Inside Graduate Studies

The Sharing Economy

Posted by LIM College on Mon, May 23, 2016 @ 04:34 PM

by Aishwarya Mahulikar

Aishwarya_3.jpgRecently, myself and two other graduate students, Vardhini Krishna and Anna Glorioso completed a presentation on the topic of the “sharing economy.” The sharing economy, also referred to as “collaborative consumption,” is a business concept that highlights the ability for individuals to rent or borrow goods rather than buy and own them. While it certainly isn’t a new concept, the sharing of resources has been used for years in B2B (for example, agriculture) and B2C (self-service laundries), recent market drivers and customer behaviors have made the idea a phenomenon.

The “current events” assignment we worked on was part of our Retail Management class taught by Professor Robert Conrad that involved researching a topic and sharing it with the class. The tremendous growth wave of the sharing economy currently going on in the U.S. retail industry and some shocking statistics urged us to pick the sharing economy as our research topic for the project.

With ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft, as well as space-sharing services like WeWork gaining a high momentum, it is estimated that the value of this peer-to-peer lending market will reach $1,000 billion by the year 2025 (Statista).

While the statistics are compelling, I feel it’s worthwhile to note that this project was especially intriguing to us as we are all international students, with myself and Vardhini both coming from India  and Anna hailing from the Philippines. We really enjoyed the entire process from researching to presenting it in class as it was an unfamiliar topic for us being new to this country and its retail industry.

The biggest challenge while working on the project was to break down the seemingly endless amounts of information available on the topic and to compile it in the most relevant and pertinent way. We were able to put together the 46 page paper in about five days, which was a bit of an accomplishment.

I look forward to working on many more projects at the LIM College Center for Graduate Studies and I am sure LIM will provide me with only the best opportunities ahead. One of the many things that LIM has taught me is to push myself to do the best!

Topics: presentation, grad students, Collaborative Consumption, Sharing Economy

Interview Experience: A Not So Good Interview Lands an Excellent Job

Posted by LIM College on Thu, May 12, 2016 @ 03:40 PM

by Edel Singh

Edel_Blue.jpgAt LIM we're told that the more we interview, the better we get, and it’s true. It also means that the more awful/weird interviews you have, the better you get at handling them.

Last semester, I had the best internship experience that I could have ever have imagined. I never thought I would get the position since I kind of messed up the interview. Let me tell you what happended!

I was searching for an internship and I couldn’t find any companies or positions that were appealing. Finally, I got an email about a company that I admired that was offering a position I was genuinely interested in. A long weekend later, I was on my way to their office for an interview.

Like any other interview, it opened with the “Tell me about yourself” question. For me, that's the worst question ever, which seems to be included in every interview. After my 45 second personal pitch, the interviewers started talking about the responsibilities of the intern they wanted to hire. They talked for about 15 minutes and concluded with asking if I had any questions for them. Cue: confused face and nervous chuckle.

In their extremely thorough explanation of the daily activities and responsibilities, I was left with very few questions to ask them, and ended up asking if they had any questions for me. (In retrospect, I guess I could have asked them some questions reiterating what they had said to make it look like I was checking that I understood all of what they had to say. Hindsight is 20-20! But, next time I will know what to do.) 

In the end they asked me one question. Just one. Nervously, they asked the most generic question ever. “So you’re in grad school, what do you want to do after you graduate?” As much as I wanted to give them a generic answer, I gave them a five-minute presentation about my involvement in CSR and how this position would help me get where I want to be next few years. 

As I walked out of the building, really confused about what had just happened, I suddenly got the offer. I broke all the rules and accepted right away because the paperwork had to be submitted in three days. I started the following Monday, and ended up having the time of my life.

So, sometimes, weird interviews can lead to life-changing experiences.

Topics: internship, interview, job search, Jobs interview

Interview Experience: Making Managers Cry

Posted by LIM College on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 @ 04:48 PM

by Edel Singh

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Throughout our time here at LIM we experience a lot of life-changing scenarios. One of these type of situations can be interviews, and oh, boy, do we go through a lot of those.

Some experiences are great, while others can be pretty awful. Here’s an example of a "bad"  interview.

Knowing that time is of the essence in NYC, we don’t like to be kept waiting. For this particular interview I had to wait for almost 20 minutes. This was at a retail location, and it’s easy to understand that when dealing with customers, things can take longer than expected.

