Category Archives: Academics

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

Senioritis – Dealing With It

As we are nearing the end of the semester with only one month left of school, I am falling into the classic “senioritis” tendencies. This entire semester I have let my time and work management skills slip and it has had its consequences. I have not been keeping track of what projects are due or when their deadlines are, and I have been doing the homework just to get it done, not to learn from it. This is really unfortunate because if I take a step back, I can see that I am in a really exciting part of my time at FIT and I am not allowing myself to enjoy it.

This is a time when I should be pulling together all of the skills I’ve learned here at FIT and to practice them at their full potential. Instead, I’ve had this mindset that I am “done” with my academics and that I am ready to enter the industry full-time. While it might be true that I am ready and able to work full-time, it doesn’t mean that I should brush aside my schooling.

The first 3 years at FIT taught me all of the technical knowledge that I need to know, but this last year is about putting that knowledge to use. It is about how well you understand the information and how well you can put it into effect. It is also aimed at a managerial role, so this is a year where I can look past where I’ll be when I enter the work force and project myself to a higher position. This allows for a rare chance that I probably won’t have for several years where I can get in a managerial mindset and play out how certain decision affect a company and the work that ensues for the teams that I will be a part of in the real world.

I lost my source of motivation because I thought I had reached the end goal, but I still have lessons to learn in my last year. I need to change my thinking to allow for growth from my remaining classes, because it would truly be a shame if I or anyone went through their last year and wasted it.

 

Have you ever experienced “senioritis”? How did you deal with it?

“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

Welcome 1st Year Students!

Hi everyone!

Welcome back – or if it’s your first year at FIT, welcome!  I know it is a big transition going from high school to college, so I have a few (FIT specific) tips!

 

Make friends in your major

Of course don’t limit yourself to your major, but having a few people whom you can talk to about classes, homework and major related things has been probably the most important thing I’ve done. Especially in small majors (my program, Production Management, has 50 student a year roughly) knowing the people you’ll be spending the next 2 to 4 years with helps! It’s also a key part of networking. These classmates are your peers now, and also after you graduate- you might be working with them some day. Even just knowing peoples names and being friendly can help you and them out a lot.

 

Take a walk

You’re in NYC! If you didn’t grow up here, and even if you did, there is so much to see and do! Check out Hudson Yards, check out the floral district, check out Madison Square Park. Walk the Highline, stroll Chelsea Piers. There’s so much to see in a 15 block radius.

 

Poke around campus

It took me way too long to find the student lounge at school- I wish I had walked around the halls more and seen what areas for students there are. Sometimes it’s hard to know what happens in buildings where your classes aren’t. There is even a bridge between the library and the main classrooms on campus. Don’t be like me and find all the good spots your last year! Enjoy them all 4.

 

Looking forward

Think you might want to be an RA? Now is a great time to start the process! Talk to your RA and find out what steps you’d need to take – there are some long lead time requirements so it is important to understand them if you think this is something you’d want to do. The process starts earlier than you’d think, so start exploring the option now if you’re interested!

 

Enjoy your first year at FIT, and don’t be afraid to invest in yourself.  Make time to study, make friends at your pace, and enjoy what the city has to offer.  There is no “right” way to be an FIT student – we’re all unconventional students following our uncommon goals!

See you around campus,

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