Category Archives: Academics

Pre-College Programs

If you just cannot wait to study at FIT, there are classes available to middle and high school students. The program is called Saturday Live (or Summer Live depending on what time of year it is). One of my friends, who is now at RISD, told me about the classes and I ended up taking  five different courses while I was in high school:

Manual Patternmaking and Sewing

Introduction to Fashion Design Industry

Creative Fabric Painting

Fashion Art for Fashion Designers

Fashion Art Portfolio

The classes would run from 9-12 and then 1-4 after lunch. I lived in Westchester so I did the morning Metronorth commute with all the parents who lived in my town. The classes were good for laying down the basics for the courses I would take when I got to college. They were fun and not very stressful, so we could take risks and not worry about failing. You do get graded in these courses, but the grades do not hold any college credit value and are therefore just meant to help you evaluate yourself.

While you certainly could never replace, say, the college level patternmaking couse with the one I took over the summer, the classes were a fantastic place to meet other fashion-focused kids my age, test the waters of various disciplines and evaluate my base skill levels.

I realized that I was set on going into fashion design in college, so I took classes specifically to improve my portfolio. Taking these classes certainly does not guarantee you will get into FIT, but actually working in the classrooms with real teachers from the college helps tremendously. I think it also gives a great sneak peak into what it would actually be like to go to FIT. My Fashion Art Portfolio teacher reviewed my portfolio before I sent it in with my application and then I ended up having her as my Fashion Art & Design professor second semester! She even recognized me on the first day of class. Now, they have even organized the classes into groups so you can see which to take in preparation for certain majors.

–Emily–

A day in the life of a commuter student!

It’s Monday 5:50 am and my alarm is going off, sleepy I roll over and hit snooze for another ten minutes. I just went to sleep a few hours ago if that, because I was waitressing the night before. My class starts at 9:00 and since I live in New Jersey that means I have to take the 7:17 to New York Penn Station. It’s now 6:25 I didn’t hear my alarm go off for the 12th time and my mom is running in my room “Kailee get up! You slept to late again!” So I quickly get up rummage through my closet and find a cute outfit to start my week off right. I then go over to my dresser and put on my makeup and throw my hair up. Gathering my things it’s now 7:00 my train leaves in 17 minutes. I go outside to turn on my bright orange beetle to warm up because today its only 7 degrees out. I quickly go back inside grab my things, make some organic flaxseed oatmeal with blueberries, grab the little snack bag of fruits and veggies my mom packed for me and finally I am off.

Turning left onto broad street I am trying to find a good radio station to listen to a good song on the short car ride. Nothings on the radio as usual because its 7am and everyone’s having a talk show. I finally reach the light before the train station and some kid cuts me off almost every morning because the high school is only a few blocks away. I pull into the parking spot at the train station, check the number on the spot and run to pay its 7:14 I only have a few minutes left until my train arrives. After paying I am running to get onto my train that just arrived.

Walking each car carefully looking for a sit that is empty so I can sit and read in peace. I sit down in the same car everyday. The man collecting the tickets gets to my seat his name is Jim. Jim sees me all the time, has seen me since I first started FIT, when I went on my first interview, has seen me crying, happy , just about all emotions I have had for the past 3 years. He says hello to me I wish him good morning as he checks my monthly pass. I then reach for my oatmeal and start eating slowly while admiring the view out the window. This morning I dosed off shortly after, I wake up and we are at New York Penn station. Its 8:43 and I am  now running up the stairs by the LIRR , while putting my scarf and gloves on. I get outside and put my head down and walk quickly from 34th to 27th, it feels like the longest walk of my life in the cold and wind.

I get to FIT and the security guard greets me in the D building lobby while I show him my ID. I go through to the B building and go down to the basement for my French class. Few lecture hours and a break later ,I am heading back home. By this point my brain and body are exhausted, Monday’s are always the longest since I work the night before and then work again once I get home. I get home it’s now 1:45 I have to be at work by 4:00. I sit down for a few minutes, eat a quick snack, start some homework and then its time to get changed for work.

It’s 3:55 as I am walking into the building, I am always a few minutes early. Monday’s are kids night so its usually pretty busy. Before I know it, its 9:00 time to go home, I quickly finish my side work so I can go home. Its been a pretty long day its now 11:10 and I am finally getting ready for bed. A few hours from now I will be waking up to do it all over again.

