“Go the extra mile. It’s never crowded,” is the personal and professional mantra for Celeste Northern, a 2007 Communication Studies graduate. As the Retail Events Assistant Manager for David Yurman, Northern implements event programing and activations for David Yurman’s Women’s, Men’s, and High Jewelry divisions.
1. Tell us a bit about the path you took to get where you are today professionally.
My career journey was full of passion and persistence. Since U-M didn't have a fashion or events major, after graduating, I independently studied abroad in Milan to learn more about the industry. When I finished the program, I moved back home to gain events experience at a media firm for a couple years, then moved to New York to pursue a career in the luxury world. I had to take a step back and start as an intern, but it was a sacrifice I was willing to make.
2. What U-M classes or extracurricular activities did you find particularly helpful in your job field?
I loved being active in the Michigan Association of Communication Studies, Michigan Sports Marketing and NOiR (a fashion organization). Those experiences were tremendously beneficial in contributing to my career development.
3. When did you know what field you wanted to go into? What experiences led you there?
I started at U-M as a pre-med major. After my first Organic Chemistry class during my sophomore year, I decided pre-med was not for me! Fortunately, I was also enrolled in Comm 101 and 102—I'd always been interested in the media and communications. Additionally, I took quite a few Sociology courses to learn about relationships and societal development.
4. Describe a day-in-the-life at work.
Ever-changing. No day is the same. Because I plan a variety of events (mostly at the same time), I'm always multitasking. My days mostly consist of working with vendors and cross-functional teams on event logistics. If I'm on-site for an event, I'm ensuring everything is running smoothly and being executed properly.
5. What is your favorite aspect of your current job?
Meeting clients and learning why they love the brand.
6. How has a degree in Communication Studies from U-M benefited your career?
It allowed me to be flexible within the world of communications, so I wasn't limited to one particular path. I could pursue opportunities in media/journalism, events, marketing, advertising, etc.
7. What is your favorite Michigan memory?
I have two: giving the commencement speech at the Communication Studies graduation my senior year and rushing the field when we beat Ohio State in the Big House to become Big Ten champs my freshman year.
8. What is one piece of advice you would give to students looking to pursue a career in your field?
Pursue your passion. Figure out what you love to do, and find a way to make it your career. Also, don't take internships for granted—they're a great way to learn more about what you want (or don't want) to do.