Author Archives: Emily

Yes, It Was My Way

 Yesterday I took my last final ever. It was probably my last day of school ever as well. It’s kind of crazy how fast college has gone by, and a little scary to think about such a huge change. However, I am happy with my four years here. These mixed feelings are hard to sum up, so I’ll just let Frank help me explain (yes, it’s cheesy, but just be glad I’m not using the “as we go on, we remember all the times we had together” song):


I’ve lived a life that’s full. I’ve traveled each and every highway; And more, much more than this, I did it my way

I think the most important aspect of my college career was that I tried everything I could and got to experience as much as possible. Salsa club, film critique, tennis, study abroad in Italy, walking the Camino de Santiago, fashion design, fabric styling, field biology, french conversation in Paris, the list can go on. This allowed me to meet so many interesting, lovely people and become excited about things I otherwise would not have even known about.

Regrets, I’ve had a few; But then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do, and saw it through without exemption

I think people are most successful when they put their all into something, whether it be a project or an outfit. Sure, there may be some failures along your road, but I’ve heard some of the most accomplished people say they were not successful until they had their first huge failure. Failure is not something to be ashamed of, as long as you didn’t go down passively. If you’re going to fail, fail with all your might.

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew, when I bit off more than I could chew. But through it all, when there was doubt,  I ate it up and spit it out. I faced it all and I stood tall;  And did it my way

Personally, I viewed my biggest “failure” as when I realized I couldn’t keep doing the Fashion Design program, and that what I grew up thinking was my future was in reality not going to happen. At the time it seemed like the end of everything – my ambition, my dreams and goals – however, looking back now I am glad I switched out of Fashion Design. It was too much stress for me and I cannot imagine where I would be now mentally if I had stayed on. Deciding to switch majors was one of the hardest choices I had to make so far, but I’m glad I continued to my Bachelor’s and found a new path.

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried. I’ve had my fill; my share of losing. And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing

FIT has certainly brought me a fair share of laughter and tears. I have made some of the craziest, silliest, best friends in the world over the past four years, and done some ridiculous and completely unforgettable things. On the flip side, if you ask my mom, I’m sure she could regale you with stories of late night crying phone calls and exasperated, endless discussions about my future, but looking back now it’s hard to remember those bad times. I would say don’t stress so much about making decisions and going crazy over little upsets, but it is hard to realize that in the moment.

For what is a man, what has he got? If not himself, then he has naught. To say the things he truly feels; And not the words of one who kneels. The record shows I took the blows – And did it my way!

You just have to do work that you can be proud of, and put your all into it. There are going to be obstacles and mistakes along your journey, I can guarantee it, so don’t worry about if it is going to happen, just know it is so important to not let those hardships stop you. And don’t be afraid of change, because change is not the end, it is not failing.

If you are a graduating senior in high school or college, I hope you feel as fulfilled as I do as you look back on your time thus far. And if you are facing a new chapter in your life, I hope my cheesy quote-advice will help reassure you as you begin a new path on your adventure.

 Thank you so much for reading my posts for the past two years!


Professor Beware

Having a good professor can make or break a class. There are certainly a range here at FIT, as anywhere else. I have found most of my professors as extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and interesting. I will admit to checking sites like as soon as teachers were announced, and I’m sure you will too.

However, you have to be careful with websites like this. First of all, ratings are not necessarily the best indicator of what a teacher will really be like. Many times people just use rating sites to complain when they did not get along with a professor, or feel like they were not being treated fairly whether it is true or not. Hopefully the teacher will have many reviews and you can judge for yourself if they seem reliable.

I think feedback for the professors and the school is a great tool if said feedback is honest and sincere, and I encourage students to rate their teachers (fairly, of course). I just went back and rated every teacher I had for my bachelors degree. That being said, these comments are not guarantees and I have often found my experience with a teacher to be completely opposite of what most people wrote, for better or worse.

Do you use or other sites like it? What experiences have you had with them?


Summer Intensives

Summer Intensive programs are classes that anyone can take during the months of June and July. They are ideal for people who want to dip their toes into a new topic of study, but cannot afford (for either monetary or time constraints) to enroll in a full or part-time certificate program. The courses range from 3 to 10 days and touch on a variety of topics we learn here at FIT.

To see what courses are being offered this summer, click here!

The Center for Continuing and Professional Studies offers Certificate and non-credit programs that give additional and more specific training to those already in the industry.


It’s Senior Showtime!

