Tag Archives: tips and tricks

Finishing an Internship. Now What?

As the semester comes to a close, many students, including myself are finishing off our semester long internships.  While this is my first internship through the school, I think there are a few standard requirements to say goodbye to your internship and leave on a good note.  Here’s my advice:

  1. Thank you note.  This is pretty standard, but it is important that you thank your supervisor(s) for giving you this opportunity.  A handwritten note given on the last day of your internship is always better than an email.  You don’t want to just leave without something physically tangible.  Whether your internship was amazing or not what you expected, you still learned what you liked and didn’t like.  You got something out of it, whether it was this grand wealth of knowledge or information to contribute to your future best-selling novel about internships.  Who knows?
  2. A gift.  While a thank you note is pretty much required, a gift is not.  It is though a very nice gesture to show your appreciation for your supervisor.  Whether you’re getting Baked by Melissa cupcakes for the whole department, our an individual Crumb’s cupcake, show your appreciation for your higher ups.
  3. A letter of recommendation and/or reference.  One of the most important things about an internship experience is what you learn and who you meet.  Having a letter of recommendation that you can bring to future interviews is a massive asset.  Ask your supervisor kindly for a letter of recommendation when you leave your internship rather than 6 months down the road and 24 hours before your interview.  The same goes with a reference.  Some supervisors may not want to be bothered, so check with your supervisor first and ask them what sort of communication they are okay with.  Do they prefer a phone call or email?  Be sure to ask!
  4. End on a good note.  Many sayings derive from “you’re only as good as your last (insert word)”.  This goes for internships too.  Just because it’s your last day or week, that doesn’t mean you should slack off or not take on new projects.  Give it your all as if it was your first week.  Be sure to leave on a positive note so that #3 will turn out in your favor.
  5. Reflect on what you learned. Internships are all about the learning experience so reflect on what you gained from your semester.  Decide what you want from your next internship and if you changed your career path or mindset compared to the beginning of your internship.
  6. Update your LinkedIn. This goes hand in hand with #5.  While the internship is still fresh in your mind, update your LinkedIn with the type of assignments and tasks that you did at your internship.  It’ll be much easier now when it’s fresh in your mind compared to a year from now because you finally reset your password!

Happy end of the semester!
Ashley

Love Your Library!

The FIT library is more than just a room with bookshelves; it has more resources than most students realize! Of course, the Gladys Marcus Library houses an impressive collection of print books pertaining to fashion, art, architecture, etc., but it also has books on every subject including history, psychology, and literature. There is also a whole section dedicated to DVDs of movies (classic as well as modern) and TV shows. In addition, if there is a book or journal that you cannot find in-house, FIT is part of the Interlibrary Loan system, so you can get anything you need! Before heading up there, here is some information about the various services offered:

See, we have stacks too!

See, we have stacks too!

Even a ton of books about economics

Even a ton of books about economics

Quiet Study Space

Quiet Study Space

Picture FilesPicture Files

The Picture Files are relatively new to the library. You can browse through the extensive collection freely and even check out up to 20 images at once! These can be extremely helpful for Illustration and Fine Arts students who need references. We also have access to the FitDigital Image Library, which is a digital collection of images from the Museum at FIT, the Special Collections, student and staff work, images used in Art History classes and the Designer Files collection.

Magazine

Vogue spreads from the 2000s vs the 1930s

Vogue spreads from the 2000s vs the 1930s

Magazine Archive

The Gladys Marcus library subscribes and keeps an archive of numerous magazines, mainly focused on design. The periodicals can be checked out for two hours either for reading or doing research. FIT also has a backlog of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar dating back to the very first issues. These are collected in books chronologically and can be looked at in the library at your leisure. We also have access to the Vogue Archives online that can be extra useful when you search within the collection for specific words or phrases. Designer Files can also be checked out. These are tear sheet collections of centered on a specific designer.

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Art Reference Collection

The Art Reference collection has the most inspiring books in the library. It is pretty much all of those beautiful coffee table books that are too expensive to buy yourself. The subjects range into all types of design, not just fashion. These books cannot be taken out of the library, but thanks to the scanners and copiers you can bring the images home.

Special Collections

The Special Collections houses over 500,000 books, periodicals, illustrations and designer scrapbooks. Any student or outside researcher can make an appointment, but you have to request a subject or time period you want to look at, you cannot just browse like in the Art Reference Collection or Picture Files.

Databases

In addition to print collections, the library subscribes to online databases that are incredibly helpful for research papers. The databases range across all types of topics from fashion history and forecasting to psychology and international trade. The FIT library’s website collects all of the databases in one place so they are easy to find and use. These databases are trustworthy sources for information and can be accessed at any time through the library website.

