Tag Archives: Brendan

Getting to Know Your Professor

Hi Readers! Its so important to get to know your teachers here at FIT. As I’ve said in past blogs, they are a wealth of experience, knowledge and information and many times can help you land internships or future jobs! Introducing yourself at the beginning of the semester is a must, and if you take a liking to him or her, maintain the friendly relationship. Once you leave FIT, it will be great to have a connection remaining at the school.

Today I wanted to shine the spotlight on one of my favorite professors, Linda Finnerty! Professor Finnerty is a highly regarded professor in the Advertising and Marketing Communications department here at FIT. Last semester, she made my Tuesday mornings exciting with Principles of PR and this semester, she’s teaching me “real world stuff” in Corporate Communications.

I can’t begin to tell you the number of valuable industry and life lessons I’ve learned from her. Her lectures (which are always filled with interesting stories from her days on the job) have given me a realistic look into the world of PR. I must say she is one of the best professors I’ve had while at FIT. Her courses are highly sought out by students. You’d be lucky to learn from her! Impressive career + amazing stories + likeable personality = wonderful professor.

Here are some questions I asked Linda Finnerty highlighting her career and place at FIT!

Which classes do you teach at FIT?

Advertising & Promotion, Marketing for Integrated Marketing Communications, Workshop in Business Communications, Publicity Workshop, Integrated Marketing Communications Management, Principles of Public Relations, Public Relations for Museums and Arts Organizations, Corporate Communications and Special Events Marketing Public Relations.

Before you began teaching at FIT, what was your career?

Prior to teaching at FIT, I was the Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for a major Wall Street firm.  I was responsible for advertising, marketing, public relations, investor relations, special events marketing, sponsorships, corporate culture and corporate social responsibility.  It was a high stress job, required lots of creativity, the ability to multitask and manage a large staff of people, crisis communications skills, relationship building – all while maintaining a sense of humor and the ability to keep things in perspective.

What was your proudest career moment?

My proudest career moment was receiving the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2009.  To qualify for the award, you have to be nominated by your peers and submit recommendation letters from a number of students and faculty members.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at FIT?

The thing I like best about teaching at FIT is the focus, dedication and creativity of our students.  Class discussions are always lively and the quality of the work presented at the end of each semester is amazing!

What advice can you give to students looking to attend FIT?

My advice to students hoping to attend FIT would be to focus on improving their writing skills, because writing is a critical skill for success in the business world; to read a newspaper daily to keep in touch with what’s going on in the world; and be curious and receptive to new ideas and all the opportunities that come your way. And, above all, don’t take yourself too seriously.

If that’s not good advice, I don’t know what is :)

xx, Brendan

We All Have a Story to Tell…

By this point in my college career, I can’t even tell you the number of papers I’ve had to write. From papers on genetic disorders, to the Harlem Renaissance, to Karl Lagerfeld and to direct marketing. As interesting as some topics may be, its not the most fun. But hey, I’m in college…what do I expect?

This semester I’m taking the very enjoyable Fiction Writing class. The class is an advanced writing course that develops students’ understanding in imaginative storytelling. We read short stories and novel excerpts and participate in writing exercises to examine writing process strategies. In a workshop environment, we develop and create a few pieces of short fiction.

There are no rules in fiction writing. You can write about whatever you want, whatever excites you or makes you feel. My professor encourages us as writers to use our imagination and tap into parts of our brains that we may have forgotten existed. We all know what makes a good story, from the books we read to the movies we watch. This class helps us to hone in on our storytelling skills and produce creative works of art.

We have workshops with our pieces and discuss with our classmates what works and what doesn’t. It’s an open environment, no judgement allowed. It’s nice to read other students work and have them read mine.

I find this class to be very therapeutic. As I said, it gets old writing papers that aren’t coming completely from your mind but referencing the ideas and research of others. To create a story is freeing because you’re in control. You control the world your characters live in. I’m able to pull from experiences in my life, good or bad, and use that as inspiration for my pieces of writing.

As a student yourself, would you find it more enjoyable to write fiction? Do you prefer writing research papers? Are you interested in the English and writing classes at FIT? Let me know!




Adult Stuff 101

Every semester at FIT, I continue to fall in love with my major. Its so exciting and validating when you’re sitting in a class, absorbing the information, engaged in what the professor has to say – and finding yourself actually enjoying all of it.

I have had some great classes throughout my time at FIT. Some favorites include Journalism, Publicity Workshop, Advertising Copywriting, and Video Studio Production.

A favorite this semester is Corporate Communications. Corporate Communications aims to develop the skills necessary to create communications that successfully influence an organization’s internal and external publics. As students, we learn to identify emerging business trends, interpret annual reports and related business documents, and convey business news in a clear, concise style through a variety of business communication and public relations tools.

I find this class very valuable because I’m learning about terms and processes I’ve heard adults talking about for years but never understood myself. We learn about 401k’s, the stock market, how to invest in stocks, why to invest in stocks and many more useful items that will benefit me as I make my way into the workplace.

Our term project, which we work and develop upon throughout the semester, involves choosing a public company in an industry we’re interested track a trend within that industry. We study the background of the company, how the industry trend effects the industry as a whole and then how it effects the company alone. The company I’m studying this semester is Netflix! Not only do I use its on the regular, but I find the internet TV industry to be compelling and ever growing!

