She feels lucky to have landed in her ideal department.
"The goal was just to work with a big client out of a PR firm. The beauty thing was just an added bonus," Falcone said.
One of the main things Falcone works on is TRESemmé's Future Stylist Fund. The fund sponsors 10 Black women with scholarships to go to cosmetology school and provides them with resources and opportunities to further their careers. As the official sponsor, TRESemmé took the cohort of women to NYFW where they spoke with celebrity stylists. Falcone accompanied them to the event and spent time getting products in place, working with the media and managing the hairstylists for the shows.
"I would dearly love to be a fly on the wall and watch her in action at New York Fashion Week," said Assistant Professor of Instruction Steve Ryan, KLN '07 (he/him). Ryan taught Falcone in two classes during her senior year and noted that he always knew she would do something exciting with her career.
In addition to her work with TRESemmé, Falcone is also involved at St. Ives. Recently, St. Ives launched a campaign in partnership with Sierra Capri that would give a scholarship to one college student if they made a TikTok-style video on how they like to destress. Falcone created mailers for media to help get the word out about the campaign.
The rest of Falcone's day-to-day work at Weber Shandwick has her monitoring the news, sitting in on phone calls, sending products to editors and assisting with media outreach. She says that none of her work feels like a job because she is usually reading and talking about things she would do in her free time, anyway.
Though Falcone has found her perfect fit, it took several experiences for her to find it. After an internship at a finance and technology PR firm, she was happy to have learned the building blocks, but did not feel that that area was right for her.
Falcone's first experience in consumer PR came when she interned at Breslow Partners during her PR internship course at Temple University. Afterward, she decided to pursue consumer PR and landed an internship on the internal communications team at QVC. She is grateful that it is easy to move around once you are at QVC because once her interest in the beauty space emerged, she was able to easily find another opportunity.
During her time at Temple, Falcone kept herself busy. "I definitely had moments where I filled my plate a little too much, but I will say it taught me how to handle stress," she said.
Falcone was a dedicated part of PRowl, PRSSA, Delta Phi Epsilon, Her Campus, and the Owl Ambassador team. In PRowl, she was director of public relations and credits the club with helping her figure out what she wanted in her career.
"Working with her in both PRSSA and PRowl was a pleasure," said Assistant Chair for Public Relations Gregg Feistman (he/him). He loved watching Falcone forge her path, and is proud of the work she did and is doing. "She's one of those people who can be a success no matter what she does," he said.
Years from now, Falcone would love to oversee an in-house PR department for a beauty organization. She also has an interest in working on corporate social responsibility teams and would love to use her skill set for philanthropic efforts. Right now, though, she is glad to be where she is and is thankful for the tools Temple gave her to succeed.
"I think consumer PR is the most fun space of PR to be in," Falcone said. "I'm excited to see where it takes me."