Name: Samantha Ciccarella
City: New York City
Company: Anheuser-Busch (August 2014-June 2020 I was at Moet Hennessy USA)
Role: High End & New Business Manager
Industry: Super Premium and Craft Beers, Wine & Spirits
Education: BS, The Fashion Institute of Technology - SUNY
College Major: International Trade & Marketing, Economics Minor
What drew you to the field that you work in?
I originally planned on having a long career in luxury fashion, which is why I went to FIT, but when the opportunity arose to pivot to luxury wine and spirits, especially with a LVMH company, I thought it would be an interesting change- especially after having worked at a high end restaurant as a waitress.
What I love most about the wine & spirits and beer industries is the closeness to the environment and experiencing the variety of terroir from around the world through a beverage
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you were entering the workforce?
Negotiate a higher salary. I was fortunate to have 3 promotions while at Moet Hennessy, but as I was internal I did not feel empowered to negotiate the salary that was offered. I utilized what I learned when I made the move to AB.
What skills are most important in your field? What do you look for in employees?
Organization and communication. No matter what role you are in, or what teams you are working with, for every role and every assignment, being organized and communicating well will always benefit yourself and the team you’re working with. Those that can be transparent and stick to a deadline will be trusted to take on more responsibility, and therefore grow within their organization.
What did you wear to your interview with LVMH?
A navy blue A-line dress from Banana Republic, blazer, and nude heels; completed with a neutral nail color
What do you wear on a daily basis to the office?
I follow the “dress for your day” code. While working for MHUSA in their Chelsea office I mostly mixed pieces from Zara, Anthropologie, and Ann Taylor which could end up either quite elegant and formal or boho-chic trendy. Since starting at Anheuser-Busch, I have dressed casually since it is mostly remote. Usually just a nice blouse and little to no make-up.
What’s your go-to power outfit? (i.e., what do you wear when you want to feel confident and powerful at work?)
I love to wear a dress that is both office appropriate, but stylish and unique enough to be worn at a cocktail reception, with my favorite Dior heels. I feel confident in anything that is flattering, modest, and on trend - so usually something with sleeves that can also be worn with a blazer, and hits just above the knee or lower. Something to show off your figure without being over the top. The finishing touch for me is mascara - I know most women say they can’t live without lipstick, but I like to focus on the eyes
What is the biggest clothing faux pas you’ve seen a candidate wear during an interview?
A dress that is too short! Or an outfit too outdated. It gives an impression of inexperience, and a lack of thought towards investments.
What was your first job?
- My first job ever was a maid at a beach town bed & breakfast
- My first corporate job was my internship at the fashion brand Elie Tahari in their Wholesale department
Who is one woman you look up to?
- Tory Burch - I have looked up to her for a long time. Her most well known philanthropic endeavor is The Tory Burch Foundation that helps Women Entrepreneur Empowerment and small businesses,
What’s the best book you read recently?
- How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking. It was a few years ago that I read it, but the way it builds up your skill of analysis has always stayed with me
What one item should every young professional have in her closet?
- A black dress that hits close to the knee - it can be dressed up or down and used for an array of occasions, and always appropriate. Wear with a blazer, sweater, or leather jacket, etc. Make sure it is a high quality material that doesn’t pill, is not prone to wrinkling, and can be machine washable