I was finally greeted by the manager and we went up to the top floor of the store and sat down on a couch. The conversation was flowing smoothly, which made me feel at ease and excited about the position. I was asked to do a styling challenge, and while I was running around the store, the manager was looking through my career portfolio.

When I came back upstairs after completing the challenge, the manager had tears running down his face and on my portfolio. In severe confusion, I slowly and quietly walked over to the couch. He grabbed me by the shoulders, and while standing uncomfortably close to my face, he said, “Your autobiography is so beautiful. You’ve been through so much!” I took a step back, while my face had defaulted to “confused.” I looked through my autobiography and had a hard time understanding what he was crying about.

I wanted his crying to stop so I offered to show him what outfits I had pulled for the styling challenge. The manager was impressed, and once again started tearing up while looking at me.

A few days later, I was offered the position. At first I hesitated but ended up expressing my willingess to accept the position. After accepting the offer, there was nothing but radio silence. I didn’t hear anything from the company for two weeks, and after having called them quite a few times, I still couldn't get a hold of the manager, but then I found out that the company was closing the store.

Although this experience forced me to change my plans a bit, I ended up getting a pretty priceless story. You can’t make stuff like this up.

Topics: internships, Jobs, Jobs interview

Grad School + 8 Great Apps = Success!

Posted by LIM College on Wed, Apr 20, 2016 @ 04:02 PM

by Tonya Burks

Grad school can seem pretty stressful at times, and sometimes, it's hard to cope with all you have to do. Fortunately, we live in a world where almost everything you need to give a helping hand has been made into an app.

Overwhelmed by work at grad school? Uneasy about money troubles? Don't have any time to go grocery shopping, etc.? There's an app for that...and just about everything else! I’ve gathered up some great apps that have made my life a little easier and hopefully, yours as well.

Mint 

Mint_logo.jpgLiving in NYC, you know how much money can be spent in a day. It's vitally important to budget your bucks and the Mint app will help keep you in line. It sends alerts bills are due and you can even keep track of your credit score and learn how to make it better and with this app you’ll be able to set monthly limits on food/dining, shopping, entertainment, and transportation. By using this Mint, you’ll be able to see just how much you spend on a normal basis, which probably will be a much needed wake up call.

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Venmo

Venmo_logo.jpgVenmo makes receiving money from family and friends into your bank account much easier. With this app you're also able to pay back a friend and transfer money into your bank account in less than a day.

 

 

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Sleep Cycle

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Restless and sleepless nights are common while going though grad school. Sleep Cycle is an alarm clock that analyzes your sleep by monitoring your sleeping habits from a nightstand and helps wake you up during lightest sleep phase, which makes waking up easy and relaxed. This app also offers advice on how to get a better sleep. 

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Evernote

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With this one app you’ll be able to organize all your notes, online content, to-do lists, PDFs, and images of various documents, etc. You won’t have to worry about where you saved something because it’ll be in one place and that’s Evernote. The great thing about the app is that you’re able to sync it to all your devices. Once you take a note down, it will automatically be available on all your devices.

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Headspace

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As grad students, being or becoming overwhelmed is a given. So to combat the stress we need a moment to center ourselves. With meditation you get just that. Research has said that meditation can help you become happier, calmer, and healthier. By using Headspace, you'll learn how to meditate and how to get the most out of meditation. With just 10 minutes a day, you can experience a better peace of mind and be more present in life.

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Hello Fresh

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Between classes, a job, and/or an internship, there's barely time to do anything, including shop for groceries. Hello Fresh is food service that delivers ingredients to your door to prepare up to five meals every week. There are also quick 30 minute recipes available. Before you know it, you will be an amateur chef in no time.

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MyHomework

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Say goodbye to forgetting when that ten-page paper is due because MyHomework is here for the save. With this app, you can keep track of all your assignments, classes, and tests with ease. It’s a great app to replace your physical planner, at least your academic one.

 

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Cram

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Digital flashcards… Yes, please! If you’re like me and hate carrying around an endless amount of flashcards in your bag, this is the app for you. Studying with regular, tired flashcards can get boring, but with Cram it can  make studying sessions slightly less dreadful.

