Exclusive Interview: DKNY PR GIRL Gets Advice-y

Alert TMZ! Aliza Licht, aka DKNY PR GIRL, has a past: The smart, funny and oh-so au currant voice on Twitter was once a science geek. “It’s true—I majored in neurobiology and physiology in preparation for medical school,” says Licht. But before she got there, she realized her true calling was for a career in fashion—and after a few years in magazines and almost 17 years at Donna Karan International, the senior vice president of global communications shares her career advice in her first book, Leave Your Mark. Here’s what she told us.

MY FAVORITE MANTRA

“Life isn’t a dress rehearsal—so you have to go for it. But it takes hard work and dedication and you might not always get what you think you deserve. It doesn’t matter. Handle yourself with professionalism and remember that in business, your personal brand is your greatest asset. Mind your reputation and the rest will come.”

SECRET TO SUCCESS

“Never really believe you have succeeded. I am in the middle of my journey. I can always learn more and do more. People who get satisfied with their success get stagnant and ultimately get blown away by the competition. I am always looking ahead to what I can do next to grow as a person and to expand my horizons. They say in PR you are only as good as your last piece of press coverage. I think I have been trained to never rest on my laurels because of that.”

A CAREER RULE EVERYONE SHOULD BREAK

“I don’t believe in three-year plans or five-year plans. I believe in short–term goals. I believe that if you give 200% to what you’re doing right now, your next step will become apparent. There are many paths one can take and there are no wrong answers.”

SECRET TO CORPORATE LONGEVITY

“The relationships one builds at a company are the key to success. Having a boss that supports your growth is everything. Longevity is only possible when your job continuously evolves and you’re always learning.”

MY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE UNHAPPY WITH HER CAREER CHOICE

“It’s never too late to start over as long as you can handle the hard work and patience it takes to make a switch. It can be daunting and disappointing, not to mention costly, but if you’re really passionate about succeeding in another field, you can do it! To start, do the research on your chosen field and start educating yourself on everything you need to know. Next, canvas your network. Who do you know and who might your friends know? You will be amazed at how many connections you can come up with. Once you feel you are ready, try and set up as many exploratory interviews as you can. Assess what skills or assets you can bring to the job. How might your last experience add value to this new field? Last, be willing to start at the bottom with bells on. Your attitude is everything!”

SECRET TO BEING A SOCIAL MEDIA SUPERSTAR

“For me it is always about the community first and foremost. There’s a reason that it’s called social media. You have to be social! I believe in authentic engagement, in real time. I don’t use content calendars; everything I do is off the cuff. When you are speaking to people from all over the world, you have to find the common denominators so people can relate on global scale.”

SUMMER STYLE MUST-HAVE

“I think the DKNY Cozy is the most essential summer sweater you can own. We all know how the office air conditioning can make it feel like winter in July. With more than twelve ways to tie it, it’s the sweater you can leave on your chair and wear it a different way every day of the week!”

Aliza Licht will be leading “The Skills You Need to Build Your Career” panel at the 2015 Texas Conference for Women on October 15. Follow her on Twitter @AlizaLicht @LEAVEYOURMARKxo.