Tag Archives: College

Let’s Get Creative!

“The Foundation Year”

If you have been applying to other arts universities, you will recognize this as the first year of school that is dedicated not to your major of choice, but rather a general sampling of a majority of the visual arts mediums. The idea is to allow students to experience as many forms of the creative process as possible, before they decide what they want to focus in for the rest of their time at college, and potentially the rest of their lives.

The fact that FIT does not have a foundation year was actually one of the main draws for me when I was a senior in high school. Back then I thought the foundation year seemed like a waste, since I was already so sure of what I was going to do for the rest of my life (and we all know how that turned out – cue self-deprecating eye roll). I never like to be wrong, but I must admit that in hindsight sixteen-year-old me may have been slightly too self-assured.

Honestly, one of the hardest parts of FIT for me was continually pushing myself creatively. Of course, projects require a certain amount of creativity, but it is usually restricted by some guidelines or simply time restraints. The workload at FIT is exhausting, so it can be very difficult to  carve out time for personal and uninhibited creation. Even when I had time, I was usually too tired from all the work I had just finished to focus and push myself to put in the effort to do something extra. Looking back, I think a foundation year could have been really effective in learning to hone original thought and experiment with unexpected materials and techniques. It would be especially cool if we could pick our own classes – like a “create your own foundation year”. I definitely would have taken some photography classes, experimental materials, classical drawing for anatomy, film production, ceramics, figure drawing (actually I did take this class my first semester of Fashion Design and it was great and I would totally do it again), I mean the list could go on.

Realistically, there is not enough time in the Art & Design school’s curriculum for such an idea, but the huge wealth of specific information we receive here is one of the largest benefits of coming to FIT. Yet, I wonder if I have missed out on some of the most creatively fruitful years of my life. I have found that the most exciting work does not come from knowing, but instead not knowing and saying, “Hey I have the crazy idea and I don’t have a clue how to make it work but let’s just try it!” Whether or not you end up attending FIT, I hope you keep this in the back of your head. Grades and classes are important of course, but I bet the work you will be most proud of is the stuff that you had no idea if it would work or not, but experimented and failed until it did.

–Emily–

Acceptance

A little over 2 years ago, I was accepted into my dream school (FIT…obviously).  I was in the kitchen when I saw the letter and I was so incredibly nervous.  Both of my parents were in the room as I started to open the envelope.  I saw one word…”Congratulations” and I immediately dropped to the floor.  I started screaming and I was grinning from ear to ear.  I then obviously had to call everyone I knew and tell everyone all over Facebook and Instagram and everything.  Even being a photography major, I immediately resorted to taking a picture in Photo Booth on my MacBook.  What was I thinking?  Was I an 8th grade teen all over again?  And with it being take in Photo Booth, the image was backwards on top of everything.  (Never again).

If you have recently been accepted, share your story in the comments about where you were!  What are you most excited for when coming to FIT?

#Motivation

So being a college student just about anywhere can be pretty difficult. Being a working student is even harder. Did you know that nearly 80% of todays college students work and go to school and most cant even get a loan or finical aid?

My first semester at FIT I was working nearly 30 hours a week and was a full time student. I was in the interior design program, the work load is defiantly a full time job in itself. I was taking one day at a time trying to get through the program and wondering how I was going to pay for next semester. Needless to say my grades really suffered because I wasn’t putting in the time I should have been. As I got further into the program I was able to work less and learned how to manage my time much better. It was probably the hardest two years of my life, But I cant tell you I have ever felt more proud of myself then when I received my first diploma in the mail the other day. unnamed

Before this day I was struggling to get motivated again, I felt like my hard work wasn’t paying off. I had nothing to show for it. I was run down, tired, and mentally exhausted. Until I received this and it made me think of what motivated me all along. Sometimes all you need is to see your hard work pay off or remind yourself how you got where you are. After reevaluating all my hard work I thought of three things I normally do that make me motivated again.

1. Refocus. Take a day to yourself, do something you love try and remind yourself what got you to this point in your life.

2.Set Goals. This will help you see your dreams in a real life setting, you can set them for every week what you would like to accomplish or every year it all depends on what you think will work for you. Personally I set them for every six months , not to long where it feels like you will never get there and short enough to make you push yourself.

3. Speak with someone. Sometimes all you need is a kick in high gear , it can be anything from talking to someone you look up to , or your parents, an advisor, someone who knows you well enough to tell you how far you’ve come and how much you’ve achieved.

So to all of you that think its not possible it is! You will make it through the good and the bad days. So for now… “Wake up early. Drink coffee. Work hard. Work really hard. Be ambitious. Keep your priorities straight, your mind right and your head up. Do well , live well and dress really well. Do what you love, love what you do. It is time to start living”

XOXO

Kailee

Internships: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Everybody seems to have an opinion on internships. Are they necessary for “real world” learning? Is it just free labor? Do you actually learn anything worth while?

