Author Archives: Brendan

Back to School: Course Highlight

Well, hello there Blogosphere! Remember me? :) It feels good to be back and writing for the FIT Admissions Blog. It’s almost been a full year, can you believe it?

School has swung back into session, almost like we never left. Students have refilled every crevice of FIT’s campus and the spirit of a new school year is among us. In between classes, the quad is covered with students basking in the warm sun of September’s indian summer. Friends perch on the ledges surrounding each building, as they laugh and reconnect over their lunches. There’s a wonderful energy to campus at the beginning of Fall semester. Excitement, passion and creativity - qualities of each FIT student that kickstart the semester.

I personally feel wonderful being back in the city and on campus again. I am now a college Junior (what?!?) beginning my bachelor’s program in Advertising and Marketing Communications. Which means I now have an Associates degree in Advertising and Marketing. I feel super cool being able to say that ;) I’m excited for these next two years at FIT and what it has in store for me.

With new semester’s come new courses, DUH! Moreover, with a new program comes new courses. Some student’s decide to try a new major when they enter their bachelor program. However, I’ve really enjoyed my major over the past two years. The courses that are offered in the bachelors program really excite me! For today’s post I’m going to focus on one of the courses that I’m very much looking forward to this semester – Video Studio Production.

You may be thinking, “but he’s a marketing major, why is he learning how to be a camera operator?” Well, it takes more than a camera operator to produce a television show. In this course we learn professional studio techniques for video, journalism and communications. We learn to understand what it takes to put on a show not only behind the cameras, but in front of the cameras as well as in the control room. 

I’ve actually be interested in the “behind the scenes” of television production as a career for awhile and this class is the perfect introduction. FIT actually has a state of the art TV studio and control room in the A building, and those two rooms are my classroom! The TV studio has three cameras, a set, proper lighting and everything a legit studio would have. The control room does exactly what it says, controls what’s going on in the studio. It’s complete with multiple monitors, sound boards and computer systems.

I’ve had three classes so far, and in each one different students are able to take on different roles. For example, one class I was the Technical Director, camera operator and director and in another class I was the host of our mock talk show. Working my way from behind camera to in front! It’s very interesting to me to learn how talk shows are made (obviously on a much smaller scale and less pressure.) This semester we will be producing and filming a talk show, an instructional video and a PSA! With each project, the students in the group will be able to rotate roles so that we can learn different aspects of the process.

This class is different from others I’ve taken here at FIT because we’re not just sitting listening to a professor for 3 hours. It’s very hands on and exciting, and the perfect start to my Monday morning. I am able to see a different avenue that my major could take me down and it’s very informing.

Sometimes when we’re in the midst of a program, we may have our sights set on one specific job. Or we may have no idea what we want to focus on. The great thing about FIT, and my major specifically, is that it covers all bases. When you leave a course at the end of a semester, you’re able to check one more aspect of your industry off your imaginary list. I’m definitely learning where my skills could be applied in the future job market. I personally like to see where my major is applicable in the real world because I’m still not certain what industry I will enter after I graduate. I know I’m not the only one!!

I can’t wait to update you readers on this class as it progresses this semester! I hope you all have had as a successful back to school as I have. Go out and enjoy this beautiful weather!! Finally feeling like fall :)

xx, Brendan

 

California & Concert

WHEW it has been a crazy past two weeks readers! I am curious how many of you are actually reading my posts…but if you are, YOU’RE GREAT!

I started off my last post on the verge of spring break! I was lucky this year because I basically had a two week vacation. Woot woot! I went back upstate for a few days and was able to spend time with my family, which is always needed and appreciated. THEN I went to California for a week!! I had the time of my life.

I have never been to California before, or even the West Coast. So this trip was very monumental. I went with a group of friends I’ve made here at FIT and we were in heaven! It’s so nice to take a group of friends from New York and set them in a different setting. Our setting happened to be the beautiful beaches of California. But no matter where you go, its so enjoyable being with the friends you only spend time with in NYC, in a different city. You get to explore new places and explore new parts of your friendships!

California was a dream, a dream that I did not want to wake up from. Buuut I had to leave the 75 and sunny weather of Cali and come back to dreary NYC. However, I did have something to look forward to when I got back.

