Eva Hartling is the Director of Public Relations and Events for Birks & Mayors, a leading retailer and manufacturer of luxury jewellery with 30-something stores across Canada and another 30 in the US (Florida and Georgia). What advice does she have for other young professionals? Find out in today's YPDaily...
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I basically manage our company’s reputation, using platforms such as press, events, sponsorships, etc. to leverage our company news and announcements and contribute to achieving our business objectives through visibility. As official company spokesperson, a big part of my job is speaking to press in Canada, the US and at the international level to make sure our news gets covered. As Director of Events, I also get to organize a lot of cocktails for our clients and press, as well as attend many events to represent our company.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I started working at Birks about two and a half years, but I have been working in communications for over 10 years now. I always knew I wanted to work in an environment that combined my two fields of interest – communication/media and business. Prior to joining Birks I worked in a more corporate environment, in companies such as IBM and BDC, which was very formative at the beginning of my career. I learned a lot from amazing businesspeople – some of which became my mentors – and I acquired strategic planning skills and developed a sense of organization. When the opportunity at Birks presented itself, I was happy to join an organization that was such a Canadian icon, and work in an industry that I was always interested in. I was always an avid reader of fashion magazines; in fact my collection of back issues of Vogue can scare visitors at my house…so working in fashion or luxury was always at the back of my mind. But I could see myself returning to corporate one day, I enjoyed every industry I worked in.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is interacting with a lot of really interesting and creative people – from my team and colleagues to editors and journalists and high-profile individuals in business, entertainment or fashion. I also love the travelling. There is never a boring day. The most challenging areas of my work are also the most rewarding, among them juggling many projects at one while never losing sight of the end goal.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Ha! Always a great question. But I can’t reveal all my secrets. What I can say is that as long as my work keeps me challenged and motivated I will be happy doing it.
What does success look like to you?
Success is enjoying what I do, getting rewarded for it, but also being able to share it with the ones around me and also helping others along the way. I really believe the secret to success is establishing genuine relationships with partners who in my case can include media, clients, etc. and then just working very hard and always being creative and innovative.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Nothing beats getting amazing coverage in the newspaper or a leading magazine – or seeing our flagship stores packed with guests for the launch of our new collections, as was the case a few weeks ago in Montreal and Vancouver. There are other powerful moments on the list such as walking up the iconic steps at the Cannes Film Festival last May.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Network! Be out there! Don’t be afraid to reach out to business leaders who inspire you. Get involved with organizations or causes that you truly believe in. You will meet like-minded individuals who will become friends and partners you can count on for the rest of your career. Also, work hard and dream big.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I am involved with the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and this year I am co-chairing the annual “Printemps du MAC” event, a huge fundraising event that brings together 1,000 young professionals (the not-so-young are invited too!). I truly believe in supporting our artists and introducing more Montrealers to our amazing cultural institutions. Through my work I am also lucky to support many different causes across the country. This year I am also supporting the Shoebox Project Montreal edition, an operation where gifts in the form of shoeboxes are collected and distributed to women in shelters during the holiday season.
What to you is notable?
We have so many amazing, smart, educated and dynamic young professionals and entrepreneurs in Montreal. They are connected, open to the world, and make me proud.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone all the way. I love Instagram a little too much.