Category Archives: Courses

Becoming a Part Time Student

Hi everyone,

It’s my last week of being a full time college student!  My last semester, Spring 2020, I will be only taking 2 classes at FIT.  I’m really excited to have more time in my schedule to work, and start a full time job hopefully.

During my last few years at FIT I had tried to stack classes and knock out as much as possible, and as I looked at my upcoming classes needed for senior year I realized I could be part time my last semester.  Full time is 12+ credits, typically 4 or so classes, and part time is 11 and a half credits a semester and below.  Instead of paying a lump sum for a semester, part time students pay per credit taken.  Next semester I have two classes, which are 6 credits total.  I had done a lot of classes ahead so if I needed to make anything up to graduate on time I could, but the side benefit of paying less this last semester is pretty sweet.

This option isn’t for everyone (some scholarships and aid require you to be full time), but for me it worked out perfectly and I am excited for the flexibility it brings.  If I get hired at a company I am able to work full time.  It will be nice to cushion the transition from college to working after graduation.  And who needs free time anyways?

At the end of the day, I think it’s always important to be looking for ways to help yourself!  Wether it is taking extra classes, spacing out classes, getting tough subjects for you out of the way, or taking a semester off, see how you can make your college experience the best for YOU.

Sam

 

Internship Class at FIT

Hi everyone!

Ever wonder what it is like taking the internship class at FIT? I have done it twice (once in my Associates degree and once in Bachelors), and will share a bit about it below!

Why take the internship class?
In New York State, work must be compensated. This means that you either need to be paid or receive credit in exchange for the work you do at an internship.

Receiving pay at an internship might take some advancement in your career or academics (they are more competitive) which leaves interning for credit as the usual starting place for some students. My first official internship was unpaid, which meant I had to take the FIT internship class to receive school credit while I did it. I had to work my part time job on the side, so it wasn’t ideal, but having it on my resume really did help me land future paid positions so I think it was a worthy tradeoff.

How do you get the internship?
Once registering for the class, you will meet with your internship counselor. This person will help you find a position and fill out the appropriate paperwork, but at the end of the day you will do all the legwork of applying, interviewing and co-ordinating. This is all part of the learning process too in my opinion, as it is pretty similar to what it’s like when you apply for a job outside of school. I’m a big fan of the FIT database of internships though, as it narrows down the field to companies looking to hire YOU!

What do you learn?
As you are required to spend 121 cumulative hours (this does vary depending on the exact internship class) on the “job site,” the actual class itself only meets 6 times over the semester as a touch base and career development opportunity. This means you spend about 10 hours a week (roughly a day and a half, but some people do more) at the office you intern in, and every third week or so you have the class.

In those 6 class meetings, you go over things like office etiquette, interviewing tips, resume workshops and sometimes have guest speakers. The instructor also has your back at your internship – if anything goes wrong, FIT can step in and help make things right. However this is rare and more insurance that you have a good experience than anything else.

Is it worth it?
Well, if your degree requires it, yes! And even if it doesn’t, taking the class can help you better determine what you are interested in while you are still in school, so after graduation you have a better picture of what you really want to do. Working for “free” can be tough sometimes, but it also forced me to try and get the most out of it possible. I asked lots of questions, did lots of snooping, and got a better idea of what actually happens in an office. Also, earning 3 credits while working was a fun change from instead sitting a classroom three hours a week for a semester.

Overall, the internship class at FIT was a good way to get my foot in the industry door, and gave me more confidence to search on my own. After interning my 4th semester (Sophomore year), I got an offer to intern at Guess in LA. I credit a lot of that to having the chance to add to my resume and improve my communication skills with the internship class. You never know what will lead to your next move!

Where do you want to intern?
Sam

“What do you want to do after school?”

After sitting through my first week of classes this year, the professors always seem to ask us “what do you want to do after school?” While this question also exists outside of the classroom, I think it’s especially important in school. Trying to decide what to do with your career and life can be incredibly challenging – and chances are you won’t figure it out for a long time. I know I change my mind all the time. But I think one of the best things you can do for yourself – and for your professors – is to have an answer for when they ask you what you want to do.

