Roommate Contracts

Hi everyone!

If you’ll be dorming at FIT there’s a good chance you’ll have a roommate or two or three! One of the mandatory things your RA will have you do is sign a roommate contract, basically agreeing to how you plan to live together. It can be hard knowing what to talk about before moving in with future roommates if you’ve never had any, so here are some of my tips.

  1. Ground rules

I don’t like surprises so I usually ask my roommates to text if they have a visitor and I do the same. Also we usually let each other know if we won’t be home for the night or if we’re traveling – which is also a safety measure. It’s good to talk about things like when you typically go to sleep and wake up, especially in a small dorm room! Anything else you feel passionate about is good to address ahead of time, wether it be dish washing policy or on overnight guests.

  1. Household supplies

It’s good to figure out how you intend to split or divide the buying of household supplies. I’ve done both “I buy toilet paper then you buy next” as well as just going 50/50 on expenses. If you want to take the 50/50 route, the app Splitwise makes it really easy – I’ve been using it since freshman year and it has been great for both household stuff and for when I travel with friends. Deciding how you’ll handle household shared expenses can help make sure you never run out of toilet paper.

On the flipside, I would say someone should own things that don’t get used up outright – splitting the cost of physical items up front may be cheaper in the moment, but when it comes time to move out it’s hard to decide who keeps the coffee maker. For my freshman year dorm, I bought all the kitchen stuff and my roommate bought all the bathroom items. This way when we moved out we knew who was taking what.

  1. Cleaning and upkeep

Some people like to have a cleaning calendar where you trade off week to week, but personally my schedule has always been kind of wild so I usually agree with my roommate to clean up after ourselves, and then give the dorm/apartment a good cleaning once a week or so. Others like the set schedule of cleaning periodically. As for doing dishes, I like to have a different set of dishes than my roommate so I always remember to wash mine. If I see my bowl in the sink, I know that it’s mine to clean! To prevent creatures moving in, it’s best practice to wash dishes before going to bed every night.

Obviously there is so much more to discuss with your roommate before moving in, but make sure to iron out what you expect in terms of ground rules, money and cleaning. These are easy pain points to avoid by discussing up front!

Sam

Working While in School

Hi all,

Today marks 1 month of working my full time job! I’ve enjoyed my time so far, and am optimistic about growth and learning in the future. While I am working full time, I still have a few remaining classes at FIT. It has been interesting balancing a full time position with two classes, but thankfully the workload of both has been manageable. Although it can be tough going to school after a full day of work, meeting up with classmates to have dinner before has made it much more bearable. I think as the semester goes by however I’ll hit some snags – so far I haven’t needed to stay late at work or wanted extra time in the labs at school. There will definitely be some adjustments when that comes along.

I’ve had a lot of returning-education students ask if you can work full time while attending FIT for Production Management. Honestly, the only reason I am able to this semester is the fact that I only have 2 classes remaining. Up until now, I’ve needed at least one weekday on campus to accommodate all the classes. Production Management is a very hands on major, and taking online classes is not an option for the core curriculum and related area classes. Typically there is a night class option, so technically you could go after a day of work, but it can be hard to align your schedule so all 4 or 5 classes you need to take are spaced out just so. In other semesters, I could be a full time student and work 30-35 hours a week, but typically I would have a shift or two on the weekend, or a jam packed schedule. If you commit to it, you can do it, but I definitely struggled at times!

Working a lot of hours while also going to school is possible, but not easy!

Sam

Interviewing your Interviewer

Hi everyone,

I’ve written a lot about internships here, and I thought today I would talk about something I think is really important. When applying for jobs and internships, it can feel like you have to take whatever is offered to you. Reality is, whenever you are being interviewed for a position, you are also in essence interviewing them as well. If you are hired, you will be spending a significant amount of time working for and in the offices of the company and people who interview you. It’s important to ensure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision on whether or not to take a position.

Just because you interview for a job does not mean you have to take it. I would not recommend taking an interview for a position you have no intention of accepting, but sometimes the only way to know if you would not want to work for a company is going through the entire process. Do not feel like you are “wasting their time” if you decline an offer after reviewing everything. Truthfully, taking something you are not actually interested in is a disservice not only to you, but to the company as the likelihood you leave or dislike the work is very high. If you do take a position that is less than desirable to you, at least you will go in knowing the choice you have made and make the best of it.

So what does it mean to interview the company too? I would take into consideration the things that matter most to you. Do you want room to grow? Ask what opportunities might be available to you after 6 months or a year. Do you want to be out of work in time for class? Ask when people typically pack up for the day. I always ask “why do you like working for xyz company?” and “how long have you worked here?” It shows the company culture – and it can show a lot about what people think of it! I also ask what a typical day looks like – is it email heavy? Full of meetings? Depends on the season? It helps get a gauge on what to expect. Depending on the job function it can be good to also ask what you might be responsible for.