StyleCat

StyleCat is the main search engine used in the Gladys Marcus library. It can be accessed anywhere via the library website, but there are also computers stationed around the library with it open. It’s pretty basic: you search one or more terms and a list of all the books in the collection that relate pop-up with the call number and how many copies there are and which are checked out.

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FIT also uses the stairwells of the library as a gallery showcasing student and faculty work

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A main work area in the library

A friendly student librarian

A friendly student librarian

If you have more questions about these services, a librarian is always available to help at the desk or you can call 212-217-4400. If you have a question when the library is closed we have this handy feature called Ask a Librarian where you can call/text/send a message.

–Emily–

You’re Here, Now What?

You’ve made it to New York!! Tall buildings, bright lights, how exciting! …Now what? All your friends and family are back home. Your roommate is kinda cool, but you two don’t exactly “click”. Despite New York’s reputation as one of the loneliest cities there are many ways to meet cool people!

If you are missing being an athlete and bonding with a team, you can look for inter-city sports teams. If venturing off-campus is a little too daunting for you, FIT also has classes anyone can attend including yoga, spin, kickboxing and open gyms for basketball.

A fantastic way to meet people and give back to your new home is by volunteering. Believe it or not, this megalithic city doesn’t just run itself. The City has a program set up to match volunteers with types of organizations they are interested in working with, like the environment, community/neighborhoods, health, education, etc. Volunteer Match is another organization that finds opportunities close to you (but you can also sort based on your interests).

New York is a city full of artists. If you want to expand your creativity or be inspired by others there are ample opportunities to see artists at work. A fun and safe environment to overcome stage fright is The Open Mic Downstairs – a great place to meet other actors, comedians, singers, etc. It is also only $3 if you want to just see talented people letting themselves go. If spoken word (with some comedy) is more your style “Bareburger Unplugged” is a place also meant to be a safe environment for artists to experiment, and they have some of the best organic burgers on the island. Another fun way to meet people is to go to a paint night.  Located all over the city, and almost every day, this is no pressure studio time (the paintings they give as the sample are more like guidelines I say).

It can be kind of awkward to start a conversation with a random person out of the blue, so the easiest way to do it is to have something to talk about right away, like something you have in common. The best way to have this is to attend events that are centered around shared interests. New York Comic Con is one of the biggest and most famous example, although tickets can cost hundreds of dollars and sell out within minutes. Meetup facilitates meetings of people with similar interests, and extend all through New York City, not just Manhattan. These groups are incredibly diverse with runners, a Capella singers, “foodie couples”, and Jewish parents of Astoria (I don’t know if that last one would apply to anyone reading this, but hey, FIT has an incredibly diverse student body!). The coolest “meetup” idea I’ve seen, which I totally want to try ASAP, is meal sharing. Eat With puts up times that chefs in your area are hosting dinner parties or cooking classes. Not only is it a great way to have a fantastic, authentic  meal, but it is an awesome resource for students who cannot get home for the holidays, but still want to have a group meal.

For even more ideas try Time Out NY. Do any of you have suggestions?

–Emily–

Apartment Hunting

If you have been keeping up with the blog, you’d know that I am planning on living off campus in an apartment next year.  I spent my entire spring break looking, having appointments, and well…stressing out.  Here are some tips that I have for those of you looking for apartments in the future:

  • Download StreetEasy: StreetEasy a website that lists apartments on the market in your area.  You can put in all of your criteria as far as budget, neighborhoods, amenities, etc.  It’s an incredible website and it also has an app so you can constantly be checking new listings, saving apartments to your favorites on your account, and reaching out to the buildings themselves.
  • Be prepared: Myself and my roommate didn’t use a broker because of the amounts of research that was done in advanced.  For a year now, I have been taking notes in my phone of buildings that I pass by and writing down their addresses to look up later.  While you don’t have to be constantly on the watch and taking notes for an entire year, it is good to not start from scratch, but StreetEasy also makes it simple if you don’t have a ton of apartment requirements.
  • Talk things out beforehand: While this may seem like common sense, be sure that everyone involved is on the same page with what you are looking for not only in an apartment but as a roommate as well.
  • Don’t compromise: Remain firm in what you want in an apartment.  If you know that you are going to be miserable commuting from the Upper East Side (6 to the S to the 1…no thank you), then don’t do it.  Half of the battle with going to school is getting there!  And if you are an Art & Design major, the supplies that you have to bring with you can make a simple commute 100000x worse, especially at prime rush hour times.
  • Ask questions: Ask whomever you made the appointment with tons of questions!  Ask about what’s included in the rent, how long the rent would be, the application process, the necessary documents, if there have been any issues with bedbugs or cleanliness, the laundry room, and the environment of the building.  You don’t want to move in and be unhappy now, do you?

I hope these tips helped!  Feel free to ask any questions about apartments!

Ashley

#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

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–

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

 

 

 

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

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–

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