Alumni Spotlight: Mollie Tavel – Senior Associate Manager of Communications at Essilor of America

Mollie Tavel is the Senior Associate Manager of Communications at Essilor of America, and a 2011 IU alum who studied Journalism PR. Mollie recently took some time to share her career experiences and insights with The Walter Center.

Q: What do you wish someone would have told you as you prepared to enter the workforce?

M: I wish someone would have told me the importance of being your own advocate. In addition, I wish I had known the value of external inputs on my career. For example, as a interviewer, I look for new hires to explain how their passions inform or level up to their career.

Q: Do you have any advice for students currently looking for internships or jobs?

M: Quadruple check your resume. We do notice the spelling, grammar, and formatting errors! In addition, it’s critical to ask smart questions during an interview – don’t rely on Google for your go-to Q&A… do your research on your potential employer, their current efforts and campaigns, and the challenges they face. Nothing makes me happier than feeling perplexed and challenged by an interviewee!

Q: What are your daily tasks and how do they support your organization?

M: I help develop and execute integrated communications plans for our brands and corporate master brand – this includes work with ad agencies, PR agencies, media buyers, marketing teams, corporate communications, internal communications, and third-party experts. I also focus heavily on earned media, so I’m constantly working to build reporter relationships and engage with the news of the day on behalf of my employer.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?

M: Everyday is different than the one before. And each day is equally stimulating. I also love that the people around me are willing to think outside of the bounds of traditional communications to show up differently.

Q: Is there anything you wish you would have done differently in your first job after graduation?

M: I wish I had created better work/life balance. Those old habits die hard.

Q: What surprised you most about the transition from college to full-time work?

M: How much room I was given to run on my own. If I wanted guidance, I could find it. But I was also trusted to work autonomously, find my own forms of ongoing education, and really choose my own adventure. The path in front of me was less predetermined than I thought!

Q: Looking back on your time at IU, what memories come to mind?

M: The thing I missed the most about IU is the change of seasons. Fall and Spring are completely gorgeous on campus, and I didn’t realize how happy this shift made me. It really affects your mood, your happiness, and your desire to be on campus – we’re so fortunate to have such a beautiful school. Take advantage of it, and Instagram it, while you’re there!

Q: Did you have a favorite professor or class during your time at IU?

M: Craig Wood.

To learn more about Mollie, connect with her on LinkedIn

By Emily Law
Emily Law Undergraduate Intern Emily Law