Tag Archives: liberal arts

Discovering a Major: Art History and Museum Professions

by Stephanie Zlotnick as told to Emily Bennett

Steph Zlotnick

Steph Zlotnick


I am entering my sixth semester at FIT. I was originally Fashion Merchandising Management, which I got my AAS in, and then I switched into Art History and Museum Professions for my Bachelors of Science degree. I actually did not know that FIT had this major until the middle of my freshman year. I knew coming here that they had an art history minor, so I thought that I would want to do that, but when I found out there was a Bachelors major for it I  chose that instead since I fell in love with the classes.

I had to take some art history classes in FMM for my liberal arts requirements and I just fell in love with them. I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t want to stay in FMM for all four years, so when I found out that there was an Art History major, I decided to switch into it. I really like that it’s a combination of art history classes and business classes, teaching us the ins and outs of museums. I also like that the classes are more focused on writing, which is something I missed in my FMM classes. Art History and Museum Professions really teaches us both about art history in a variety of concentrations and how museums run. Many of our classes involve the history and purpose of museums as well as the administrative and business aspects of museum management.

Right now, I’m not completely sure what I want to do for my career in the end, but I really like the idea of doing special events or development in a museum. The degree is non-curatorial, but it prepares us for other departments within museums, like PR, development, education, special events, etc.

This past summer, I interned for ArtsWestchester, a small non-profit organization in White Plains, NY that runs programs and events to promote arts throughout Westchester County. I worked in the Development department as a Special Events/Fundraising intern, so I worked on planning an auction and gala to raise money for the organization.

It’s a difficult decision, but I think the most interesting classes I have taken are “Modern Art” and “History and Meaning of Museum”. I learned so much from them about art history in general as well as how much art and museums depend on culture and vice versa.

I think the most valuable thing I’ve learned at FIT is that it’s okay to not know exactly what you want right away. I came here thinking I would work in fashion, but when I didn’t love FMM as much as I thought I would, it was nice to know that I could switch my major to something I really wanted to learn more about, and it’s not wrong to want a change.



 Find out more about the Art History and Museum Professions major (BS) here!

The Writing Studio


If I have learned anything from my experiences working, I know that the two things that are most important for any job are good writing and speaking skills. Yet, no one is born a talented speaker or writer (I don’t know if you know this, but babies literally cannot speak or write!)

Fear not! If you feel that your skills are not up to par there is help available! The Writing Studio (located in Feldman Center Room 612) provides a collaborative process to enhance each student’s abilities and personal voice, not just edit papers. Although there are some professional tutors on staff, most of us are also students that have been carefully evaluated and selected. I say “us” because I am a tutor at the writing center!

I think the fact that it is peer tutoring is actually very helpful. We can relate to you about stress, school work, life at FIT and probably answer most of your questions about anything, not just writing. We also have insight into some of your classes, teachers and experiences here.

Brian Fallon, Director of the Writing Center

Brian Fallon, Director of the Writing Center

It is easy to make an appointment (you can also do a walk-in, but if we are booked we have to honor our scheduled appointments first). Just log in with your FIT username and password, go to the day and time you want to meet, and fill out the form that pops up. (Be sure to check everything especially the time. It automatically makes the time for 15 minutes so if you want more you will have to change the drop down box)

We help with brainstorming ideas, organizing papers, helping plan research, and even with personal writing and resumes. Often, we work with ESL (English as a Second Language) students who are not used to writing papers in English.

Some tutors also provide the option of online tutoring, which can be helpful for commuting students. If you want a little guidance but cannot make it into the writing center be sure to check out the writing guides we  provide.

Or you can come in and say hi to me! Either way, you get all this for the low, low price of…free!


Maybe a Minor?

Camus to Caravaggio. Da Vinci to Darwin. Aristophanes to Zappa. Know who they are? You should. Because a well-rounded knowledge base is the sign of an inquisitive mind — and a solid liberal arts education is the best way to work that muscle – FIT’s School of Liberal Arts

Despite the fact FIT is an extremely specialized arts college, everyone here still has to take math, science, English and even phys ed. Yes, every FIT graduate has to complete two gym credits. This is because FIT is a SUNY school (State University of New York) and since we receive funding from the government, we are required to follow some of their rules. At first, this may seem very annoying and you are not going to want to do it. Hey, I feel you. Did I want to take another math or science class after high school? No. Did I drag my feet everyday to those classes when I took them here? Yes, but it wasn’t that bad, I promise.

In fact, I think that the liberals we have to take make for a nice break from the never ending deluge of fashion we are under (or photography, or graphic design, or interior design…you get the picture). Sure, you may not enjoy all the liberal arts classes you take, but I bet you will really enjoy a few. Because we are required to take so many liberal arts, it actually makes it easier to complete a minor, which can really bolster your degree.minor card

You can declare a minor after completing five courses (or 15 credits) from the specified classes for the minor you choose. If you have transfer credits coming in from high school or another college, plus the class or two you are required to take in that subject here, you may already be more than halfway done!

