Career Spotlight: Maddie Whitlock ’14
Class of '14 student Maddie Whitlock discusses her internship at Brooks Brothers and future career goals.
Home State: Texas
Current Residence: New York, NY
Current Employer: Social Purpose Intern at Brooks Brothers
Brief description of your responsibilities: I work in Social Purpose at Brooks Brothers, which can be equated with corporate giving and social responsibility. The Social Purpose department involves a mixture of tasks, like helping implement companywide campaign’s for national organizations – partnering with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s Thanks and Giving campaign, the American Red Cross, the Make-A-Wish Foundation – as well as a bit of entrepreneurial spirit in starting new intra-company initiatives, like our recently launched initiative (The Golden Fleece Foundation Community Challenge) that allowed all Brooks Brothers store across the country the opportunity to write a grant proposal on behalf of a local charity which they were passionate about. The winning proposal was able to gift their chosen charity with a $5,000 check! In sum, Social Purpose is about giving back to and bettering the lives of people in and beyond our local communities.
Relevant past employer/position: The summer before my junior year I interned in the Development department at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum – the fundraising department at a nonprofit. It is interesting being on the other side of that equation now – working at a large corporation that often looks to partner with and support non-profits.
Brief description of your responsibilities: My responsibilities are diverse – which is great. Anything from helping my boss draft a Facilitator’s Guide for a new campaign, to synthesizing and communicating information from the campaigns, to writing a company-wide newsletter about Brooks Brothers’ latest sustainability efforts. In one of my first weeks on the job, this meant interviewing Mr. Del Vechio, Chairman and CEO of Brooks Brothers, in his 10th floor office about the 120,000 Italian honeybees the company had recently bought and installed on the roof of our NY Office. (If you’re curious: the bees pollinate in Central Park and help reduce Brooks Brothers’ carbon footprint in the city.)
How has your King’s education helped you in your career endeavors? While King’s academic education has been essential in preparing me, King’s has offered me an education that has been dynamically holistic. I’m challenged academically in my classes, which make me observe the way I think, not just what to think. My House challenges me in a community aspect because truly committing to and living in community with people is hard, but by far one of the biggest blessings in my life. The city challenges me because of its pace and high professional standards. In this sense, King’s education had shaped my mind as well as my character.
What recommendations do you have for current King’s students? I would highly recommend getting some sort of internship experience, especially while in the city. You have an incredibly privileged opportunity right outside the door, getting work experience in the type of professional culture the city offers in unparalleled. Also, often times I hear students putting off internships because they are unsure what sort of career they want to pursue. I think that uncertainty is the perfect storm for interning, what better way to explore the options?
Favorite Books: East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Favorite Music: Folk, Indie Rock, poppy Boys Bands, and Luciano Pavarotti – the whole spectrum.