This past weekend was the FIT Skyliners Acapella Concert! My family and friends came to support me and the group and we all did fantastic! I actually sang a solo for the song Counting Stars by One Republic. I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped, because my voice was so tired, but the crowd seemed to enjoy it! I am so happy to have been a part of the FIT Skyliners this semester. It is such a great outlet for people who enjoy to sing and perform and it’s a whole new group of friends! I definitely recommend auditioning in the future if you enjoy singing and acapella!

Now that I’ve gotten my vacation out of the way and performed in my spring concert, it’s time to really focus on my final projects…and there’s a LOT of them. Only about two and a half more weeks and it’s SUMMER!! I can do this, you can do this, WE CAN DO THIS! I believe in you :)

xx, Brendan

SPRANG BREAK!!

I don’t know if I’ve ever been more eager for a vacation…

It is finally Spring Break here at FIT! Last weekend, Students quickly began filing out of the dorms with their suitcases packed and a smile on their face. I don’t think it’s just me – everyone’s brains are fried. Especially after this depressing winter that’s lasted WAY too long, we need some time off. Preferably in a tropical climate.

I went upstate Friday night for a few days to start of my Spring Break. Mother Nature was in a FABULOUS mood on Saturday. It was about 75 degrees! My ginger skin sizzled in the sun but I was not complaining at all. The weekend felt like summer and my mind, body and soul were all so confused. It’s like we skipped spring and went straight to June.

And THEN Mother Nature being the moody b-word that she is decided to start snowing Tuesday night. REALLY?! You’re gonna act like that Mother Nature after what you just gifted us with?! I was almost in tears…but one thing was getting me through…

I’M GOING TO CALIFORNIA FOR A WEEK!

Yes, that’s right!. Tomorrow I’m leaving for California with some of my best friends! I have never been to California or the west coast. This trip is falling at the most perfect time – right before my last month of school. I will be able to get all of my pent up energy out in time for finals. (Ugh.)

But finals brings summer..and summer brings happy Brendan :)

I will be posting about my California adventures after my trip! As for you all, enjoy any sign of Spring you can find!

xx, Brendan

The Day My Life Changed

March 17th, 2012 – St. Patricks Day of my senior year of high school. It was an unusually relaxing Sunday. My mother, sister and I had all gone for massages earlier on in the day. It was actually my first massage, and definitely not my last. My body and mind were feeling great. My two best friends and I drove into downtown Saratoga, got some coffee and chatted. You could say I was thoroughly enjoying myself.

It was one of those oddly warm March days, where you start to believe its already spring. You break out the light jackets, forgo the socks, and proudly don your favorite sunglasses. The drive home with my friends from downtown consisted of all windows down and blasting our favorite music. Ugh, it was a wonderful afternoon.

As we pulled into my driveway, I said my goodbyes to my best friends. We each complained about the amount of homework “we would be doing” later on that evening. We were seniors in high school with full blown senioritis, to be honest, that homework was probably never completed.

I walked into my kitchen and my mom was standing at the counter. She asked how my afternoon was, we talked, and then she went silent. I looked at her and she was holding an envelope out to me. It looked like junk mail, in one of those business letter envelopes. It wasn’t super big, it wasn’t too small. When I grabbed the letter and read where it was from, I stopped breathing. “Fashion Institute of Technology.”

This was THE letter. The letter that would make or break me. The letter telling me if I was going to college. The letter that determined if I was going to be leaving home in the fall or going to community college, seeing as I was too lazy to apply anywhere else. I wanted to go to FIT so bad I didn’t have my sights set on anywhere else.

But who get’s their college acceptance letter in a small business sized envelope?! I was picturing some big package, with the famous “Welcome to the Fashion Institute of Technology” red and black folder I had so often seen in my research on Facebook. If this small envelope had a big folder in it, I would be pleasantly surprised…but I wasn’t about to get my hopes up.

I began to laugh nervously, spouting out a hundred “Oh my Gods.” My mom and I stood in my kitchen, as I ran my thumb under the seal of the envelope. My heart rate was unhealthily high at this point as I unfolded the single sheet of paper in this business size envelope. My mom read the letter next to me, our eyes scanning immediately to the first sentence.