My opinion has certainly changed since starting at FIT. On the one hand, internships are necessary for the “real world” experience of working with a team, in an office and reporting to people above you. Almost any successful professional will tell you that working under someone is necessary, and you should do it even if it is unpaid. This is where it gets a little complicated.

On the one hand, internships offer (hopefully) invaluable experience, networking opportunities, helpful references, business insight and something to put on your resume. There is no doubt that employers want experience. It can also guide you in deciding what you actually want to do when you graduate. Even if you are absolutely positive you are going to be in advertising, do you want to work for a big company or a small company? An exciting but risky start-up, or a stable respected company where you will have much less responsibility or creative freedom? Are you sure the job you think you want is actually fulfilling?

However, many people now believe that internships are detrimental to students. They certainly take up a lot of time with most companies wanting at least two full days a week. It is also hard to quantify how much someone is learning at an internship. Are you just getting coffee, making copies and running things back and forth, or is your supervisor taking the time to make sure you understand what you are doing and, most importantly, why it is important? Most internships are unpaid, which brings up the argument that internships really only benefit middle to upper class kids who can afford to work for free. If a student is paying their own way through college it is unlikely they will have time for school, their job and an unpaid internship.

Of course, most places try to get around this now with “credit bearing” internships. These are also usually unpaid, but the student can get credit for a class. This allows the school to check up on the work place to ensure it is safe, and that the student is getting enough of an education to make the time spent there worth it. However, these credit-bearing internships are not offered by every company and usually require the student to add  another class to their schedule. This limits the flexibility of their schedule for other classes and obviously takes away more time.

If I may interject with my own opinion here, I do think internships are necessary. The ones I did have certainly helped me see what jobs I thought I was interested in more clearly. I have been exposed to big companies, little companies and growing companies. I have learned a lot and made many helpful connections. However, I have never been paid for my work. I have never even been compensated for lunch or travel. Looking back now, it is very frustrating as well as quite disheartening considering I am looking for a job and having done all this work is not  a guarantee I will get hired. I met a woman recently and asked her if she would ever need a research assistant. She replied that she would love an assistant, but could not afford to pay fair compensation at the moment, and did not feel it was right to accept that labor for free. Even though it was an opportunity I could not have, I was so happy when she said that! I mean it was so refreshing just to hear someone say, “I can’t hire you, but I respect you, your work, and your time too much to let you work for nothing.”

What are your opinions? Have you had any good or bad experiences with internships?

–Emily–

Tips for High School Students

  1. Take AP classes

If your school offers them and your schedule allows, Advanced Placement classes can really free up time in your schedule when you get to college (IF the school accepts them, definitely worth it to check first)

2. Take an Art History course

Here at FIT everyone has to take at least one Art History course for the general education requirements. It’s pretty helpful considering this is by and large an art school, even for the business kids. However, having general knowledge of art can be helpful in understanding concepts in history, sociology and even science  and math! (Ever hear of the golden ratio??) Also, if you take this as an AP and the credits transfer you can get out of this requirement (see above)

3. Apply early

4. Enjoy the summer!

It’s not like summers post college won’t be fun, but right now you have very few responsibilities compared to your future so revel in it baby!

5. Get to know the area around FIT

If it’s possible, you might want to come to 27th Street and scope out the area, find a few food places, see how far the walk to the grocery store is, start making a mental list of cool places you want to visit, etc.

6. If you will be commuting, do a test run day so you know where you’re going

You really don’t want your first day of class to be when you realize the walk from the subway to the school takes fifteen minutes longer than you thought. Trust me, you will be stressed out enough on your first day, and knowing where you’re going will make everything easier. Also, the other people on their way to work won’t hate you for getting in their way.

7. Do creative stuff!

Even though many of your classes and projects will force you to be creative, there will be a lot of stress and guidelines. If you have any personal projects you want to work on do it now while you have the time!

8. Keep up with cultural events around your area/the world

9. Talk to other people starting FIT on Facebook or social media

10. Get to know your roommate(s) and plan what you’re bringing

You really don’t want to end up with three microwaves and no dishes.

11. Talk to people in the industry in your area (boutique owners, FIT alumni, artists, etc.)

People are busy, but if you are respectful of their time everyone loves talking to the next generation of artists!

12. If you’re going to be an Art & Design student consider getting the Adobe Suite

Most of the Art & Design majors will require you to take classes in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign as well as use them independently in projects. Look at what classes you will be taking in your major and see what Adobe is offering (student pricing!) to decide what would be best for your needs.

13. Immerse yourself in culture (movies, books, paintings, etc.) because you will be expected to be able to reference things for projects

14. Save up some money

 NYC is expensive man.


Do you guys have any tips you want to share?