I personally have finished an Art History minor and am one class away from finishing my Fashion Studies minor, and the classes I have taken for those have easily been my favorites. Yes, it is more hours of class, but knowledge and better understanding of the world outside your major’s industry can greatly impact the success of  your work and make you a more rounded person. If nothing else, speak to your adviser and see how many classes you would need to complete a minor, you never know, you could be only one class away!

Fashion Studies minor example

Fashion Studies minor example

FIT offers minors in English, Speak & Communication, Modern Languages & Cultures, Film, Media & the Performing Arts, Science, Math & Economics, History & History of Art, and Sociology, Psychology & International Politics. For a complete list of classes click here. There are really interesting and engaging classes so I encourage you to check them out. (side note: if you want descriptions of the classes you can copy the course number – i.e. HA 347 – and paste it into the search bar at fitnyc.edu)


On my Mind: One blog to another

The best way to keep up to date with what is happening back at FIT is to constantly check our college’s website. At a simple glance this page seems to always be the same but when you look closely at the column on your right, under announcements, you can see updates about our school. My top pick from this week is the new FIT blog “On My Mind” by the one and only President Joyce F. Brown. This woman, Dr. Brown is an amazing and highly educated person with incredibly interesting and useful information to share with us (obviously like me haha, so don’t ditch this blog). The topics on this trending blog range from Education, Industry to Curriculum and more. This superwoman that is present at every FIT event I have attended has been blogging since May. For those of you who want to know more in-depth about her exemplary achievements should read through the About the President section.

A few insider things I know from attending FIT for the past three and a half years is that she lives on campus, the whole top floor of alumni belongs to her and her family (they own the cutest most fashionable pup), when you get to ride on the elevator with her you don’t have to stop at any other floor (feels like royalty), and she is very avid on sustainability and making FIT the best place possible. Reading through her blog, I noticed she went ahead and wrote about one of my future topics so I’m quite sure great minds think alike; learn more about our Green Roofs.

One very exciting news I also discovered was that FIT has a new Sustainability and Ethics minor! I’m very ecstatic (and incredibly angry that its right when I’m graduating) that there is a need in our industry to rethink and open up the sustainability conversation. I invite you all to reconsider what have been the norms for the fashion industry and what they can be. This ted talks video will have you craving for change in every single aspect on the way how we do business: CSR 3.0.

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Carpe Diem,





Plan the Perfect Semester

Anything you say or do may be used against you in a court of law.

If questioned twice, I will deny this post ever existed (something along the lines of identity theft). Bearing that in mind I will proceed to share my secrets with you (hahaha).

Ciao incoming students,

As you plan out your first semester (and swear you are about to die, so stressed out) there are some things that have come in handy through the years when it comes to registering and choosing classes.

  1. You will be assigned a faculty adviser according to your last name, you can and you should email this person as soon as you receive the email. Later on, you will find out that you like a certain teacher better and you can request to change :). I got snowed in during my first week, so I had to assign myself my own adviser which turned out to be wonderful, because I chose someone who fit (no pun intended, well maybe a bit) me.
  2. Search for your curriculum at the FIT website. Home –> Academics–> Undergraduate Programs–> Fashion Merchandising Management–> Curriculum. This will help you have an idea of what the next two years of your life will look like. Minimum credits for a full-time student: 12, max credits per semester: 21.Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 6.18.17 PM
  3. Who doesn’t like ending the semester as early as possible to enjoy Xmas back with the family or just to explore NYC better (you nodding your head, pay attention NOW, will not regret)? As much as I love FIT, I am a metal to a magnet, I can feel the stronger pull to return back home early (long distance relationship, love of my life, target acquired) so I plan things to end early December. How? Well, (refer to the top quote haha) you look up the semester calendar. Look at what day is the last day, this fall the classes to end up the latest are Friday (sometimes can be Monday) classes, which means I plan my whole semester around NOT taking Friday classes (perks: long weekends, every weekend). Semester Calendar fall 2014
  4. Log in to MyFIT before your assigned date and time and look up at courses (use class search), days, time slots, availability and professor if noted (ratemyprofessor them). Create two mock schedules by u in excel and write down the CRN (course reference number, duh right 😛), this will make registering a one minute deal. You will log in, click on student tab, under online resources click Registration, choose semester, copy paste your CRN’s and done.Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 6.29.54 PM
  5. Check out what your major has to offer, I know International Trade & Marketing offers advisement tracks, where they suggest what courses you should take, depending on what your dream job is. Don’t be afraid to click around the website, or Google what you want to do after graduation (I know it seems far out and away, but better not let it take you by surprise).Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 6.33.59 PM
  6. Make an appointment with our (well now yours too, CONGRATS) Academic Advisement Center, they are happy to meet with you in person, online, or via telephone (convenient, yes!). They want to make your “academic experience as smooth and rewarding as possible” if that is not enough for you, at their front desk there is always free candy (no questions or comments just ransack the bowl haha).

Welcome to the beginning of an amazing chapter in your life! You will not regret this decision, so many doors will be opened for you that you will look back in hindsight and laugh at yourself ever even considering other options. Below, a peek into your great future: Greatness joke

Carpe Diem,