From Business Links to Givenchy

An interview with alumna Cécile Castang

Alumna Cécile Castang graduated from the Master in Fashion Brand Management program last year. During Polimoda's 2019 Business Links event, she interviewed with LVMH Fashion Group. After completing a 6-month internship, the young talent was hired by Givenchy as a Junior Recruiter. Now, she's the one doing the interviewing. 

Ciao Cécile, tell us about your experience interviewing students at this year's virtual Business Links. How did it differ from previously attending as a student?

To be honest, my experiences were not that different. When I attended Polimoda Business Links last year, it was exciting to meet interesting figures in the fashion industry. This year, it was exciting to meet creative and interesting talents.

That being said, I’m proud to be on the “other side of the table” and I think it’s even more pertinent as I completely understand the mindset and education at Polimoda. I know the difference between programs, the projects you work on, the skills you acquire at school and how to match them with the opportunities we have at Givenchy. 

Business Links was held virtually this year. What did you enjoy most about the online experience?

With the current Covid-19 pandemic forcing all of us to stay at home, adapting to this new situation has been quite challenging. For recruiters, it is especially important to adapt quickly and be able to continue our recruitments with the same quality and “humanity.”

We can see that we need to go digital — we must use all the platforms and digital tools we already have around us. It’s what Polimoda did, the school found solutions to let students experience Business Links just like the previous events. I think this online format makes it easier for companies — we can run the interviews from our offices and home countries, and it gives us more time for each individual interview.

What do you love most about your job ?

An HR position is central in any organization and I like it because of this very aspect: being able to meet, communicate and work with all employees of all departments. For someone like me who is — I think —sociable and loves to discover new people as well as organize and manage my tasks, I believe it’s the position you need. It’s also the best way for a Junior employee to deeply understand the structure of a company and begin creating a good network.

Alumna Cécile Castang in Copenhagen

Do you have any tips for graduates who are being interviewed by fashion brands?

I think the most important is being authentic and prepared! When I say prepared, I mean showing interest in the company, in what they are doing and in the position itself. The point here is not to know and understand everything about the brand and position. Showing interest and enthusiasm also means asking questions, taking notes and being curious. I personally think that, in my interviews, I’m more attached to how the person builds their speech and shows a positive attitude than other aspects.

Can you share one of your favorite Polimoda memories with us?

Honestly, after 9 months of intense work and new friendships in the most beautiful city in the world, I have thousands of memories. Of course, the last day at Polimoda was one of the most intense days in terms of emotions. We presented our final projects — the result of months of teamwork — and it was our graduation day as well as the last day at school with everyone together before leaving. 

Cover photo by Mariana Leite