Cosmetics PR Meeting Recap
By: Sara Lawrence
On Tuesday, PRSSA hosted Kara Wexler, a senior manager in paid performance marketing at Glossier. She shared her academic and career journey with us and gave members helpful tips for the workforce.
Kara graduated from UGA in 2016 with a degree in advertising in addition to a sociology minor and the new media certificate. She was very involved at UGA, serving as the President of Talking Dog and on the executive board of AdClub, among other activities. She also studied abroad at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity where she got to network with some of the most prestigious professionals in the advertising industry. From her experiences in Grady, she learned the skills of project management and balancing multiple things at once.
Post-grad, she started as a Social Marketing Intern in New York City for 360i where she learned that she enjoyed working in paid media. She moved up the ranks to become a Senior Media Manager by 2018. She then worked at L’Oréal as a Digital Media Manager. Moving back to Atlanta, Kara started her position at Glossier in April 2022. She emphasized that every job move she has made has been based on networking.
Talking about Cosmetics PR in particular, Kara talked about the different business goals of the cosmetics industry. She advised that students pick either the industry that they want to work in or the job that they want to do. Kara knew that she wanted to work in paid media, which has allowed her to work in multiple industries, including entertainment and cosmetics. As a kid, Kara loved English and math and spent a lot of time on social media. She found a way to blend all of these interests by working in paid media.
She also talked about how networking is the key to get your foot in the door in the cosmetics industry. LinkedIn messaging is a good method to use to connect with professionals that work at a certain company or in a position that you are interested in. Kara said that students would be surprised how many people will respond to their messages and be willing to meet with them.For meeting with professionals, Kara stressed that students need to ask curious questions and do their homework. If you show them that you are genuinely interested in them and their line of work, they will be impressed.
Kara’s experience at Glossier resulted from her interest in working in technology and e-commerce. She wanted to work for a brand that was digitally native, which she found at Glossier. One thing that she loves about Glossier is the young female energy at the top levels of leadership, which she explained was not very common in beauty companies.
Regarding important skills to have entering the workforce, Kara said it depends on the role. She highlighted building identity capital, which means becoming an interesting person so that people will enjoy working with you. You don’t have to be over-professional. Kara also spoke about how very few companies expect you to have ample hard skills in entry-level positions, as long as you are well-rounded and willing to learn.
To be a stand-out employee, Kara suggested that you should find what your boss hates doing and master it so that they will be grateful for you. She also discussed the importance of networking with your peers and coworkers. Asking questions and sharing recommendations with those around you is the quickest way to learn.
We thank Kara for spending time with us this week and hope to see you all at our next meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21 for our DEI panel!