“Dear Brendan, ………Congratulations! You’ve been”

I’m pretty sure we each let out a big scream…and then immediately we both began crying and went in for a hug. I cry when I’m happy, I cry when I’m sad – something I definitely got from my mother.

I was beyond happy. My dreams were coming true! I would be moving to New York City. I would be studying at one of the most prestigious fashion schools in the WORLD. I would be taking the first steps in achieving my goals! I couldn’t believe it. Now I could take a deep breath, I knew I was going to college. The rest of my senior year would just be about having fun and enjoying life. No stress.

The reason my acceptance letter was so small was because I was accepted early, into a group of “exceptional students.” It was such a privilege to receive my acceptance letter so early. And don’t worry, a few weeks later I received that famous black and red folder I had been dreaming about…in a much bigger envelope!

My life changed that day. Its hard for me to remember life before NYC and FIT. But here I am, living in New York, working hard, having fun and still making my dreams come true.

I don’t think any other St. Patrick’s Day will ever be as special as that one. Maybe it was the luck of the irish that brought me that acceptance letter that day. Whatever it was, I am so thankful that it happened.

Be looking out for some exciting pieces of mail within the next few weeks! Your life could be changing too :)

xx, Brendan

 

 

The Big Game

This past weekend I attended the 2014 Fusion Fashion Show at Parsons: The New School For Design. The Fusion Fashion Show has been around for 15 years now! What is it you ask? Well, its an intense, talented competition between the two best fashion schools in the country – Parsons and FIT. Fifteen designers from each school create 5 outfits, cast models, style them accordingly, and put on a runway show! And to top it off, some of the fashion industries best choose a winning designer from each school and a Best Overall school!

This just sounds like a reality show in the making…I mean, yes, there’s Project Runway, but something about college level fashion design students competing head to head paired with behind-the-scenes drama get’s me excited. Get on that Bravo!!

There are pros and cons to going to FIT (which is a whole other blog post) but one con for me is that I find it hard to feel “school spirit” here. Yes, I knew coming into FIT that its very different from most colleges out there. For one, we lack prestigious sports teams. I’m not a huge football fan, but I find myself sometimes envious when I see pictures of college football games, all students proudly donning their schools jersey. Everyone is extremely passionate about their school and team!

But when I was sitting in the auditorium waiting for the Fusion Fashion Show to start, I had a realization. The Fusion Fashion Show is my school’s “big football game.” FIT is MY school, Parsons the opposing team. Passionate fans from FIT and Parsons filled the seats to support not only the talented designers but to support their school! When the MC would ask the audience who was there to support FIT, I cheered as loud as I could. It wasn’t just me cheering, there were lots of other FIT students cheering along as well ;).

The show itself was SPECTACULAR! These students from both schools are so talented, and most are either freshmen or sophomores! Past years designers have included Prabal Gurung and Alexander Wang. It was so cool to think I could be watching the next Wang premiere their first show!

It was hard not to be completely biased the whole show, rooting for only FIT designers. But there were some very talented designers from Parsons. Overall, the show was so creative and inventive. There were beautiful gowns, intricate handmade knits and even a jacket made entirely out of Furby’s!

BUT guess which school won Best Overall………FI-FRICKEN-T!!!

I think they totally deserved it ;) Everyone did a fantastic job but I couldn’t help to smile when I read that FIT won. It was like my school’s football team won the big game. Except our players are all super fashionable, talented, creative, unique people. And definitely not as as smelly…

 

 

Three Tips for Group Projects

Well, we’re almost a quarter of the way through Spring 2014 semester! Time is fllllyin! And in regards to my classes….that means midterms are around the corner, and FINALS not far after that! WOAH! No matter how much I am dying for summer, I hate to rush away the rest of the semester.

In almost all of my classes this semester, my term project has already been assigned and there is a commonality between each project. I’m working in a group for each one! To be honest, I’ve always had a slight fear of group projects….I’m very much a control freak and would rather take on a whole project myself, especially one that’s being graded. I knew a semester like this would be coming and now its finally here.