Additionally, it can help to gather information online too. Google the company, look at Glassdoor reviews, see what they post on LinkedIn. Something I personally find really important is liking the products I work on for the company. Especially in Product Development, what you work on can greatly impact what you do. Also, I enjoy working on things I’d want to wear. More fun that way!

Asking lots of questions along all steps of the process can help you best decide whether a position is a match for you or not. Go in with an open mind, but know your deal breakers and ideals!

What do you ask during job interviews?

Sam

What to Major in for Product Development

Hi everyone!

Recently I was asked what the difference between majoring in Production Management at FIT versus majoring in Fashion Business Management with a concentration in Product Development is, and I thought I would share my view on the pros and cons to both!

When I was in high school, I thought I would attend FIT for Fashion Business Management, one of our biggest majors. I intended on being a buyer, and selecting the assortment for stores. However, what I couldn’t have foreseen at the time was my enjoyment in the process of making those products to be sold. I ended up in Production Management by truthfully falling into it, but I love it! It has provided me so many interesting experiences and insights. If you are deciding between the two majors, here are some key differences to help you select what will be best for you.

Production Management is much smaller than Fashion Business Management (FBM), so we all get to know each other and the professors pretty well. I have enjoyed networking with fellow students, and having professors that know my name and face. However, since we are smaller, sometimes the class offerings can be more limited than FBM, which runs many more sections of a class than the 2 options Production has. Additionally FBM has more major-wide contests and specific opportunities, as well as more study abroad options. Also, you can’t hide in a small major – we all know each other and know who is skipping class!

I think the main content difference between FBM and Production Management is that FBM covers a much wider variety of jobs in the apparel industry, where as PM trains you to be the best product developer or production manager. Graduates of both programs can (and do) hold jobs in both the front end (sales, buying) and back end (development and manufacturing), but the methods of study are pretty different. At the end of the day, I think it comes down to if you like the nitty-gritty, hands on, too much information on a single topic (PM), or a broader, more balanced view of multiple aspects in a more conceptual way (FBM).

As a kid, I was always sewing and crafting and plotting and planning. I liked reading craft books to learn how to loop rugs, bake clay figures, or sew a hammock. Even if I had no intention of crocheting a teddy bear, I still wanted to know how they did it. I think this is why I like Production Management so much. We get to examine the entire process of making something so we can optimize it. We take pattern making classes, sewing classes, textile and testing classes to see how things are done. However, you can be an amazing product developer or production manager, and never have sewn a stitch in your life! Many FBM students prefer how the program is much more broad, doesn’t require staying in the sewing labs late, and has more information on the sales side of the industry. The Product Development specialization from FBM gives you the necessary knowledge to start a career in that area.

At the end of the day, if you are attending FIT with the ultimate goal of being a Product Developer, both FBM and Production Management are great choices. I think the main differences are size and range of topics. If you want a broader understanding, more flexible class schedule, additional programs and study abroad choices, and to be more conceptual/less down and dirty, FBM’s Product Development specialization might be a better choice. If you want a more tailored, close knit, deep dive into the entire process instead of just an overview, with hands on work and experience in a multitude of facets in garment creation, Production Management might be more fun for you.

No path in fashion is a straight one, and you never know where you might end up!

Sam

Last Semester Goals

Hi everyone!

This week was the first week of my last semester at FIT.  It has both flown by and taken forever to get here!  I’m sad and excited at the same time.  I have been a student for the past 15 or so years of my life – and while I hope to never stop learning, it will be different no longer being enrolled in classes or working towards graduation.  So, I would like to make the most of this semester!  Below are some goals:

  1. Use my student resources more

FIT has amazing labs, computer programs and resources for students, and I regret not using them more!  I’d like to spend some time in the sewing lab, making something!  Additionally, FIT provides the Adobe creative suite free to students, which is super expensive otherwise.  Before I lose access to it I would like to refine my skills more by creating more personal projects in Adobe Illustrator, and finally learning how to effectively use Photoshop.

2. Keep my GPA up

I will admit, since I already have my post-grad job lined up the motivation to have a good GPA has dropped.  However, I would like to still do my best!  Even though GPA is truly just a number, there is satisfaction in trying for the highest number.  I’m going to work away at my studies and homework for my own personal GPA goal.

3. Balance

Since I am working full time this semester, as well as finishing my FIT degree I would like to try to be balanced in my life.  In past semesters I have let my social life slide in order to accommodate work and school, but I’d like to leave a weekend day for fun every week.  Wether it’s going out for dinner or a movie night with friends, just forcing time to be not working and not studying.

What are your goals for this semester?  Let me know!

Sam