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!


To learn more about Mollie, connect with her on LinkedIn

By Emily Law
Emily Law Undergraduate Intern Emily Law