Why I Love My Job is a series of interviews with HBS students and alumni on what drives their satisfaction at work.

Internship Position:

Summer Fellow, Plan de Ville, Summer 2016


New York, New York

Describe your role at Plan de Ville.

Plan de Ville is a small fashion startup that seeks to be the online destination for luxury fashion by emerging designers. I met the founder, Catherine Smith, while she was giving a guest lecture on campus. What attracted me to the opportunity was the chance to be a total utility player. The startup was young, and in need of ‘business-ification’. Catherine had a strong vision, a keen eye for fashion, and all the industry connections one could want. What she needed was to take this past a fun hobby to a scalable enterprise, which was my role this summer. It was a dream, the chance to enter a company, spend the first week learning, and then work with Catherine on what we determined as the biggest opportunities. This resulted in building an inventory management system and running a seed fundraising effort.

What was your favorite part of working for Plan de Ville?

The best part of Plan de Ville was the ambiguity. Each day brought a new challenge—a designer can’t deliver the promised inventory, the website formatting suddenly went funky, and truly a whole host of unforeseeable events. I loved it; you never get bored, you’re constantly flexing new skills, and every moment feels impactful.

What attracted you to this opportunity/industry?

Prior to business school, I worked for a large, established, health care organization. For my summer internship, I wanted to ‘experiment’ with something completely different. So, I went for a super small, new company in an unfamiliar sector—retail.

How do your colleagues or the culture play a part in your satisfaction at work?

Beyond the above, the key reason I did an internship at Plan de Ville was the amazing connection I had with the founder. From the first moment Catherine and I spoke, I knew she would be an incredible mentor to me in a completely new industry, and I felt not only that I could contribute meaningfully to her company, but that she was entirely open and welcomed new ideas. Ultimately, this led to a wonderfully satisfying (and fruitful!) experience.