Alumni Spotlight: Lola Mendez, Class of 2010

Q. What you are doing now?

A. I work with companies that are contributing to a more sustainable world. My key client at the moment is the world’s largest platform for impactful travel experiences hosted by do-good organizations — Visit.org. I lead their external communication efforts through developing media opportunities, partnerships, and advising on social media. I moved to India in 2017 and have traveled to 45 countries which has led to opportunities as a freelance travel writer.

I’m also the voluntary communications officer for Sambhali Trust, an organization focusing on women’s empowerment in Jodhpur, India. The Trust offers underserved women vocational training in sewing, clothing manufacturing, embroidery and block printing. This allows them to earn income to alleviate poverty and afford education, shelter and medical aid for themselves and their families. My role is handling business development, partnership opportunities, managing fundraisers, and external communications. Sambhali Trust has worked with fashion students in the past to help establish relationships with retailers. They are eager to host more interns in India, which would be the ultimate senior year internship.

Q. How would you describe your career path?

A. The lessons I learned during my time as a publicist in NYC helped me shift my career towards a humanitarian one. The fashion industry is what sparked my interest in charity work. As the Senior Account Manager at Lividini & Co, I did some work with Women In Need, a women’s shelter. Through these philanthropic projects, I decided to shift my career towards a humanitarian focus and concentrate on working towards gender equality.

Q. What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

A. My proudest achievement was when I landed a cover story in The New York Times for my client Design Development. Design Development is a creative contracting agency that rebuilt a teacher's home pro bono after it was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. I am very proud that this accomplishment was for a charity-related story.

Q. What advice would you give to someone considering a position in your field?

A. Find a niche in the fashion industry that makes you proud of the work you are doing. For me, this was when I started to work with brands that were impacting women in a meaningful way. My fashion business expertise pairs well with ethical, sustainable fashion — this is my niche. I also recommend that you listen to your heart. It’s okay to change career paths into an entirely different field. The skills you learn at LIM are applicable to many fields and positions.