"What It's Like to Graduate College and Start a New Job—All During a Global Pandemic"

By: Renee Janis, Margaux's Graphic Design Associate 

My senior year of high school I remember finding a newspaper clipping on my desk with a story about a shoe brand my parents thought I would be interested in—a new footwear startup founded by two recent college graduates that had hosted a trunk show at a local boutique in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Fast forward to the summer before my senior year of college when I was lucky enough to find myself as a graphic design intern at the very same startup I’d read about three years earlier. I had always aspired to work in fashion and Margaux’s small, female-led team made this opportunity even more exciting. I quickly found that the women on the team were the kind of people I could imagine being friends with, making learning and collaborating all the more fun and rewarding. 

When I left New York at the end of my internship that summer, I was lucky enough to continue my experience at Margaux remotely while I finished my senior year of college, a full-time job sparkling in the distance after I graduated. 

Throughout the entire year I was saving favorite apartments on StreetEasy and daydreaming about life in New York City, eagerly awaiting the upcoming summer when I'd return to the city and join the team in a full-time role. I liked to think I had it all planned out, but after (virtual) graduation I found myself moving back home and starting my career from North Carolina as life remained in lockdown.

I credit the foundation and relationships I built with the team that summer for making the transition to working remotely less daunting. Hopping on Zoom has surprisingly felt like picking up right where we left off after my internship (even though it’s already been a year and a half since I’ve seen the team in person).

Starting my career has been quite the opposite of what I had imagined. The activity and busy lifestyle of New York City and the Margaux office in Chelsea has been replaced by working from my childhood bedroom and making the short commute to my laptop each morning. 

Though it’s been frustrating to put my Manhattan plans on hold and miss out on all the little things I'd always associated with an adult career—like happy hour drinks after work or grabbing lunch with colleagues—I can’t help but feel grateful to love what I do and to be inspired by the ways our team has persevered and innovated in this digital world. It has been such a special experience to work on a team of amazing women and to see all that such a small team like ours can accomplish—it only makes me more excited for all that we will do this year.