Written by Harriet Botwright

‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ A question that is asked frequently throughout our lifetime. At a young age we are asked this question excessively and, without hesitation, it is normally answered with something that doesn’t actually exist. We soon realise that becoming a wizard is too far out of reach, but still struggle to find the perfect answer when becoming an adult.

Based on a survey of more than 1000 children under the age of 12, Fatherly found that “childhood dreams are less about the strategic deployment and future deployment of specific skills and more about admiration for particular adults or characters.” This implies that our future careers are dictated by our role models from a young age. Our answers when we are young are based on what we see, what we are used to and who we have interacted with.

From such a young age, I have always admired the fashion world. With my mum owning a stand-alone, designer clothing store when I was younger, I have had the opportunity to go to many fashion weeks and buying appointments. From the age of 10, I was captivated by the endless amount of clothes the world had to offer.

10 year old me in my mum’s clothing store

After having the most wonderful art teacher for my GCSE textile course, I didn’t just love the amount of clothes the fashion world had to offer, but the intricacy behind clothing. I loved being able to gather inspiration and produce pieces that people could potentially wear. This is when I knew I wanted to go into fashion designing.

I decided to take part in a placement year during my university degree. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work in New York for Perry Ellis International. After working in multiple departments within the office, I discovered that the wage for a fashion designer is not sufficient for me. Therefore, I wanted to venture into the marketing world of fashion and see if there would be any financial opportunities for me. I worked closely with the global marketing manager of Perry Ellis, Aly Lee, and I loved the social side of this role. Aly is the reason as to why I would like to become a Global Marketing Manager for a fashion house.

It is clear that my mum, my art teacher and Aly have influenced my career choice in three separate stages of my life. I have always loved the idea of working in fashion, but the shift from designing to marketing has been a significant factor for my future role.

Who is Aly Lee?

Aly has a broad range of experience in strategic marketing across retail, product and experiential global markets. Aly has been involved in multiple PR events, digital advertisements and licensing across multiple brands. With over four years’ experience in Nickelodeon and three years working for the BCBGMaxAzria group, she has a wide range of expertise across multiple industries. Aly has been a part of the Perry Ellis International group for over two years and is continually moving forward; she’s now the global marketing manager for the international clothing brand.

I wanted to understand what being a global marketing manager really means. An interview was recently taken with Aly to find out more about what her job role involves, how she ended up down this route and if I am capable for the global marketing manager role.

Q: Hello Aly, thank you for interviewing with me today.

A: It’s a pleasure, thank you for choosing me!

Q: So, what does your job role involve?

A: My job role involves brand marketing, typically upper funnel where I deal primarily with how the brand is received, viewed and ultimately consumed. This means I have a close hand in strategically planning out the year regarding photo shoots down to advertising and media. I closely work cross-functionally with groups across the company to ensure key product messaging is succinct as well as making sure all groups are aligned with messaging. 

Q: How did you end up in this role?

A: I started out in entertainment and came across a crossroad that my heart was really in fashion and marketing. Made the transition, worked my way up through hard work and building strong networking relationships, along with growing as a person in who I am and who I want to be. 

Q: How many years experience do you have?

A: Too many! But since I graduated college and started working I have 12 years!

Q: Do you recommend this job role? And why?

A: Yes and no. No matter what job someone takes, as long as you have thick skin, able to pivot, be flexible, strong interpersonal skills done with grace (and not let the stress of the job get to you), along with having boundaries and knowing yourself. This job is not for everyone, as well as it may be absolutely for others. This goes the same for anyone in any certain industry, like an engineer job is absolutely not for me but is very much for the person next to me. 

Q: What skills do you think I will need for your role?

A: Skills needed is pretty much similar to the last question of thick skin, able to pivot, be flexible, strong interpersonal skills done with grace (and not let the stress of the job get to you), along with having boundaries and knowing yourself. Also having a good attitude, [being] pro-active and highly organised helps!

Q: With more experience, do you think I will be capable for this role?

A: Of course, with more experience, I absolutely think you would be capable in this role or whatever role you choose!

Q: Thank you so much for answering these questions for me. It has definitely secured my decision in wanting to pursue this job role!

A: It’s my pleasure, I’m so glad I have helped impact your future career.