What classes are you interested in at FIT? Are any of you thinking of studying Advertising and Marketing Communications? Do you have any questions regarding the major? Let me know!




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!



Brendan’s Guide to Winter Break

As I sit here writing, it is currently “blizzard-ing” outside my window. Oh, January. You look so pretty…but then I’m forced to go outside and I remember how cold-hearted you are. The excitement and joy of December seems like a distant memory. The holidays never seem long enough. However, it is now a New Year. Another year to move forward with your goals and aspirations. Another year to check those boxes off on your bucket list. Another year to live your best life!

Winter break in college is like a double edged sword. You can use it to your advantage, or let it take advantage of you. This break is the perfect time to reboot after a hardworking semester. We all can’t wait to get home and not have projects, or finals to worry about! Its a great feeling.

My first year at FIT, I was new to the “6 weeks off at Christmas through January, instead of one week off like high school, to do whatever you want with no homework or responsibilities.” It was awesome to have that much time off from school, and to be home with my friends and family. That feeling never goes away, I just approach my winter break’s differently now than I did back then.

My first winter break I was basically a blob. My couch and I became even closer than we were before, molding to each others shapes. Netflix was a great friend for those few weeks. And yes, I have wonderful human friends as well. We would get together, get food, go to the local Target, because the options are quite limited in wintery upstate New York. By the time my break was over, I felt gross, out of shape, like I’d eaten two years worth of Christmas cookies. I hadn’t accomplished much on a small checklist I’d made at the beginning of break. I had done my fair share of relaxing, to the point of exhaustion, which lead to more relaxing! A never ending cycle!

But hey, it was my first time and I was learning. That is why I vowed then to make my winter breaks more productive and beneficial to ME. Maybe some people have no problem doing nothing, cozying up in their home and snacking on Xmas cookies. I have now learned that these few weeks are the perfect time to make a list, and get things done. Things you’ve been wanting to do all semester, but may have not had time for. 

SO, if you feel like your break could have been a bit better, I’ve come up with a short list of tips for you to follow. 

1. Indulge in the Holidays

By no means am I saying to not fully relax and soak up the holiday season. Please do!! By that point in our year, we need the family parties, delicious meals and holiday movies on ABC family. Embrace your time with your friends and family who you may not see throughout the year. Give them hugs and tell them you love them! Give back, do something kind, spread the holiday spirit! EAT LIKE YOU’VE NEVER EATEN BEFORE!

2. Set Realistic New Year’s Resolutions

Once the holidays are over, it’s easy to slip into “Post Holiday Depression,” as I like to call it. The hype is over, the Christmas tree is plopped at the end of your driveway. After New Years, write a list of some things you really hope to do within the upcoming year. Big picture resolutions like “WIN THE LOTTERY,” may be a little unrealistic. Think of personal goals you’d like to attain. Say something kind to someone every day, Read more books, Go to a concert. I find that smaller, positive goals are easier to check off my list! That way, when you look back next year you’ll see how much you’ve accomplished. The energy you enter into the New Year with is a great indicator of how your year could turn out. This year I want to take more Bikram Yoga classes and eat healthier foods! I can do that :)

3. Find Enjoyable Hobbies

If you live where it snows, you know some days seem longer and more mundane than others. Its too cold to be outside, or the roads are too icy to drive on. Looks like your spending the day at home! This is where hobbies come in handy! I re-learned how to knit this winter, and have been really enjoying doing that. I’m working on some belated Christmas gifts. I also have been pecking away at the “Books I want to Read” list. (Is it obvious that I like to create lists?) Find what passes your time without feeling like you’re just passing time. Make sense?

4. Get a Job

If you’re like me (or most kids my age I know) you’re a typical “broke college student.” I’ve had a job since I was 15, even throughout college. Personally, I enjoy to work for my money. It feels so much better spending it when you know how hard you worked 😉 I understand some may not be home long enough to find, apply, and get a job. Luckily, I have a job that I can come back to whenever I’m home, at a local bistro. Since I’m home for a few weeks, it’s the perfect time to build my bank account back up before the next semester. I don’t have much time for a job in the city anymore, with school and interning. If you have the option to work a few shifts while you’re home, do it! It keeps you busy AND gives you some spending money!

5. Review Your Upcoming Semester

We’ve all had that nightmare where you walk into school (usually in your underwear) and don’t know where any of your classes are, you’re completely unprepared, and everyones pointing and laughing at you. Let’s not make that nightmare reality, shall we? MyFIT has many ways for you to learn about your classes before actually sitting down at your desk. I like to screenshot my schedule on my phone, so that when the first day comes, I have a visual. It’s a big help for locating room numbers, because I never remember! I also enjoy looking at who’s going to be in my class. It’s always comforting to know you have a friend in class on your first day. Log onto MyFIT, click the Student tab, scroll down to “My Courses,” click “Click here to enter,” click on your course title, then click “Members” under Personal Tools. It shows you a full class list! It helps to subdue any nerves and get you excited for the upcoming Spring semester!

Everyone is different. Everyone approaches things differently, even our college winter breaks. Long story LONG, do what makes you happy and makes you feel good during this time! For me,  enjoy feeling like I’ve accomplished things over break. I hope that some of these tips are helpful to you! Please enjoy the rest of your winter breaks, and HAPPY BELATED NEW YEAR!