 

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Topics: apps, grad students, Studying

London Fashion Week 2016

Posted by LIM College on Mon, Apr 11, 2016 @ 04:02 PM

by Victoria DiPiazza 

Victoria_LFW.jpgFashion Week has always been a highlight for fashion students in NYC. Now, being in London and doing an internship with the company THEN & NOW, I had the opportunity to attend London Fashion Week.

I knew that someday throughout my career I would have the opportunity to sit at New York Fashion Week as a guest, but never did I think that I would be able to sit front row at London Fashion Week!

It is pretty rare that an intern gets the opportunity to attend big events in the fashion industry, however,THEN & NOW is rather small so I got the chance to go to the shows. It was so much fun getting dressed up and walking into the shows and presentations. (Not to mention the free goodie bags you get!) It was a whirlwind of a weekend running between shows but it something I will never forget!

Victoria_LondonFashionWeek2016.jpgI even got to sit in the front row at a few shows. (THEN & NOW definitely has some nice perks!)  As a buyer I watched the shows and decided on the brands that I think would do well on our site.

I picked out my favorite key pieces from the collections and then followed up with the brands the next day to connect. I also created trend reports for my companies blog, which you can see here: Women's London Fashion Week AW16 and Men's Fashion Week AW16

 

Topics: internship, then and now, LFW, London Fashion Week

Internship Interview Goes Awry

Posted by LIM College on Fri, Apr 08, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

by Edel Singh

Edel_Doorway.jpgLIM College give us a lot of guidance for our job and internship interviews, but ultimately, the responsibility for blowing employers’ minds lies upon us.

The world is filled with interesting characters, and a bunch of them are settled in the always entertaining Big Apple. These folks also have jobs, and sometimes we find ourselves interviewing with these people.

I’ve had some really peculiar interviews here in NYC where some have been outright awful, and others have led to amazing experiences. The more you have – the better you get at handling these in the future.

Let me tell you about one of them. I was applying to a retail location for an internship position when I was an undergraduate at LIM and had a few interviews that all went very well. The managers seemed optimistic and were close to assuring me that I would get the position. However, my last interview with the person on the top of the NYC hierarchy ended up being a complete disaster.

According to LIM College guidelines I brought my portfolio, and when answering the “tell me about yourself” question, I suggested that I’d walk the interviewer through my maroon binder filled with achievements. As usual, the interviewer was impressed, but as we got to the section about education, the interview took a total 180.

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Through working hard at LIM as an undergraduate I managed to get on the President’s list most semesters, and displayed this as an achievement. The interviewer’s smile was replaced by an irritated frown.

After a few moments of uncomfortable silence, the interviewer said: “If you put all your time and energy into getting good grades, you won’t have time to work for us.”

I was totally taken aback. I replied by explaining that being a good student includes time management skills, and that I would find a way to balance school and work.

The interview ended almost immediately after this situation, and I received an email shortly after I left about that they had decided to go forward with someone else.

So what can be learned from this? It doesn't matter whether you're a graduate student or an undergraduate. Such a statement is a clear indication that this isn’t a person, or a company, that one would want to work for. A hiring manager can make any sort of strange or unreasonable comment. The point is we should strive towards working for companies that celebrate their employees’ achievement and offer room for growth, and not have to feel bad for wanting to be great at what we do.

Topics: internship, job search, Jobs, interviews

Thrift Shopping in NYC!

Posted by LIM College on Thu, Mar 31, 2016 @ 12:50 PM

by Achala Ganesan

Goodwill_Shoes.jpgThrift stores and Goodwill are a blessing for the girl or guy that is on a budget but wants some unique pieces in their wardrobe or their home. There are so many of them scattered around all the five boroughs, and they can turn out to be goldmines!

I find shopping for clothes in thrift stores/Goodwill really exciting. You never know what you’re going to come back with and you can find the most unique stuff. All those myths you’ve heard about YSL coats being "given" away for $30 and Dior shoes for $15 - they’re true! You need to really dig them out, and sometimes they’re not always in the best condition, but if they are, you’re now a proud owner of some amazing vintage pieces.