FIT professors are really passionate about helping you find your place in the industry, and part of that is them knowing what you’re interested in. They might have connections and know of internships that could give you insight into what you’re wanting to learn more about. When you answer this question, you aren’t signing a contract – you’re free to change your mind. The important thing is to stay curious and stay working towards a goal, even if that goal shifts.

I have been in class with essentially the same people for 3 years straight. And nearly every semester, they have to answer the question “what do you want to do after FIT?” I cannot think of a single student who has kept the same answer since freshman year. I know my answer has changed. College is a chance to learn about your strengths and weaknesses, about the industry you want to work in, about the work you might have to do. There’s nothing special about being stagnant in your aspirations – adapting and changing is part of growth!

So have an answer for the question – even if you’re unsure it’s really what you want to do. You can change your mind at any time.

What do you want to do after FIT? Leave a comment below!
Sam

Building Your Portfolio In The Summer

Hello TIGERS,

The heat waves are striking once again this summer and sometimes it is not so easy to roam around the streets of NYC. However, your time at home doesn’t have to be a waste, so if you have any spare hours you can use them to continue building your portfolio!

It is not easy, at least for me, to be on top of all semester projects and at the same time updating my fashion website. So, I take time in the summer to refresh my website and add all the recently completed projects. Like this, I can give my undivided attention to details when it comes to designing a well-rounded website. With this comes along, photo shoots, yes. Since I am in the Fashion Design major, my projects consist of designing and sewing garments. A lot of times we get handed projects back to back and don’t have enough time to do a more professional photo shoot of the final outcome. So, during the summer, I use this time to get the shots I need.

I also take some time to dig into research. Research for new collections, designs, and even history research. You can never learn too much, and the more you know the easier it gets when it comes to starting projects, specifically in the fashion field, themes, concepts, ideas all come faster.

You may have your portfolio all set by the time you step into summer, but it is never a bad idea to go back and check that everything is at its best for when you need to show all the amazing projects you have done!

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer. Feel free to comment how you spend your summer time!

Best,

Maria

Taking a Foreign Language while Abroad

Hi everyone!

This past semester when I was studying abroad I continued to work on my Japanese minor. While I really enjoyed taking the class in a different country and getting a different perspective, there were some unexpected challenges along the way! Here are some things to consider if you take a language class abroad.

1. Different pace or syllabus
I found that the class I took as a comparable class to Japanese 4 at FIT was a bit behind in grammar, but way ahead in vocab! I knew all the grammar concepts we covered, but definitely had to hustle to catch up on vocab we were expected to know. I would recommend checking the syllabus to see what will be covered, as each teacher has a different teaching pace.  Additionally, we were using a different textbook.  In a language, where everything builds upon itself, knowing where you stand in the classes comprehension is really important!

2. Similarities to local language
Japanese and Cantonese (the local language where I studied) have a lot of overlap in the characters used! Thankfully the professor understood that I hadn’t been writing in the system since primary school, and allowed me to use other systems of writing. I did try my best to study as many characters as possible while there, even though we were not tested on them like we are at FIT. If you find you’re behind in an area, be sure to discuss with your professor and do your best to catch up.

3. More opportunities to practice!
In NYC I barely get a chance to speak Japanese, but while I was abroad I got to travel and test my speaking abilities! This was by far the most beneficial experience for me, I learned I still have a long ways to go when it comes to numbers- which is good to know. I can now focus more studying on that.

It can be really difficult to take a language where local students have more experience in it.  My friends taking Mandarin ran into a lot of issues, since Cantonese and Mandarin are a lot closer than English and Mandarin.  They definitely had to work even harder to make sure they kept up!  Once you get past the first level of a language, the classes do get more challenging, but I think learning a second (or third!) language is worth the extra effort you have to put in.

Overall, I would really recommend taking a language as a minor at FIT, and working on it while you are abroad if you have the chance.  It is a lot of work sometimes, but it looks great on your resume, and being able to communicate with someone you might not have been able to is incredibly rewarding.

What language would you minor in?

Sam