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There is less than one month left in the school year, so it’s that time again; the time when all the graduating students work is put on display. It can catch some people off guard as the displays go up intermittently around the school, and as everyone is so focused on finishing up their own projects, but when you finally stop to look at all of them it is really inspiring. Over 800 students are represented from both the AAS and BFA programs. To see where each major will be located click here! Just another reason to come to FIT to check out the school.

The AAS Photography display in the main lobby of Feldman center

The AAS Photography display in the main lobby of the Feldman center

Most Art & Design majors have their work displayed throughout the school as well as a “senior show” where industry professionals along with friends and family can see a collection of work that was created over our time here.

The AAS Fashion Design (apparel) presentation (from when I graduated)

The AAS Fashion Design (apparel) presentation (from when I graduated in 2013)

The AAS Fashion Design (illustration) presentation (from when I graduated in 2013)

The AAS Fashion Design (illustration) presentation (from when I graduated in 2013)

The most famous “senior show” is the bachelor’s Fashion Design show. It is attended by lots of influential industry people, as well as the designer critics who worked with all of the students. This year’s is happening this Thursday (4/30/15) and can be livestreamed! I saw the presentation of all the work in the Great Hall a few weeks ago, and couldn’t be more proud of my peers who did the AAS with me! Definitely watch the show to see the critics and people’s choice winners work the runway.

The "wall" as it's called in Fabric Styling

The “wall” as it’s called in Fabric Styling

My major (Fabric Styling) has one wall that the entire major works together to create. It’s a huge undertaking, but is a nice way to show the work of the entire group as one piece. We also have a senior show coming up (along with the Textile/Surface Design kids) where we each get a table to display our portfolios and any other work we have done. I’m hoping lots of people show up!

The Packaging Design Presentation in the lobby of the Goodman Center/Gladys Marcus Library

The Packaging Design Presentation in the lobby of the Goodman Center/Gladys Marcus Library

The Junior show for Graphic Design is on May 14, 2015 in the Katie Murphy Amphitheater (5pm-9)

The Junior show for Graphic Design is on May 14, 2015 in the Katie Murphy Amphitheater (5pm-9)


Discovering a Major: Packaging Design

by Claudia Arisso as told to Emily Bennett

Claudia Arisso

Claudia Arisso

I came to FIT really interested in Packaging Design! You do have to begin with the Communication Design AAS, so there were still two years for me to make a sound decision, apply, and get accepted into the BFA program. Communication Design prepared me for Packaging because the 4th semester is all about taking introductory courses to things like advertising, packaging, and exhibition design so that you have a better understanding of which BFA you’d like to continue into. For instance, Packaging is so different from the more commonly known Graphic Design major. Packaging deals extensively with crafting a brand from the ground up. You need to create a story and a reason for the consumers to fall in love with a product. Our classes revolve around brand strategy, creative briefs, and creating brand stories. (It’s all about depth!)

This is a work in progress of a flexible packaging project for an international food brand

This is a work in progress of a flexible packaging project for an international food brand

As specific as Packaging Design sounds, we come out with such a wide skill set because it requires you to wear many different hats, and grads can go into pretty diverse fields. For me, writing, research, and strategy are the aspects of Packaging that I want to take into my future career, whatever that may be.  So far I have done two internships. My first was working on page layouts, logos and identity for a design publication. This was strictly graphic design for print. My internship at the moment is for credit and is a required part of the Packaging Design curriculum. I work in a small packaging design studio that is more focused on brand strategy and how to get instant shelf impact. I have also picked up some freelance work along the way, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend piling that on while you’re still in school.

I had to show a portfolio to be accepted into both my AAS and BFA. To get into Packaging, I just had to show my best work from the AAS program in addition to my GPA.

This was made for the Packplay competition for the University of Quebec and Montreal. The competition is between from schools all over the world (we are the only ones from the US!)

This was made for the Packplay competition for the University of Quebec and Montreal. The competition is between schools from all over the world (we are the only one from the US!)

Last semester, I took a Sustainable Packaging class that taught us how to make sustainability part of our design process, which is so important to anyone involved with making anything in 2015. Outside of Packaging, I’ve taken everything from Crime Scene Chemistry to Bookbinding. Picking a major doesn’t mean you have to pigeonhole yourself! I’m in a pretty specific major, but I learned that you can make it work with whatever talents or interests you have. Your major shouldn’t restrict you – use the aspects you love about it to your advantage and play up your strengths. The different BFA programs are really just different means to an end.

To learn more about the Packaging Design major click here! And to learn about the Communications AAS program click here!