Goodwill.jpgHere are some important pointers and tips:

  • Goodwill shops can be HUGE and often disorganized! Some of the smaller ones arrange their merchandise according to color, or by size, so be sure to go through all the racks. I’ve found some amazing clothes in the men’s section.
  • There are thrift shops and Goodwill shops all over the city. Don’t just stick to one of them. Make a route one weekend and hit up a few. Each of them has a different type of merchandise!
  • Patience is key! It can be extremely overwhelming to walk into a thrift store and see racks and racks of clothing. Try to get there in the afternoon. (There’s always a lull in crowd). Carry a tote bag if you like as sometimes pushing around those huge Goodwill carts can be tiring.
  • Set a budget! It’s really easy to go overboard with purchases because so much of it is so cheap! You’ll find shirts from Express for $3 and skirts from Kenneth Cole for $5. It’s tempting to come back with half the store, but you’ll end up not wearing half of it.
  • Housewares_Goodwill.jpgNever haggle. Especially in Goodwill, cause it’s going to charity. Instead, look for the half off color each week and go specifically for those items!
  • Check out the housewares section! You can decorate your entire house with the contents of a Goodwill store. It’s amazing to see what some people throw away. I’ve gotten a full (brand new!) set of dishes and cutlery for absolute pennies.
  • Never be afraid to experiment! Because of the prices, you can afford to buy pieces a little out of your comfort zone. I myself have bought things at Goodwill that I would never have purchased at full price from a retailer and have ended up loving them more than my other clothes!
  • Have fun! 

Topics: budget nyc, clothing, Goodwill, thrift stores, housewares

Interview: Fashion Industry Author, Penelope Nam-Stephen

Posted by LIM College on Thu, Mar 24, 2016 @ 04:29 PM

by Victoria Stankus

Career_Fashion_Industry.jpgI had met Penelope Nam-Stephen years ago when I had my first interview with Cache for a summer intern position in New York. I was terrified the entire time. I didn’t like my resume. Then, I really did not know much of anything about the fashion industry, but I wanted to start interning to get some experience under my belt.

With this opportunity I would be able to see if I even liked the fashion industry, and find out what I wanted to do IN the industry. I never thought that two years later I would be interviewing her on the book that she had written titled, My Career in The Fashion Industry: An Insider’s Guide on How to Become a Buyer.

VS: How did you decide to write a book about working in the fashion industry?

PS: About five years ago, as I was in a management level in my career, I was receiving inquiries from young people of how to get into the industry. My husband came up with the idea to write down all of the advice I would give and start to study the different paths people took to get to where they were since there is no clear cut path to be successful in the fashion industry. I wanted to put out a resource for people that they can use.

VS: What are some key points or messages that you have about working in the fashion industry that are not mentioned in the book?

Penelope_NS.jpgPS: The most important thing to remember is to always stay on track, if this is the career for you, don’t get frustrated. Stick to what you are doing and stick to what you want to do. Always remember that you are not in control. There are only certain aspects in which you can control, such as your behavior and work ethic, but you cannot change the big picture.

VS:  Who was the best mentor you had during your career?

PS: This is a hard one; I have had mentors in every position that was appropriate at the time of my career.

VS: I can most definitely relate, I have had so many wonderful leaders in my internships and jobs, I have always found a trait in someone that I would want to have as I continued in my career. Who or what has been your biggest inspiration?

PS: Family. At the end of the day that is what matters, because none of it would mean anything if you do not have something important to you outside of work. My family is always motivating me to be better.

VS: Looking back, what would you say was your proudest moment in your career?

PS: I would have to say writing a book and incorporating that new element in my career path. It takes a leap of faith to take a step back and decide to write a book. Not working for a company 9-5 and getting a guaranteed paycheck is hard.

VS: What was the most difficult aspect of starting the book?

PS: Organizing everything. I started off writing random thoughts, met with a publisher and started to organize and outline what I wanted. You have to get focused and get all the experiences that are the most relevant to the reader.

VS: Is there any advice that you would like to give to someone who is thinking about writing a book?

PS: Don’t underestimate the job of writing a book and the length of time it takes to write the book. When you start looking at things from an outside perspective, there is the “merchandising” process and that is the most challenging.

VS: In your book you talk about a transition in your career when you wanted to start having a family. How was that transition for you personally?

PS: There was tons of travel, and you have to make sure that you keep focused on the job and truly know yourself. Change if you need to, but never abandon anything or drop something and keep your commitment. Always devote time to your family because family comes first and they are the most important part of my life.

Speaking to Penelope brought up many aspects of what I want my career in the fashion industry to be. It helped me understand a bit about myself and how many women are able to relate to the challenges they might face when wanting to start a family.