But I can’t get myself too worried because there are so many benefits to working in a group. Of course you hear the horror stories of a single student doing an entire project the night before its due, because his group flaked out. That’s an exception! There are many positive aspects to working in a group for a project. For example, you don’t have to take on as much work. In a good group, every member is doing an equal amount of work so that no one is too stressed out. Also, you tend to learn more because you’re able to discuss the topics with your other group members! Most importantly, its a great excuse to make some new friends!

Here are three tips to remember when you work on a group project this semester, or a semester in the future!

1. Set up a form of communication

Communication is NECESSARY to complete a group project successfully. Luckily, we live in an age where you can communicate anywhere, anytime. Make sure you get the phone numbers of each of your group members so that you’re able to text them to set up meeting times. Another great way to communicate is through Google Docs and Google Drive. Google offers an area where you and your group members can all edit and work on a document. It’s a great place for making notes and throwing around ideas.

2. Be open to everyone’s ideas

For the shyer type, a group project can be very daunting. Some students would rather sit in the back of class, take notes from the professor, and go home after that, not making a peep the whole time. It’s important to introduce everyone in the group to establish a level of comfort. If you’re more of a confident person, be the one to begin introductions. Then ask around if anyone has ideas for the said project. Try not to make faces, roll your eyes or laugh at someone’s idea. To them it may be the best they  have! Each idea is something to build and jump off of.

3. Establish who’s doing what

Like I mentioned before, there are sometimes horror stories of one student doing a whole group project themselves. This isn’t the point of group projects, and professors would hate to hear this. By giving tasks to each group member, setting due dates, and discussing as a group each persons role, you’ll most likely have a more successful project in the end. Most often, professors have a student rating system that they give at the end of the project. If you feel like one student didn’t fairly do their part, this is where you voice your concerns.

I wish you the best of luck on your projects throughout the semester!

xx, Brendan

FIT Skyliners

A few weeks ago, as I was headed into the elevator to get to my room, I saw a posting for FIT’s first ever acapella group  The FIT Skyliners! As I’ve said in previous blogs, numerous times, I’ve always been a singer. From elementary school to high school I was a part of many choirs and jazz ensembles. It’s a blessing and talent that will stick with me forever, no matter where I go!

I had always wondered why FIT didn’t have an acapella group. I’d always thought an acapella group was a given for a college. FIT is full of so many creative and talented people, I found it so shocking no one had stepped forward and started an acapella group. To my surprise, last semester FIT student Krista Perhsinsky created the first ever acapella group on campus! Thank god someone did it!

When I saw the posting for auditions this semester I knew I had to go for it. It’s been about two years since I last sang in a choir, or with a group, and I can not explain how much I missed it. Going from singing everyday to not singing everyday is a very big adjustment. A choir is like a team, everyone works together, plays off eachother and produces something beautiful. 

Well, I had my audition about a week ago and I found out a few days later that I made it!! I was so excited. Tonight was my first rehearsal with the group, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the sound, attitude and group of people! Its so comforting to be doing something that I am so passionate about here at FIT.

The FIT Skyliners will be making multiple appearances at events around campus this semester and for more to come. I definitely recommend attending our concerts because we’re gonna be great! And if singing is an interest of yours, please audition a semester in the future. Not only do you get to sing, but you’re making new friends and memories!

Broadway Baby!

Going to school in NYC means there’s always something to do. Food, shopping, walking, sight seeing. My personal favorite is going to a Broadway musical. For my whole life I’ve been into theater, acting in maanny musicals, singing in choirs and dancing ballet for 10 years. Musical Theater was and still is my true passion.

Because I’m in the city, I know how close I am to the Broadway world. Last year I wasn’t able to properly take advantage of this but I made it a point to see more shows this year. FIT offers $20 student tickets throughout the year, which sell fast because it’s such a great deal! However it’s not a constant thing.

If you haven’t purchased tickets for a show beforehand, there’s still a way to see a show! Many theaters offer rush tickets or do a daily ticket lottery. Most theater box offices open between 10 -11 am. If you get to the theater that morning you may be able to purchase what are called rush tickets, because most often the shows aren’t sold out. You’re able to purchase the ticket right then and there anywhere from $20-$50, which is very cheap for Broadway tickets.

