Inside Graduate Studies

Recap: CEO Speaker Series / Jodie Fox / Shoes of Prey

Posted by Gabrielle Aranda on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 @ 02:25 PM

Jodie_Fox2All women love shoes, right? But how many times do frustrated shoppers say, "Ugh! They don't have my size" or "They don't have the color that I want"?

Imagine being able to shop for the shoes you want in the height, style and color of your choice...at the click of a button and all in the comfort of your home! Well, Jodie Fox, Michael Fox and Mike Knapp put the idea into reality.

Straight from down under, Jodie Fox, a former law student and co-founder of Shoes of Prey, graced the halls of LIM College to talk about the triumphs (and struggles) of starting up a business. She began by telling us about the company's first office—her one bedroom apartment in Australia.

But things moved from that point quickly. The business launched in October 2009, and after two months, they broke even. In two years, their business reached a multi-million dollar level.

The website for Shoes of Prey is designed in a way that is easy for customers to play and experiment with the design of their shoes. Just hit "start designing" and an array of choices come up. "We don't mean to make designers redundant," Jodie explains. "It enhances them.”

Jodie feels that demand manufacturing is the future of retail. The truth of the matter is manufacturing is expensive. Minimum order quantity has become a hindrance to people starting their businesses, and, customizing is exciting, says Jodie. It makes customers more pleased with their shopping experience because they get exactly what they want.

However, the road to success hasn’t been easy for Shoes of Prey. Their unique business model encountered criticism and obstacles (like anything worth doing). But Jodie was passionate and determined. "You have to believe in it because if you don't, no one else will," she says.

Starting a business is tough. “Advertising is expensive and you have a lot of noise to cut through.” In 2009, when they began Shoes of Prey, they sought to get traction. They approached a 16-year-old YouTube sensation who had a huge following on social media. It was a good thing they thought ahead and backed up their servers because from the half a million views the video received on YouTube, their website was getting a great deal of traffic. However, their sales chart was flat.

Using the YouTube platform was a genius idea. However, their audience was teenage girls who couldn’t afford the price points of their shoes. Jodie quickly learned a valuable lesson. Traffic does not necessarily equal sales.

They picked themselves up from this stumble and made a case study about their mistake and were interviewed by the Wall Street Journal whose readers were more their target audience. Jodie stresses how important it is to know and understand your audience. This way, you will be able to find the funnel on how to get to them, she says.

Looking back, Jodie says that they were fortunate that things fell into place, but they also made their own luck. They were proactive and did not let any kind of defeat bring them down.

She explained that their idea was their "purple cow." A concept that she advised LIM graduate students to go out and find. "If you were driving down a road and drive past a field of cows, nobody would really stop to look. However, if they saw a purple cow, they would stop and pay attention."

According to Jodie, "When you start a business you're not an expert at anything.” “You need to draw in expertise from other people, but you should be able to discern if it's right for your business."

Jodie says her favorite part about her business is creating a unique shopping experience for her customer. She draws joy from the moment the customers open the box and hold their brand new pair of shoes—something that they created themselves, for the first time. “We have pictures of our customers unboxing their product,” she says with apparent glee.

Shoes of Prey continues to be successful. They never thought the brand would have actual stores, but, they have stores all over the US and recently opened a branch in Paramus, New Jersey. Having a brick and mortar store allows customers to see the fabrics, colors and textures. They can also see how the shoes fits.

Her last piece of advice for LIM students who want to start a business? “Make one decision and see what happens. Do everything before you're ready because you are never going to be ready for anything. Believe passionately about what you're doing. Your passion is your secret weapon. Most importantly, you become a leader right away when you start a business. You need the emotional support of your family and friends.”

Gabrielle Aranda

 

Topics: CEO Speaker Series, Shoes of Prey, Jodie Fox, Starting a business

Grad Student Profile: Jasmine Zamora and Christian Dior

Posted by Gabrielle Aranda on Wed, Apr 01, 2015 @ 02:27 PM

Jasmine2MPS Marketing student Jasmine Zamora balances grad school at LIM College with a freelance marketing assistant position for Christian Dior. Not too shabby for a part-time job, right? How did she get this coveted dream job?

"I went to the Career Fair at LIM last October and gave my resume to 24 Seven. (24 Seven is a talent acquisition and recruiting agency.) They contacted me when Dior had an opening," she explains.

Her responsibilities at Christian Dior include preparing sample kits for stores across the country plus Canada, and assisting in budget management and competitive analysis. She also proofreads and edits information packets.

Jasmine, who’s from San Francisco, studied Public Relations at San Jose State University. After graduating, she worked as a manager for a museum in San Jose while working as a PR coordinator at Grey Area Marketing. (Obviously she’s a pro at time management!)

How does her position at Christian Dior compare to her past work experiences? "Before, I used to work for a smaller company, so I had more responsibilities." At the museum in San Jose, she managed a staff of 14 and at Grey Area Marketing, there were press releases to deal with, media to pitch, as well as events and photo shoots to plan.

