Fashion Studies (BA)What would you say has been the most surprising thing you learned at Columbia?
I think the most surprising thing I learned at Columbia was that your passion and career truly reside in your own hands. If you're eager enough to follow your passions and create your own path to a career in your industry, Columbia will help you get there. I would have never imagined I could accomplish all the things I did at Columbia when I first came transferred to the school. By being in the classes and engaging with the professors and other students you realize how driven everyone is in the school. Columbia also hosts different career fairs that help accelerate your career and networking skills which was so helpful to me. By the end of my time at Columbia, I felt extremely confident going out into the work force.
What experiences or courses at Columbia do you feel have been most beneficial?
The most beneficial courses I took as a Fashion Studies student was the Sourcing & Supply Chain course and the Fashion Lab course I took in my last semester. My sourcing course at Columbia really taught me about the importance of production and product development in the fashion industry. Without that course, I don't know if I would have been as interested in product development as I am now! That course helped me secure a summer internship with Kohl's corporate in summer 2019. Fashion Lab taught me about the consumer researching side of fashion. My team and I spent a whole semester looking at one target market group and their buying behaviors. This course taught me about market research and the future of retail.
What are your plans for after graduation?
My plans for after graduation are to begin my career in Product Development for Kohl's corporate in Milwaukee. However, because of all the change occurring in the world it seems my plans may change. It is important to know as a graduate that the retail climate can change at any minute. Graduates must learn to evolve and adapt as the world changes around them in order to be the most qualified professional possible.
Do you have any advice for current students?
My advice for current students is to not give up. Keep pushing every day in your classes, extracurriculars, jobs, and internships even if it seems difficult in the moment. Opportunity does not fall into your lap--you must grab it for yourself. I completed four different internships during my time at Columbia and I am so thankful I completed them all. They all gave me different perceptions of the fashion industry and has made me a more equipped graduate. I also want to tell current students that it is important to give yourself rest when you need it. Not only give rest to your body and physical well-being but also for your mental health and mental well-being. Reach out to friends, family, colleagues, and even professors if you are struggling. Columbia is such a beautiful, accepting place because people truly understand what you are going through and no one will blame you for feeling [the way you do]. Be your authentic self and your beauty will shine through!