Some theaters offer a ticket lottery, where you go to the box office a few hours before the show, write your name down and hand it in to the person working there. They have you come back at a specific time and they choose names “out of a hat.” If your name is chosen you’re able to buy very discounted tickets. You may think the chances are low, but many times its a very small group of people putting their names in, and they end up choosing around 20 names total.

Just last week I went to see Matilda The Musical. First of all, the show was FANTASTIC. But I bought my ticket through the lotter system! I paid $27 for an orchestra seat to a Wednesday matinee. I definitely recommend taking advantage of what these theaters offer in regards to discounted tickets.

Back In the New York Groove

New York City has a flow like no other. Everyone walking is in a rush to be somewhere and they’re most likely running late. A walk down the street doesn’t just get you to your destination but also doubles as cardio! If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Or NY’s version, If you can’t walk fast, GET OUT OF MY WAY! ;)

Needless to say, the pace of New York is much different from my hometown. And I love it. However, when you’re out of the city for SEVEN WEEKS (much too long for me) it takes a day or two to readjust. I have to use the New Yorker part of my brain, and put on my New Yorker legs. There’s an art to bobbing and weaving through pedestrians without bumping into them and I must say I’m an expert artist!

Now that I’m synchronized with the pace of the city, I look forward to starting my semester at FIT! This is the first semester where I’m taking all major related courses! I find that something to celebrate. No more science, history, math classes…well at least until my bachelors, I think.

This semester I’m taking Sales Promotion, Research Methods in IMC, Advertising Copywriting, Audience & Media and the Credited Internship class. It’s so awesome once you start to see lessons from one class being integrated into another. That’s when you really start to absorb all the information because you see where it all fits in the industry.

My schedule this semester is also very on point. I intern with fashion designer Daniel Vosovic at the CFDA Incubator Mondays and Tuesdays, work on wednesdays (eyeroll but money doesn’t grow on trees), and class Thursday and Friday, and work Saturdays! I’m already loving the different structure this semester. Being in the industry two days out of the week teaches me a lot, sometimes more than I’d learn in a classroom setting.

Spring semester comes with a side of optimism. No matter how frigid and indecisive Mother Nature is the first month or two, Spring IS right around the corner. NYC comes back to life along with all living in it. Trees bud, flowers bloom, and opportunities arise for everyone. I can’t begin to explain how magical NYC is in the springtime. And did I mention summer comes after spring? ;)

Springy thoughts my friends!

xx, Brendan

Three Things I Miss About New York

It’s a dreary day here in upstate New York, rain and fog. I’m sitting on my couch working on my online class and day dreaming of the city that I will be back in oh so soon. Winter break is a lovely thing, always much needed, and always very fun. However, sometimes I feel like it goes on for too long. I get stuck in a rut, and I need to be back in the city and back in my routine. Here are three things I miss most about being in New York City and at FIT!

1. Just going for a walk

I really miss being able to just leave my dorm without a plan and go on an adventure. New York is great in that way because you don’t need a destination. Something will catch your eye, a coffee shop, a clothing store, a street performer, a park bench. The possibilites are endless! My only real option in upstate New York is going to Target and spending too much money on things I don’t necessarily need! I’m SO looking forward to walks throughout the city this spring semester!

2. My internship

I am so lucky to first off have an internship and secondly, get along so well with the designer I intern for. Everyday I go into the studio I know I’m learning something. Even if I’m running looks to a magazine office or just pulling pictures online for inspiration, I’m pushing myself and absorbing what its like to be in the industry. I’m very much looking forward to going back to my internship this semester and seeing what is has in store for me!

3. My view

This may be corny and cliche, but I miss the view from my window at Kaufman. I live on the 13th floor, which means I have a pretty nice view. The Freedom Tower stands tall directly in front of me, I can see some of the river, and thousands of buildings in between. And the sunsets – well they’re just breath taking. Sometimes when I’m stressed I just take a minute a look out my window. I’m in New York City and this is my view! I shouldn’t be complaining about much!

 

xx, Brendan