I really wanted to share my experience working at the HBC Global Art Collection I went to on Tuesday. Out of the blue a girl I met through connections, texted me and asked me if I would be interested in helping at the gala event. Obviously they were going to pay, well they were paying really well $60/h, so I couldn’t really refuse. I once again want to stress how important it is to start networking, and start building up your contact list. You don’t know how many times, I got to incredible opportunities, through random people.
The event was at Saks Fifth Avenue downtown in HBC brand new headquarters. I was never there, but the building was brand new and looked incredible, you should definitely check it out! Anyways they bring me up to the art exposition, and tell me that I’m going to be the art specialist, which basically means that if anyone has questions about the art they ask me. Obviously they thought I knew stuff about the art exposed there, but it was the first time I’ve ever seen it. Just to give you a visual the Guggenheim has 50’000 square feet of hanging space, and they had 500’000! My friend told me not to worry, that she was going to give me a tour of the art exhibition and there shouldn’t be a lot of people asking questions. While she’s giving me the tour, the two art curators come and join us and start explaining to me details about each photos. It was great I felt like I had a general idea of what each painting entailed. The cocktail party started at 6 and finished at 9. Everything went really well, a few people asked me questions, but were so kind to me and always told me I was doing a great job, which help boost my confidence a little.
Anyways moral of the story is that don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, it can be scary at first, but it pays at the end, because you feel like you’ve accomplished something. For me this was the most terrifying thing that could of ever happen to me, but I made the best out of it, I showed my passion and interest for art and looking back I’m so glad I went. Not only that, the art curators for HBC were so impressed that they want to keep in touch with me, for future opportunities.
I decided to interview Mari a recent fashion design graduate. I thought her point of views were really interesting and she had some great advice that I thought could help a lot of future/current students at FIT.
Why did you pick fashion design? I took classes and worked at a fashion design studio in Seattle for about 6 years. I always knew I wanted to do something artistic, and I really loved how hands on fashion design was. Which made it really easy when picking out schools.
How did you pick FIT? The teacher at my studio went to FIT. When I visited different schools, the students and teachers at FIT really inspired me and strengthened my decision to pick FIT. Being that FIT was in New York was a huge bonus too.
Did FIT meet your expectations? For the most part it did. In the technical aspect of making clothes, I found it challenging and my skills improved tremendously. Coming from a fine arts background, I hoped that the classes would of been more creative. But for an overall education, FIT gave me great knowledge about the industry and also great connections.
What’s next for you now? I decided that costume design is something I really enjoy and want to pursue in. So now I’m looking for jobs in costume. I’m also keeping my options open, because I love activewear, so maybe something in that direction too is something I’m considering.
Has FIT helped you choose this new direction? Yes, I would of never thought of costume design as an industry. FIT showed me that costume design is a possible career option. It also gave me a good base to get me there in terms of skills, connections and the ability to create a concept from start to finish.
What did you think of the Art Concentration? It was a really intense program, but something I really wanted to do. There was a lot of drawing and coming up with concepts, which I feel are really important skills to have in this industry. I loved that at the end of the program, I came out with a great portfolio, that I am really proud of and feel confident showing at interviews.
Do you have any advice for future/current fashion design students? Take advantage of the teachers and the advice and knowledge they have. They know what they’re talking about and have great connections in the industry. Don’t take yourself too seriously, enjoy the freedom to be creative. And most importantly be confident in your ideas!
If you want to check out Mari’s work maristudio.us
I just want to start by saying that you should all take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, because you never know what else might come from it. Although sometimes it might not seem as glamours as you’ve imagined, you never know what you might gain from it. Being at FIT you are exposed to and offered so many great opportunities to take part in and be involved in events you’ve dreamed about attending.
I’m mentioning this, because on Sunday and Monday I had the amazing opportunity to work at the Met Gala, a job I got through FIT. I got to work with the event planner to set up the event and have a sneak peak before anyone else at what the Met Gala was going to look like inside. Although it wasn’t easy work, being able to work in the same room where Anna Wintour was, made it easier:P That being said, I thought I was going to do my job and then be sent home, but then the event planners offered me another job to work at the Cipriani where Condé Nast was having an event. And from that I got offered to be part of another event this weekend, which I was a little hesitant about accepting at first, because of finals coming up. But then I remembered that it’s a once in a life time opportunity and who knows what might come from it. A lot of people told me that I shouldn’t say yes to everything, but to be honest, us as students aren’t in a position yet to start being picky about what we want and don’t want to do. We have to have as much experience as we can, good and bad. Because that’s how we grow and learn from them.
From one job I got through FIT, two others came from it and who knows maybe more. That’s why I really recommend you be involved and open to jobs and any opportunities FIT offers you, because FIT have some great connections and who knows what else might come from some not so glamorous jobs. You never know what kind of surprises life has in store for you!
So for me it’s getting down to the nitty gritty, I graduate in one more semester! It’s so exciting but there are something’s I wish I knew before I started.
#1. When I started FIT I was an Interior Design Student, I loved it, it was everything I could have imaged for my real job. But the truth is I got my first actual job in the field and realized it wasn’t for me. So I switched majors, to ITM or international trade and marketing. I currently have my first job in marketing and its awesome, but nothing like what I expected (what a surprise). So life lesson number one, you major isn’t your career!
#2. Being a full time student is hard enough without thinking about working. But regardless if it’s full time or part time experience is always great. The more experience you get throughout college, the more opportunities and networks you will have for after college. This is one way you will know what they say about college students isn’t true, you will find a job!
#3. Lastly take Professor Landman’s English class! It helped prepare my resume so much. I have a lot of experience and am great at different things but I didn’t know how to put it all on paper. This class taught me so many things that I will use in the work place.
Regardless of where you are in life things might not always turn out how you planned and that’s okay. This was something I had a hard time adjusting to in the beginning. But work hard, it pays off and if you’re at FIT we both know you’re a hard talented worker already!
During my junior year of high school, my parents began to encourage me to look into colleges for my desired major of advertising and marketing. By the end of my senior year, I had applied to a total of 20 colleges in which I was accepted (I clearly kept my options open.)
Although I don’t suggest applying to more than 10 schools, it exists as one of my greatest accomplishments and gave me a broad perspective of what to look for when it came to my home for the next four years. I had accepted admission into Penn State and withdrew my deposit as soon as I got my acceptance letter from FIT. I knew in my heart I would have opportunities here I wouldn’t have anywhere else.
For starters, FIT’s major and related area courses are designed to have students delve into their choice of study from the very beginning. As an AMC student, I started taking marketing classes while completing prerequisites for other courses within my first semester. This allowed me to learn about the industry much sooner than I would have if I went to another school with a different structure.
In addition to major area courses, the professors teaching students are industry professionals. The professors I have had at FIT have worked in their field for 30+ years and have many connections within the industry. Networking with professors for potential internships, jobs or event opportunities is a great way to get your foot in the door when it comes to industry experience.
One of the main reasons I chose FIT over every other school I applied to is because it is located in the heart of Manhattan. Arguably the business capital of America, Manhattan is the centerfold of opportunities to make a name for yourself. Traveling among brand headquarters every day, while representing the FIT brand, demonstrates your potential as a college go-getter looking for future job opportunities post-college.
New York City is the world’s most competitive city full of endless opportunities. FIT will prepare you for the workplace and prove to employers just how valuable you are!