What’s a day in your life? Are you a commuter student? Do you live at school? I would love to know :)

-Kailee

University Pressure

They say that college/university is supposed to be the best 4 years of your life.  It’s a chance to be free from home yet still taken care of by your guardians.  I think to set yourself up to make something the best 4 years of your life is setting yourself up to have fake fun for the sake of the fear of missing out.  I know that university won’t be the best 4 years of my life because I dedicate myself 2000% to my education and my future career to ensure that I will have a stable career and a certain lifestyle post-graduation.  I see the front desk people of the gym more than I see my friends.  I couldn’t tell you the last time that I explored New York, but these are all my choices.  But planning and trying to make 4 years the best 4 years of your life puts a lot of pressure on you.  You’re allowed to do what you want to do, but don’t feel forced by the social norms of college.  There isn’t a college checklist or bucket list of things or events or milestones that you must accomplish by graduation.  Dedicate yourself to you and not what you think your high school classmates expect you to post on Instagram.  Live for you and make your FIT college experience your own experience.  Write your own stories.

Ashley

A Day in the Life

I’m sure many of you reading this blog are students who have applied to FIT or want to apply in the future.  What I would have loved to know as a prospective student was “What is a typical day like for an FIT student?”  Hopefully this post gives you an idea.  However, please note that not all schedules are similar and I am choosing to overload myself but this course load is not required!  I am taking 21 credits, 7 classes, 2 of which are online classes, if that gives an idea.

Monday:
7:20 am: Gym
9:10 am – 12:00 pm: Portfolio Class
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Lunch Break
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Portfolio Class continued
4:00 pm: Homework, & Studying

Tuesday:
8:20 am: Gym
10:10 am – 1:00 pm: Science Class
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Blush Magazine Meeting
2:10 pm – 5:00 pm: Portfolio Class
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm: Dinner Break
6:30 pm – 8:20 pm: Internship Class
8:20 pm: Homework & Studying

Wednesday:
SLEEP IN DAY!
11:10 am – 1:00 pm: Web Page Class
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch Break
2:10 pm – 4:00 pm: Professional Procedures Class
4:00 pm: Gym
6:00 pm: Online Class Coursework

Thursday:
10:00 pm – 6:00 pm: Internship
6:00 pm: Continue Online Class Coursework from yesterday

Friday:
10:00 pm – 6:00 pm: Internship
6:00 pm: Gym

Saturday:
10:00 am: Gym
12:00 pm: Online Class Coursework & Homework

Sunday:
10:00 am: Gym
1:00 pm: Photo Studio Time
6:00 pm: Homework, Edit, prep for the week

Hope this gives a general idea!

Ashley

Discovering a Major: Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design

by Kate Kim as told to Emily Bennett

Kate Kim

Kate Kim

I am currently in my final semester in Fabric Styling, but I got my Associate’s degree in Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design.

A display I designed for Sol Republic headphones

A display I designed for Sol Republic headphones

The Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design (VPED) major focuses on the visual aspects of designing displays and equipment, and the overall merchandising of a store. We also gain experience designing “pop-up shops”, which are gaining popularity in today’s market. People who choose this major generally have goals of becoming visual merchandisers, merchandise display designers, store layout designers, or window display designers. This major was the number one factor why FIT was my top choice. There is no other program like VPED in the whole country! What really drew me in was the fact that it specializes in a specific industry, yet it provides so many various opportunities career-wise. Because of the classes I took, I have experience creating visual presentations and displays for brick-and-mortar stores, pop-up shops, museums, showrooms, exhibition and event spaces as well as experience in event planning, set design, mannequin styling and even more! Right now I am interning with Michael Kors.

A Point of Purchase design encouraging voting

A Point of Purchase design to encourage voting

Mannequins I styled that were on display in the windows looking out onto Seventh Avenue

Mannequins I styled that were on display in the windows looking out onto Seventh Avenue

  I chose VPED because I was fascinated with the idea of capturing people’s attention on the street with a window display, therefore creating interest to come inside to shop. Some of the classes I really enjoyed were Display Graphics, Point-of-Purchase Display Design, Design and Rendering, Event and Promotion Design and Exhibition Design. I think the most interesting class I took was the Exhibition Design one. We had to design a pop up shop layout as well as the merchandise displays. I remember working on the 7th Avenue window with a group to create props and design a window to display merchandise. This was seen by everyone who walked by the school!

A design for the pop-up shop version of Bonobos

A design for the store Bonobos

The greatest thing I learned from attending FIT was mastering several computer graphics programs as well as familiarizing myself with the fashion and visual design industry.


Find out more about Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design here!

Note: Starting in Fall of 2015 the Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design major will no longer be an Associate’s of Applied Science Degree. The College has changed it to a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. The College recommends any students interested in pursuing a BFA in VPED to first complete their Associate’s Degree in Communication Design.