–Emily–

Housing – Why or Why Not?

As a freshman and sophomore I made a decision to live in on campus housing.  I definitely think that I benefited from those experiences, especially freshman year.  I made a lot of friends and it’s nice to have everyone accessible for group projects or help with homework all within your building.  As I look towards my junior year here, I am looking into moving off campus.  I am doing this because I want to move in with one of my friends from home, who does not attend FIT.  I also want to be more independent as far as living independently and creating a space that feels like my own.  While New York has become my home, I don’t think it will truly feel like home until I separate myself from campus.  I think that if I had gotten an apartment sooner than this upcoming year, it would have been too soon. You need to experience the life living in a dorm and create friendships within FIT.  If I had lived in an apartment this year, I feel that my sophomore year experience would have been very different, not necessarily bad, but different.  I feel like once you get your own place, you take on a completely different lifestyle and independence.  I am looking forward to living off campus and the responsibilities that come with it, but I’ll report back in several months to tell you how things are going and to give my tips and tricks!

Ashley

How to get a job, quick!

Hey everyone! So it’s the third week of classes and your finally getting settled in. At this point in the semester you kinda realize if you can take on a job , or internship with your work load. Or it may even be time to find an internship for the summer if you plan on staying in New York for the summer.  If you can theres more than enough opportunities here at school, and everywhere in new york city! Whether its striking up a conversation on the subway, or going to one of the email blasts at school, there are jobs everywhere!IMG_0874

Below is an actual email from the Career center at FIT. Did you realize you get at least 5 a week at the minimum? Most of the time they only require you to meet in the A lobby with your resume and interview with them right there. Sometimes they will even give you an answer on the spot.

Most internships don’t do this anymore but just to warn you for the future DO NOT take an unpaid internship. Even the best jobs with the best experience will pay you. No one works for free anymore, it’s absurd for someone to think that you can or will for that matter.

Happy hunting!

Kailee

 

 

 

Discovering a Major: Jewelry Design

by Ashley Yakaboski as told to Emily Bennett

Ashley Yakaboski

Ashley Yakaboski

                  When it came time for me to decide on a major and to start looking into colleges, I was one of those people who really wasn’t sure where they wanted to go, or what they wanted to do. Being a creative spirit, and someone who grew up playing with beads and making jewelry throughout high school, the decision to enter into the Jewelry Design program came from my mother. I had always known about FIT, but when my mother informed me about the program I thought this must be a sign. I had never known that such a program existed, so when my mom said, “Ashley, you love making jewelry and working with your hands, why don’t you just apply and see what happens?” I started thinking about it seriously. Since being a part of the Jewelry Design program here at FIT, my love for design has only become more passionate. For me, jewelry is something that is always on my mind.

Looking into different schools I found that this was the only program that was appropriate for what I wanted to learn. Other schools have metal smithing, but FIT has everything from designing to actually making jewelry. For someone who never had much talent in drawing and painting before, my admissions process was a bit difficult, but rewarding. My first task was to write three different essays, one asked why I wanted to go into the jewelry program, and I had to prepare a portfolio. Taking an art portfolio class my senior year in high school was where I spent my time working on drawings and designs that I would submit. I also included pictures of different bead works I made at home. Coming to FIT to show my portfolio was intimidating, but in the end the chairman has positive things to say.

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 11.19.57 AM

Jewelry Design is a major where you either fall in love with the program, or you fall apart. The teachers are so knowledgeable, passionate, and patient that you can’t help but be inspired by them. Jewelry Design is a small, close-knit program where you learn everything you need to know about making jewelry, from designs, technical drawings, soldering, wax carving and so forth. In Jewelry Design the main goal is to understand the process of jewelry and all the different aspects of it, so that way you can discover exactly what part of design you enjoy.

Since Jewelry Design is only an Associates program, they cram many different classes into your schedule. My first semester the main classes were Basic Sculpture, Drawing, Beginning Soldering Techniques, Piercing and Sawing, Wax Carving, Mechanical Drafting, Intro to Jewelry Design, and lastly Tools, Equipment and Processes. After learning all the basics you are then submerged in other classes such as Casting, White Metal Model, Jewelry Design Two, and eventually you pick between studio classes and jewelry design for your third and fourth semester. (Studio classes only involve the techniques of physically creating jewelry, and jewelry design only involves designing and rendering)

Design I created for my final portfolio

Design I created for my final portfolio

I have taken so many inspirational classes and each teacher has given me so much, but one of my favorites was Jewelry Casting with Rebekah Laskin. I never knew there are so many options when it comes to casting. Although I made a lot of mistakes in this class, those mistakes further helped me understand the process. In this class we took part in cuttlefish casting, where you pour hot metal into a cuttlefish bone, and the bone becomes the design. We also had a project where we were supposed to take a found object and get a mold and casting of it, then our found object would then be made into metal and jewelry. I had lace casted and made a pretty pair of earrings and ring.

