As a student in
the Fashion Merchandising program at IUP, Shannon Poserina learned a lot of
skills that would result in her in having
a successful career. By simply introducing herself, she was able to land
herself in the fast-paced world of high fashion in New York City.
During a networking
class trip to New York in her junior year
at IUP, Poserina and her classmates took a tour of Figue, a luxury women’s fashion
company founded by Stephanie von Watzdorf. Von Watzdorf spoke to the IUP
students about the inspiration behind launching her own collection and the
challenges she faced. After the presentation, Poserina approached von Watzdorf
with a motive to see if there were any
internship opportunities at Figue.
introduced myself and said, ‘If there’s any availability, I’d love to intern
with you,’” said Poserina, who grew up in Langhorne, Bucks County, and
graduated from Neshaminy High School.
with the student’s go-getter attitude, von Watzdorf told Poserina to call her
in a few months and they’d set up an interview. A few months later, Poserina was
on her way to The Big Apple for a full-time
“She took the
initiative, and that’s what I was looking for,” said von Watzdorf. “A lot of kids
talk about how hard it is to get an internship, and I always say that if you
take that attitude, you’ll go nowhere. There’s always a clever way to get the
attention of somebody. Call them, e-mail them, send artwork or send balloons.
Do something. There are so many creative ways.”
Poserina spent the
summer of 2013 working as an intern for Figue, and she earned nine credits
toward her degree at IUP.
“I did a lot of
everything,” Poserina said. “I was able to absorb a lot of what it means to
have a start-up. It allowed me to see all the potential there is in the fashion
in 2014, she made her way back to New York City, and she started working at the
Figue boutique in Nolita. Soon after, von Watzdorf hired her as the office manager
executive assistant at Figue. Today Poserina spends her days handling all kinds
of tasks for the flourishing fashion line. She does everything from managing
the company calendar, planning and executing all photo-shoots, and booking
said Poserina was a good fit for her staff not just because of her experience
as an intern, but also because of the education she received at IUP.
“She was very
prepared,” von Watzdorf said. “She was already thinking with a business head
and about merchandising. This job is a lot like going to college. It’s about commitment, just like waking up and
going to class. Being on time is everything. I really welcome people —
especially ones right out of school — with a can-do attitude, and she has
wanted to work in the fashion industry. Now she’s doing it, and she believes
her education at IUP gave her the tools to succeed. All she had to do was say
“I would encourage
all students to have an internship,” Poserina said. “It really opens
opportunities you might not know exist.”