Fashion Merchandising Alumna Making Her Way in NYC

Posted on 11/16/2017 12:02:27 PM

Shannon Poserina, left, with Stephanie von Watzdorf, on assignment in Round Top, Texas.

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.

“I just 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.  

Shannon Poserina, right, with Stephanie von WatzdorfSo impressed 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 summer internship.

“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 industry.”

After graduation 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 travel.

Von Watzdorf 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 that.”

Poserina always 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 hello.

“I would encourage all students to have an internship,” Poserina said. “It really opens opportunities you might not know exist.”