From the casting class

From the casting class

Jewelry Design here at FIT prepares us to either work in studios, where we make jewelry, or we can work for companies that need designers to design and render different pieces that can be manufactured by the company. My ultimate goal would be to have my own home studio where I can design and make jewelry, depending on my inspiration.

Since graduating from Jewelry Design, I am now in a completely different major at FIT called Production Management, where we learn about the mass production or garments and all the steps of making a garment, from the tools, stitches, seam, construction, fabrics and so forth all in order to make the garment in the most efficient way. Although Jewelry Design is completely different from Production Management, and although I miss Jewelry Design tremendously, I have discovered that I have different areas of interest, but I also have learned that I further see myself working in the jewelry industry.

FIT Tigers Tennis Team!

FIT Tigers Tennis Team!

While in Jewelry Design the least amount of classes I took in a semester was 10 and my most was 12, so the idea of having an internship during that time is unimaginable. In Production Management I am eligible for an internship my senior year, so until then I am focusing on school and side projects. Even so, I am a very busy bee and time management is my ultimate strength in life. I was involved with the FIT women’s tennis team for two years, I am a student designer for the Style Shop, I was involved in the FIT Skyliners Acapella group for two semesters, I am involved with the production management club, I am a Resident Assistant and mentor, I am a Student Ambassador and I still have time for side projects that make me happy. In all honesty it sounds like a lot and that it would be hard to maintain extracurriculars, but that is the beauty of time management and calendars! Furthermore, when faced with a homework assignment it is always my priority to get it done right away in order to enjoy my free time with these extracurriculars, which make me less stressed.

Since starting FIT I have learned so much about myself and my future, but I think the most influential thing I learned was that everyone has different styles and techniques and each one is unique to who they are. Each project, assignment, and talk with a teacher is something that we shouldn’t take for granted because in those moments we learn about ourselves and about what we like in our major. If you don’t take that seriously, then how will you ever know if you are learning and ultimately how will you know where you see yourself going in life?


To learn more about the Jewelry Design major click here!

–Emily–

Discovering a Major: Entrepreneurship

by Laura Vitarelli as told to Emily Bennett

Laura Vitarelli

Laura Vitarelli

I just recently decided what I wanted to do. Within the past two years I decided I wanted to become an esthetician, which is doing professional makeup, facials, peels, laser hair removal,  and other things related to skin care. I definitely want to try to start my own line of skincare and makeup products, which is why I chose Entrepreneurship as my major.

Many of the classes I take in Entrepreneurship revolve around fashion, which I am interested in as well. The program aims to address the real life demands of today’s marketplace. It is an option for students who want to become more impactful members of society, learn how to manage creativity, become more innovative in business, and learn how to build a sustainable enterprise.

The fact that FIT has a major dedicated to learning how to run a start-up was a huge factor in choosing the school. The admissions process was the same as anyone else applying to a major in the School of Business and Technology. I had to write an essay about why I was the perfect fit for this school, send transcripts and test scores. I didn’t have to show a portfolio or anything like the Art & Design students.

Currently, I am enrolled in the AAS Advertising and Marketing Communications program (Entrepreneurship is a Bachelor’s Degree program). I believe having both majors when I graduate from FIT will prepare me for being involved in today’s crazy marketplace and enhance my knowledge about the business world and how it works. So far, Computer Design has been my favorite class. Right now I am working on a portrait of Ariana Grande made solely of typed letters. It is really challenging and interesting. I visited the club fair last week, and WFIT, the campus broadcast club,  has me interested. And I am definitely going to join the Models and Stylists Association so that I can do makeup on people.

Even though it is only my first couple of months at FIT, the biggest lesson I have learned is to get out of your comfort zone. I think it is something everyone has to do in order to succeed and realize who they are.


To learn more about the Entrepreneurship major click here. And to find out about Advertising and Marketing Communications click here.

–Emily–

Internship Class

At FIT, you have many opportunities to do a credited internship through the school.  Along with the internship in the field, you also are required to take an internship class simultaneously.  The internship class itself only meets 6 times throughout the semester.  Having already attended 3 out of the 6 classes, I figured that I would fill you in on what usually happens in an internship course:

  • You discuss your internship and your experiences each time you meet
  • You reflect on what went well in your internship and what accomplishments, big or small you achieved
  • Write journals reflecting on your experience and how you can improve
  • Submit your internship time sheets
  • Have a midterm evaluation by your supervisor
  • Discuss your company’s mission statement
  • Network with other students within the class to gain connections and hear about their internship experience for your future reference
  • Commonly realize that there are so many people in your building from FIT :)

    The class thus far has really helped me evaluate my internship and what I can improve on as an intern.  Hope this helps some of you curious about the internship process!

-Ashley