VALUE OF A NETWORK
Originally from Long Island, Kristen Hogan ’08 VSB started her career in New York City at GroupM, a media agency. After working with a variety of clients, she fell in love with the beauty aspect of her work with her client, Chanel, and was ready to become a beauty marketing decision-maker. She progressed to a multinational beauty conglomerate, Coty Inc., gaining a wealth of experience and connections before curiosity came knocking again. After about 6 years at Coty, she wanted to know what it would be like to apply her experience at a smaller company. Supergoop! was a small sunscreen company at the time, and she managed their e-commerce channel. Having all this experience under her belt and ready for a change, she relocated and embarked on the creation of her own digital marketing consultancy in the Philadelphia area: REX Digital Collective.
Being back in Philadelphia afforded Hogan the opportunity to reconnect with VSB. She attended a VSB-hosted mentoring event in Philly, where she met Grace Smith ’21 VSB, a current VSB student, who introduced herself and asked whether she was in the need of interns for her startup. Knowing her love for the world of digital marketing, Grace connected her close friend Julia Zazycki ’21 CLAS with Hogan.
At that time, Julia had been pursuing experience in digital marketing at a travel photography company in Seville, Spain. Once connected, Hogan explained her vision for REX and how Julia would fit in if she decided to join. She noted Julia’s ambition and the amazing overall impression she left, feeling “it was an instant match.”
The feeling was mutual, “I was impressed by Kristen's experience in the beauty and fashion world which is something that I have always been drawn to and it seemed like an amazing opportunity,” said Julia.
Julia was excited to pursue a position at REX upon her return from abroad, becoming an official intern. Since starting at REX, Julia has gained a variety of competencies including competitive landscape analysis, social media content strategy experience, and overall business development skills. Hogan sings her praises saying, “I trust her wholeheartedly. Julia is an incredibly strong intern and I am very grateful that we were connected. I have VSB to thank for hosting that event in Philly that led to her becoming REX’s first intern. It was quite serendipitous.”
This experience strengthened Hogan's belief that making connections is invaluable, and urges all students to take advantage of all the networking opportunities that VSB offers. “Whether virtual or in-person,” she says, “you cannot overstate how valuable networking is. It really is everything.”
Kristen Hogan ’08 VSB
“There is a passion for Villanova that is truly unique. When I first moved to Philly, I didn't know a ton of people in the city… but having Villanova close by, I felt like I had family 20 miles away.”