–Emily–

Notes From the 6 Train: How to Survive the 12 Hour School-day

So I’m kind of a pro on this topic. Because I take 6 credits every semester, and only want to come to campus (at most 3 days a week, last semester it was 2) I usually end up having one day where I’m at campus for 12 hours, from 9 am to 9 pm. This is not my preferred schedule, but the class always seem to line up like this, so let me give you a play by play on how I survive, in case you ever find yourself in a similar position. This is particularly true for commuter students who have to travel long distances to come to campus.

1. First, and most importantly, I remind myself that I only come 2 or 3 days a week.

imgres

2. Eat to win! I pack my lunch everyday, and it especially on these longs because going on and off campus to get food can be such a hassle, plus super expensive. You will need:
– A water bottle (gotta stay hydrated)
– A full lunch (full of protein, as you will need that energy to remain focused during your classes)
– Snacks! This one is pretty self explanatory.

images

3. Use whatever time you’re not in class to your advantage. You won’t be in class during the entire time. I have 3 classes that are scheduled in 3 hour time blocks, but I have still about 3 hours in between to kill. During these breaks I get work done, get a massage or acupuncture at the health clinic (this does have to be scheduled in advanced though) or even take a free fitness to waken myself up (there are free classes at the gym at FIT.) Though, with this last option I obviously I don’t do a really sweat inducing workout. I would suggest yoga.

Other things you can doing your breaks:

– Work! On campus jobs or workstudy
– Take a nap. the commuter lounge was basically made for that

CCG-Countdown-to-grad-school-checklist

4. Handle all of your on campus errands.
– Running to financial aid/ bursar’s office
– Go to a club meeting/ events held during common hours
– Go to a tutoring center/ visit a teacher’s office hours

I know that a 12 hour day seems daunting, but when you get home after such a productive day you feel good! Luckily, my 12 hour day is Thursday, and I have no classes on Friday so I either start my weekend early and go out OR go home and enjoy the well deserved, blissful rest.

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Transitions

If you would have asked me what I wanted to do with my life this time last year, I would have told that you I was going to be a beauty photographer shooting ad campaigns for Sephora, Urban Decay, and Chanel.  Today if you were to ask me, I would say that I want to be a photo editor on the digital aspect of a magazine (the .com/social media portion) and a group fitness instructor.  It’s amazing how much changes over a year.  While my life did not change all that much, I am different person compared to freshman year me.  I am more responsible, passionate, confident in myself as a person and an artist.  I didn’t give up on my dream, my dream just changed a little bit.  I am still in the photography realm of everything, but my outcome and how I picture my life upon graduation and 10 years plus has changed.

It is important especially in college, and a college like FIT to continue to keep an open mind and to know that it is okay to change your mind.  While it can be difficult to completely switch gears at FIT, imagine yourself out of college and try to imagine what you want to be doing regardless of your declared major.  Go after your passions and take control of what you love.  Don’t let anyone stop you.

Ashley

Discovering a Major: Technical Design

by Olivia Jorge as told to Emily Bennett

Olivia Jorge

Olivia Jorge

Technical Design involves fitting garments and understanding both the design and production sides of the industry. Most students in the program came from a fashion design background or took prerequisite courses in draping and pattern making. The Technical Design program focuses on understanding garment construction through flat and computerized pattern making and fit corrections, as well as technical sketching and measuring garments.  Live models are also brought in to strengthen our knowledge of fitting.

I’m in my 8th semester now. My Associate’s degree is in Fashion Design, and I switched right into Technical Design for my Bachelor’s. I didn’t know about the major when I started at FIT; I originally chose the school for the Fashion Design program because it was so prestigious.  The location and in-state tuition didn’t hurt either! However, once I heard about the Technical program I knew I wanted to switch. After my first year of Fashion Design, I realized I was becoming less motivated in actually designing. I’ve always liked math, and the pattern making classes were what I enjoyed most in my first major. When I heard about the Technical Design major, I knew I would enjoy the more “technical” side of things.

These pictures show one final project I completed last year. This is the technical sketch I created as the first step

These pictures show one final project I completed last year. This is the technical sketch I created as the first step

I really enjoyed the pattern grading class I took. We first learned how to grade, or increase and decrease the size of a pattern, by hand using a device that had precise measurements, down to 1/32 of an inch. Then we moved on to using a computer pattern program. Grading involves a good amount of math, and it’s interesting to see how such small differences in measurements actually amount to complete garment size differences.

This is the first fitting we had of the design. We worked with partners to sew it and correct the fit

This is the first fitting we had of the design. We worked with partners to sew it and correct the fit

Because FIT is so career-oriented, it’s hard to focus on anything but your major. FIT taught me that hard work can take you far, as long as you love what you’re doing. Coming in as a freshman, I had my mind set on becoming a designer. Once I realized that wasn’t truly right for me, I became a little discouraged but eventually found my path. As a senior now, I’m still not completely confident that technical design is right for me, but I’ll continue figuring things out as I go on.

