Fashion Industry Mentoring Opportunities for Graduate Students
posted by Paul Mucciarone
Whether you aspire to become a buyer, a merchandiser, a PR manager or an e-commerce expert, "making it" in the fashion industry doesn't come easy. Mentoring events are an essential activity for graduate students because it provides a systematic way to meet and speak with professionals in the fashion industry who can offer advice, encouragement, and support concerning future career goals.
Every mentor has something to offer, and the benefits of mentoring can go both ways. Mentors have information, contacts and perspectives to share which can help students to more clearly focus on their long term ambitions, hidden talents and skills as well as how to map out a strategy to achieve professional goals.
For a mentor, it means stepping back from the routine, giving a glimpse of what the future could be like, and of their everyday lives in a broader context. Mentoring helps our students see themselves in terms of their ultimate potential to contribute to the fashion industry.
(Bird's eye view of mentoring event)
(MPS Students With Mentor, Nicole Porco - Account Executive at LF USA)
LIM College’s inaugural Mentoring Event offered MPS students the opportunity to hear firsthand from fashion industry professionals who are also alumni of LIM College. They shared their journey and experiences leading to their current positions. The event took place in Maxwell Hall, where LIM College’s alumni mentors gathered to share their experiences within the fields of merchandising, planning, buying, management, e-commerce, global licensing and more. They opened the program by sharing their advice for getting started in the industry.
(Mentor Gina Mercatili, Merchandising Coordinator at Barclays Center & Brooklyn Nets, with MPS students)
“Network, network, network…” Jacquelyn Wenzel, President of JWmerchandising, mentioned to our MPS students at the event. Along with Erica Young, eCommerce Marketing Manager for Ashley Stewart, their advice to the students was that networking and maintaining relationships is going to be their biggest asset in “making it” in the fashion industry. While another mentor, Gina Mercatili, Merchandising Coordinator at Barclays Center & Brooklyn Nets encouraged the MPS students, “to know the value their work and never forget what they’re worth”. Nina Pantano, Associate Inventory Planner at P&G Fragrances at Macy's reminded the students that, “you learn something every single day and by acting like a sponge, absorbing as much as you can from everyone you meet can help greatly in your career”.
(From Left to Right: Erica Young, eCommerce Marketing Manager, Ashley Stewart, Jacquelyn Wenzel, President at JWmerchandising)
Keithen Polk, MPS Fashion Merchandising student, was the key note speaker for the event. Keithen mentioned that, “having a mentor is an extremely important key to succeed in our careers because they can provide direction, knowledge and experience in order to be led on the right path.”
(Nina Pantano - Associate Inventory Planner - P&G Fragrances at Macy's with MPS student)
“Believe it to achieve it to live it. Think about it.”-Keithen Polk
(Steven Robinson - Sr. Director of Sales and Merchandising - Juniors/Girls 4-16 at Xing Lin USA International)
The MPS Mentoring Event concluded with our graduate students having the chance to speak in small groups with the mentors. After our students wrapped up their conversations, the remainder of the evening featured “free networking” allowing our graduate students to strike up conversations with any other mentors. All in all, there were a lot of business cards exchanged and many valuable relationships were started. The students left the event with useful advice that will help them navigate their career goals and valuable professional connections.
(Rahul Zala - Operations Analyst: Warranty and Repairs Department at Alexander Wang with MPS students)
(Jacquelyn Wenzel, President at JWmerchandising, sitting with MPS students)
(Rahul Zala, MBA - LIM COLLEGE ALUMNI 2013)
(Luwam Gebremedhin, MBA - LIM COLLEGE ALUMNI 2012)