She speaks for many of us that we would not be where we are today if it wasn’t for our family and support system outside of work. I am glad to say that I was able to speak with someone who I see as an inspiration for myself and many women.

Order your copy of My Career in The Fashion Industry: An Insider’s Guide on How to Become a Buyer on Amazon or BarnesandNoble.com.

Topics: fashion industry, interview, buyer, Penelope Nam-Stephen

Finding an Apartment in NYC on a Limited Budget

Posted by LIM College on Fri, Mar 11, 2016 @ 04:35 PM

by Amira Clement

for-rent.jpgFinding a New York City apartment on a limited budget can be difficult at times, especially when you're working and going to grad school in one of the coolest (and most expensive!) cities in the world. Take it from someone who has lived on her own in Brooklyn...I have definitely done my fair share of apartment hunting.

When searching for an apartment the first thing you want to look at is your budget. What can you spend? Whether you are searching on your own or with a few roommates, it’s typically good to come up with a budget that works for you, your parents or roommates.

Even if you're working you might not make enough to get an apartment on your own, so you would need a guarantor. In my experience buildings have obviously wanted someone with good credit and a person that makes 100x the rent. But this rate can vary. The next thing you want to look at are low fee or no fee apartment buildings.

apartment.jpgIf you want to try and not use a broker, you can search these websites: cityreality.com, nakedapartments.com, and craigslist.com. All are very helpful and don’t require a broker or brokers fee. Looking for an apartment by owner is probably the best way to go because owners usually don’t charge any extra fees.

Also, you want to be prepared. This is NYC so apartments go fast and you don’t want to miss out on that one apartment you love that just so happens to fit your budget. Most owners or leasing offices want a lot of paperwork and the first month’s rent plus security upfront. Since apartments go fast they want all of this up front.

Best of luck in finding your perfect, affordable NYC apartment. 

Topics: budget, NYC apartments, roommate, rent

My Apprenticeship with Celebrity Stylist Debra Ginyard

Posted by LIM College on Tue, Mar 08, 2016 @ 02:16 PM

by Leah Francis


Debra_Ginyard.jpgThere it was on Linkedin...Her name belonged to one of the most fabulous celebrity stylists whose work I had admired for years and a schoolmate I knew had just connected with her. What I really like about Debra Ginyard was the work she had done for major music stars such as Alicia Keys, Destiny’s Child, and the Braxtons.

Although my goal was to work as a writer/journalist then expand into entrepreneurship, I was passionate about fashion photography. I started my own career as a photo stylist several years back when I discovered that an NFL player, also a former alumnus of mine, owned a clothing line.

I could see he needed a stylist and thought I could handle the job and I convinced him to hire me. That was a start of my first real business which I ran as I worked toward my Baccalaureate in Language and Literature. I had the opportunity to style models from various agencies including Ford and Wilhelmina, well as other talent.

GinyardandLeah.jpg“Should I try to work for another stylist?" I asked myself. "Go for it," my inner voice said.  So I sent a request to be introduced to Debra. Within minutes I had her contact information. After all I was back in school part-time taking graduate level journalism classes and business was slow. I never had planned my styling business to be a lasting entity and this could be a new step to take me where I truly wanted to go. Networking is everything, so I called her and she agreed to meet me.

“Here I go,” I said to myself as I got off the subway. Debra and her crew were conducting an on location shoot for a magazine. I observed for a while and then she asked me to write down the credits for her. Luckily, I knew how to do this because that was something I had done before on an internship at WWD during my senior year of college. I chuckled to myself at how all my experiences seem to be adding up. Credits just meant explaining which designers the models were wearing and how much it retailed for in a particular shot.

DDebra_Ginyard_1.jpgebra noticed that I had done this before. Afterward she asked if I would like to come to New York Fashion Week with her. She would be bringing a camera crew to record a show which turned out to be the designer, Milly. After NYFW we went to a few trade shows. “You are more like an assistant," she said to me. I would then go on to be her freelance apprentice for the next couple of years. 

Over the years she would give me the chance to interview, meet and write stories about several celebrities and designers, most of which were published. I had made the right decision to close up shop and apprentice. Every opportunity doesn’t come wrapped in a shiny box. I’ve realized it’s all about taking the chances to create them.

 

Topics: celebrities, stylist, Apprentice, Debra Ginyard