These were the fit issues we documented and fixed for the final presentation. Everything was handed in as a technical packet to show our process

These were the fit issues we documented and fixed for the final presentation. Everything was handed in as a technical packet to show our process

While in Fashion Design, I did two internships with small design companies and worked for another designer making patterns. After my first year of Technical Design, I did a (paid!) summer internship at Victoria’s Secret in their swimwear department. The people I worked with loved having me, so they’ve been extending my time ever since. Right now my last day is in February, but they’re already working on getting an extension approved. The maximum time allowed for their interns is one year, so by then I’ll have graduated and they can hopefully hire me full-time. If not, I’ll be applying for an assistant or associate technical design position. I would be working with other technical designers in achieving a brand’s ideal fit each season. I’d be assisting with the fittings and sending tech packs overseas with all the garment details and fit corrections to prepare garments for production. Ideally, I’d like to end up working with fitting bras and lingerie.


Find out more about the Technical Design major (BS) here!
–Emily–

Prepare for an Internship

FIT is known for having students that are go-getters.  It’s not uncommon for a student to be taking 21 credits, having two jobs, and an internship (yes I described myself).  So with us living in a city full of opportunities, I have a few tips and tricks of how to scout out your dream internship (I’m not an expert):

  1. Always be on the hunt.  I’m constantly looking and making a list of companies that I’d be interested in interning or working for now, next semester, or once I graduate.  Curating a list makes it easier to make goals for yourself and to set yourself up to not have the question “Where do I begin?”
  2. Follow prospect companies.  Along with making a list, follow all of the companies on your list on every social media possible.  This gives you an idea of the office environment and allows you to feel out if it would be a suitable place for you.  They may also remember you if you are interacting on their social platforms.  If you are interested in working at a magazine, look at the masthead and see who may be the key contact at the time of your internship application…and follow them all!
  3. Go on as many interviews possible.  Whether it’s an interview for a professional dog walking job or for an interview at Vogue, you are practicing and improving your internship skills.  While you’re at the interview, you get a sense of the company and feel out if you are able to see yourself there, even in the future.
  4. Ignore the name.  Don’t always look at the company’s name.  Sometimes working for a startup or small company is better because your learning is hands on.  Bonus: if the startup becomes a massive success, you will have been a part of it!
  5. Find a happy medium.  Think about your dream job.  Now that you’ve thought about it, think about the steps that you need to take to get there.  What internships do you need to have to obtain the necessary skills?  Who do you need to know?  How will you make it possible?  Ask questions and write everything done.  Everything is more solidified in gel pen. :)

Happy internship hunting!  I believe in you!

Ashley

The Application Secret

Some of you readers may be going through a very exciting yet intimidating process at the moment. Completing your FIT application process! The SUNY application had to have been filed by January 5th, 2015 – which I’m sure you all know. Supplemental Materials deadline is February 1, 2015, which includes academic documents, Academic History and essay form, portfolios and so on. Let’s pause for a second, take a collective inhale…exhale. You’re almost there!

As a high school senior, this period seems to be all you can think about. You put all your energy into this process – filling out forms upon forms. Writing essays, gathering up anything and everything that represents your aesthetic, your art, your being! It’s a tough thing to do!

Now looking from the other side, someone who has been accepted and attends the Fashion Institute of Technology, I believe I am quite justified to give some advice :). As an applicant, you want to stand out and look special. Focusing on what sets you apart from the application before and after you. I am not a design student, therefor my application process for Advertising and Marketing Communications was different. However, the overarching theme and intention that all prospective students hold is exactly the same. And the “sparkle” the admissions office searches for is the same. And that is this…

Be YOU. Create from your heart. Write from your heart. Photograph from your heart. Design from your heart. Build from your heart. Are you catching my drift?

If you are putting your passion into the work you’re sending over to FIT, it will show through to whomever’s reviewing it. By expressing your individuality and creativity you will successfully get your point across. Trying to create something you “think” people will like, or “think” they’re looking for or “think” others want to see – you’re doing more harm than good in the long run.

FIT is a breeding ground for the unique, the creative, the hard working. A big theme that I wrote about in my application essay was how I looked at FIT as a big puzzle. Each puzzle piece connected with the next, to complete a larger picture – a new generation of creators and pioneers. I finished my essay by saying, “I want to be a piece of that puzzle.” Luckily, I now am.

If you are applying to FIT, I am wishing you the best of luck in this final process!

xx,

Brendan