On the job

If Alexandra Dell’Anno (’15) isn’t in school or doing homework, she’s working. Dell’Anno began modelling at the age of 16 when a family friend, who is a model, introduced her to a modelling booker at a modelling agency. Since then, Dell’Anno has signed with FM Model Agency London and works numerous jobs, ranging from commercials to test shoots.

In the modelling industry, agencies prefer if their models are working full time. This is an obstacle for Dell’Anno, as her work often conflicts with her scholastic commitments. “If people are calling you for jobs it’s really hard to just reject it,” she said.

Dell’Anno has to be available to work whenever she’s not in school as many shoots occur on weekdays.

In her industry, Dell’Anno is rare in that unlike many of her co-workers,  Dell’Anno also has to manage the stresses and responsibilities of a being a high school student. “I’ve had to obviously give up some things because if I’m not doing school work, if I’m not somewhere else, I’m basically working; I’m modeling,” she said.

Dell’Anno is not the only student who is employed outside of school. Nick Muoio (’16) balances his school commitments with his job as head umpire of the London Sports Baseball League. “I will have to sacrifice some things, like going out so that I can focus because of that big time commitment, but it’s manageable,” he said.

Michaela Etre (’15) has also had to prioritize her babysitting job over her social life. “It’s difficult when your friends want to do something and you’re always babysitting, it’s kind of annoying, but you have to prioritize,” she said.

Etre has been babysitting for three different families on a regular basis since she moved to London during her sophomore year. She works up to four nights a week, between two to six hours per job.

Both Etre and Muoio have been working for three years. This season, Muoio has taken on the responsibility of head umpire. He is in charge of his fellow umpires and making sure that all the fields are set up for the youth baseball and softball league.

Muoio played in the London Sports Baseball League when he was younger, beginning in the T-Ball division. For him working with the league again is “almost like giving back.”

Dell’Anno and Muoio both feel that they’re at an advantage for having a job during High School. Dell’Anno says that most of her peers won’t be able to experience adults working in an office environment. “It kind of foreshadows what people will do when they’re older. You get to see the whole complex of adults working, rather than students,” she said. “It has helped me mature.”

Being a model has forced Dell’Anno to “assimilate with how [the adults] act and what they want you to do.” She is often put on the spot in her role, when asked to improvise at shoots. On top of that, her organization skills have improved greatly since becoming employed. “You have to make [modelling] a really big time commitment, to be on time [and] organized,” she said.

Having a job has proved advantageous for Muoio when planning for his future. “I think it will teach me those lessons with dealing with other people, dealing with situations and just hard work in general,” he said.

Another benefit for Muoio is gaining experience with money management. “While you’re making money… you also learn how to deal with it, what you’re going to do with it,” he said.

Similar to Muoio, Etre has found that with employment comes financial independence. “Because you’re living in London and you have all this independence, you need to be able to have your own money supply without always relying on your parents,” she said. “I like to make sure that I make money for myself.”

Regardless of the money, Etre truly enjoys her babysitting job. “If you can do a job that you enjoy while making money it’s ideal,” she said. “I would volunteer to do it without money because I think it’s fun.”

The income is not the sole motivation for Dell’Anno to be a model. Although modelling for commercial purposes, such as online shopping websites, provides more money, Dell’Anno prefers editorial work.

Editorial modelling can be seen in magazine spreads, whereas commercial is targeted toward advertising campaigns. “[In commercial modelling] you’re advertising more of a product, whereas in editorial maybe you’re advertising an idea,” she said. “It’s something that has a bit more depth.”