Behind every fabulously successful individual, there are years of education, varied experiences, and hard work. Just ask Barneys Chief Operating Officer and Senior Executive Vice President Daniella Vitale, who gave the next generation of industry stars a glimpse into her career trajectory at Breakfast with the Boss. Organized by the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund, which grants internships and opportunities to superstar students in the biz, Wednesday’s event gave a select group of scholars the opportunity to glean advice from the top, while feasting on seasonal breakfast treats from Genes Cafe.

Vitale’s words of wisdom? Find a mentor to guide you in your career path, nurture your professional relationships, and always work hard—even if the first position you find yourself in might not be a glamorous dream job. Vitale chronicled her range of working experiences before landing the ideal gig, from wrapping gifts to waiting tables, but said that each step contributed to where she is today. Her inspiring story and the event photos that follow sure do make us hungry for success…and also, a muffin.

All photos by Jenny Anderson.