Category Archives: Off Campus

Building Your Portfolio In The Summer


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!



Fun on a Budget in NYC

Hi everyone!

Even if you have only visited NYC, you’ll notice how quickly costs add up! When you’re a student on a tight budget, this can make having fun seem like an expensive treat. However, there are many fun things to do for little to no cash.

Free Museum Days
Many NYC museums have free days, or nights when you can pay as you wish. If there’s one you’re interested in going to, check on their website. They even might have student discounts or special events. MoMA has free admission for SUNY students (which means an FIT id gets you in for free!) and many other places have similar arrangements.

Cheap Eats
Want to go out with friends on a budget? I would recommend grabbing dollar slice pizza and taking it to a park, or checking out Chinatown. The good eats abound in Chinatown, my friends and I are really big fans of Shanghai Dumpling on Mott St. Get their soup dumplings- it’ll change your life and the shared plates system means you get to try a lot of things while paying less than you would for one meal out most places.

Take a Walk
When I first moved to NYC, I would walk EVERYWHERE! Since where I worked was a 30 minute walk, instead of taking the subway I would just grab my sneakers and go on foot. It’s great exercise, and saved me quite a bit in the long run. Additionally, it’s one of my favorite ways to find new places in the city. Passing by a cafe or cool shop while walking gives you the freedom to pop in for a bit and check it out. Save on metro fees and turn on a podcast to go – the savings do add up!

Picnic in the Park
Enjoy a nice day in the park with friends! Grab some snacks or make a few sandwiches and hang out in one of NYC’s many parks. Bring a deck of cards and a speaker and enjoy the outdoors!

College Student Potluck
My personal favorite- instead of everyone bringing a full dish to share, each person brings an ingredient and everyone cooks together. It’s a lot easier than finding time to prepare in advance and it makes for a cheap and easy dinner! My friends and I have made pizza (one person grabs crust, the other sauce, etc) and sushi amongst other things.

These are just a few ways to have fun on a budget! As much as I love a good $5 latte (oops), there are so many ways to enjoy the city and hang out with friends on the cheap.

What ways have you found to have fun on a budget?

Roaming For a Day in Rome

Happy Friday Everyone!

The semester is soon to end and so is my stay here in Florence, I’m quite sad!

But before I leave I will share with you my last trips, thoughts, and recommendations for those of you who are planning to study abroad in the FIT in Florence program.

This week I did a day trip to Rome, how exciting right? However, a day isn’t enough!

Spanish steps in Rome

Spanish steps in Rome

Started the trip with a whole pizza for lunch and soon after made my way to the Roman Baroque style Spanish Steps, with a beautiful church at the top of them overlooking the city. Right after we followed the sound of the cascading water from the famous Trevi Fountain, filled with many tourists throwing their coins for good-luck.

Trevi Fountain in Rome

Trevi Fountain in Rome

My next stop was the Pantheon, a great monument to visit, free of charge and a must see! Once inside there is no way to describe the awe when viewing one of the greatest masterpieces in architecture.

I walked and walked around, not having any place in mind, just exploring the city.

Vatican City

Vatican City

My last stop was the Vatican City, a few hour wait in the line to enter the walled city-state, but definitely worth to visit. The home of the Roman Catholic Church and home for the Pope, full of gardens, fountains, and a total of 11 Vatican Museums and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. My favorite? The Sistine Chapel, a world known masterpiece, a work that I’ve seen and studied so many times in art history classes. With numerous famous frescoes, and some of the most vivid colors and precious details. It will take you a few minutes to discern the grandiosity of this masterpiece.

Rome, the eternal city, which you will definitely need more than one day to discover all gems it has to offer.



Until next time,



Intern Series: What is an Internship in Fashion Like?

Hi Everyone!

In my time at FIT, I have done four internships at fashion companies of all shapes and sizes. A question I often get asked is “what do you actually do?” This post is a bit about what my experience has been like interning in Production Management and Product Development.

Daily Tasks
There are usually some things you will do every day you come in, whether it is checking all the DHL shipments or filing paperwork. They seem insignificant but learning how to maintain simple office tasks is really helpful for when you have larger projects in addition to these small tasks. Busy work doesn’t disappear when you graduate!

I put this in quotes because organization can take all forms, whether it is cleaning out the sample closet or making a reference binder. I personally enjoy organization projects, as it gives you a chance to see a lot of documents, samples and information you might not otherwise have access to as a student.

Making the Most
When you are at an internship, you might have downtime. This is a good chance to ask around to other people if they need help! Sometimes someone who is not your direct supervisor might need help with a project, and you asking what you can do to help them might really improve their day!

Throughout the day you will get a variety of tasks, from small to large, projects you can complete in a day or that might take a few days to work. I’ve done all sorts of things, from logging all the cut tickets for a given season to making digital sketches of garments for a line sheet.

Special Fun!
This varies from company to company and program to program. During my summer internship at Guess? (read more about that here) they organized special events for us to go to
I’ve also gotten to go to holiday parties, received unused samples as gifts, and made great friends with the fellow interns.
You never know what little perks will brighten up your day! When you come into an internship with no expectations, you will always be surprised.

Every internship is really different, and I have learned so much from each.  No matter how simple or trivial a task may seem, there is always something to be learned from it.



A Trip To Turin!


Today I’m going to share with all of you the experience of our weekend trip to Turin, Italy!

During our study abroad program we have a couple of academic trips, one of them for this semester was going to Turin. Turin is located a couple of hours by train from Florence.

As we arrived and walked the French-styles streets of Turin, from almost every spot, my eye was always caught by the most iconic symbol of this city, the Mole Antonelliana. Originally designed to be a synagogue, now hosts the Museo Nazionale Del Cinema. It is considered to be the tallest building in the world without steel reinforcement!

An outside picture of the Mole Antonelliana

An outside picture of the Mole Antonelliana

We visited the Museo Nazionale del Cinema and being guided by our art history professor we experienced the evolution of film. With a maze-like and multi-level exhibition you are for sure not going to be bored. From pre-cinematographic optical devices, earlier and current film technologies, stage items from early Italian movies and interactive displays! After the tour we took an elevator that ran through the heart of the building all the way to the top. A breathtaking view of 360 degrees of the city was awaiting.  This was definitely a highlight of the trip, with a view to the Italian Alps in the distance!

View of Turin from the top of the Mole Antonelliana

View of Turin from the top of the Mole Antonelliana

The next day, we visited The Chapel of the Holy Shroud, a Baroque-style Roman Catholic chapel connected to the Palazzo Royale.  The chapel was constructed to house the Shroud of Turin, a religious relic

that many believe to be the burial shroud of Jesus. It’s history and architecture are beautiful and very inspiring!

Architecture of the Chapel of the Shroud of Turin

Architecture of the Chapel of the Shroud of Turin

This trip was culturally rich and if you ever have the chance to study in Italy, I definitely suggest you add this lovely city to your travel itinerary!

Ciao, Maria