Ryan Clark, ’09, is surrounded by all things beauty.

After graduating in December ahead of her 2010 class and beginning her job search, Clark started as an account coordinator at Behrman Communications, a public relations firm in New York City. Clark’s accounts include seven major consumer beauty products.

“On my first day, I walked away with a bag full of beauty products,” she said. “I pinch myself every day because it’s hard to believe that I get to work with and meet some of the most influential people in the magazine and beauty industry.”

Clark, who majored in journalism with concentrations in creative writing and film, writes pitches and sends product samples to major national and regional publications in order to obtain media placements for her clients. She also helps coordinate events and reach out to celebrities by connecting with make-up artists and agents.

“A day in PR is always extremely busy,” she said. “Sometimes you will get a call in the middle of the afternoon from someone at Cosmopolitan who needs your product that afternoon for a shoot.”

Even though her days can be hectic, Clark has found that she’s thriving at her job, comparing the close-knit atmosphere in the 30-employee firm to the experience she had at Richmond.

“I loved Behrman Communications the moment I interviewed,” she said. “I feel very much at home in the position. It's a place where I can gain a lot of experience and where people know who I am. I believe that you can learn the most in a smaller environment, but despite its small size, Behrman's clients are some of the biggest in the beauty industry.”

Clark’s experiences at Richmond ultimately prepared her for this career path. She credits her journalism courses with helping her to refine her writing ability, and writing for the Collegian made her feel comfortable interviewing people. Courses like Introduction to Film and History and Aesthetics of Film spurred an interest in the media industry and led to an internship in Los Angeles.  

“Last summer, I worked as a development intern at Wind Dancer Films, a film and television production company,” she said. “I got extensive experience in the film business, reading scripts, creating lists of actors for film projects and contacting agents about upcoming projects. When I read scripts that I liked, I would pitch them to my boss in the hopes that we would take them on as film projects.”

Clark followed-up with connections she made during her internship, eventually meeting a woman who had worked in publicity for the film division of Universal in New York. Through contacts she’d made, Clark landed an interview at a television production company in New York City.

“The day before I left, the woman who had worked at Universal e-mailed me to say there was an opening at Behrman,” she said. “She connected me with a friend who worked there, and I scheduled my interview at Behrman a few hours before I interviewed at the other company. Two weeks later when I was on a plane heading to Richmond to walk with my class at graduation, I found out that I got the job with Behrman.”

Soon after graduation ceremonies, Clark moved to New York City and started working, and the transition was easy.

“I’m actually living with one of my closest friends and Kappa Alpha Theta sorority sister,” Clark said. “Things just seem to work out the way they're supposed to. You never know where your experiences may take you, so I would tell current students to go after the jobs they want and don't settle. The right one will come along when you least expect it.”