Before coming to New York, she took a year off to travel and explore. Jasmine decided to get her masters in Fashion Marketing because she felt like it was a niche subject and she would be able to use the knowledge learned in her fashion career.

Having just turned 25, Jasmine has many more goals and dreams that she wants to accomplish. After finishing her master’s program, she wants to work in fashion PR. After getting enough experience in NYC, she’d like to go back to San Francisco. As a laidback person with a bit of a “tomboy personality”, she says that she’d like to work for the GAP or Levi's back home. Her personal style has always been geared towards street fashion with a girly twist.

When asked about advice to fellow grad students Jasmine says, "Network and put yourself out there. Take a leap of faith." And, where does she network, you ask? "Everywhere I go. Anyone you meet can be a potential door to an opportunity."

Gabrielle Aranda

 

Topics: marketing, grad studies, grad school, LIM Grad Student, Masters of Professional Studies, career fair, Dior

(Part Two) EECM offers an MPS Internship GPS

Posted by Gabrielle Aranda on Wed, Mar 18, 2015 @ 02:00 PM

In part two of our interview with Susan L. Bauer, Senior Director of Experiential Education & Career Management, she talks about tips for searching for internships and how to ace an interview.

When MPS students are looking for summer internships, Susan recommends doing proactive research and going on Symplicity, as well as career sites to know what kind of internships are out there. “If you already have a company in mind then do research on that company and you can even use LinkedIn to find a former LIM Alumni you can communicate with to land an interview,” says Susan.

Some further advice:

  • Use tutorials and databases in the Library to help you in your job search
  • Schedule an appointment with the writing center. They can help you edit your cover letter and resume.
  • Most importantly, don’t hesitate to consult with your career advisor.

SusanBauer3deskAccording to Susan, it’s also a good idea to keep building your resume and “develop your self-marketing.” If you’re going through a career change, she says, think about all the tasks you’ve done in your past jobs. “You should be able to identify “transferrable skills” such as management and administrative tasks. Also, look at the verbs that are being asked for in a job description and tailor them to your resume.”

If you want to ace an interview, Susan says, it’s important to do your research. Basically, you have to “know the brand.” “What you wear and the amount of makeup you use will differ if you are interviewing for Louis Vuitton or Nylon,” she says. “Invest in a classic black dress and just accessorize depending on the company.”

When you get to the end of an interview and the potential employer asks if you have any questions for them, Susan recommends:

  • Asking about something related to current events within the company. (If they recently had a new CEO, ask how the culture of the company was affected by the change.
  • Asking about what inspires them to come to work every day.
  • Or, asking how their career has developed while working for the company.
  • Never ask about benefits or time off.

“You can also end the interview by asking what their process is for letting candidates know whether or not they’ve gotten the internship,” says Susan. Lastly, she recommends always go for a handwritten thank you note so you will be remembered. “Potential employers appreciate the effort, and if you don’t get the job, at the very least you made a good impression.”

A lot of students ask how their current internship can turn into an actual job. Susan says that when you are an intern, you must already think of yourself as an employee. “Employees don’t just ask for something to do, they find something to do. Showing this kind of initiative will be very impressive to your supervisors.” Go to the company’s events and mingle with other employees, she says. “It’s good to be friends with your fellow interns, but at the end of the day, the interns are not going to hire you.”

For more tips on landing your dream internship, come to the second MPS Internship GPS: Navigating Your Journey to a Graduate Internship workshop on March 25 at FashionOpolis from 4 pm to 5:30 pm. The next sessions are April 16 and May 7. Bonne chance!  

Gabrielle Aranda

Topics: graduate school, internships, interview, grad school, Susan Bauer

EECM offers an MPS Internship GPS (Part One)

Posted by Gabrielle Aranda on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 @ 01:59 PM

Part one of our interview with Susan L. Bauer, Senior Director of Experiential Education & Career Management on graduate students and internships.

Susan_Bauer_1The pressure is on for MPS students! The summer semester is approaching and students need to look for an internship, since, as you very well know, part of the MPS curriculum requires obtaining an internship that is related to the program.

However, summer in New York City is the most competitive time to look for internships. Aspiring students from across the country (and from all over the world) who want to work in the industry all flock to the fashion capital of the world, but don’t fret grad students!

This semester, the Department of EECM (Experiential Education and Career Management) is offering workshops with honest, valuable, and detailed advice on how students can get ahead of the crowd and be noticed by employers. The MPS Internship GPS: Navigating Your Journey to a Graduate Internship workshops will have four sessions, and the first already took place last month.

We asked the head of the EECM department, Susan Bauer, why they decided to hold these internship sessions now. She explained that last spring, just weeks before the summer term was about to begin, many MPS Grad students did not have internships lined up. Susan says that a lot of the students were not prepared and had no idea how to go about looking for an internship.

It is definitely more difficult for graduate students to get an internship compared to undergraduates, says Susan, due to the fact that MPS students only have a year, wheraas undergrad students have four years. “They didn’t know how hard it was going to be until it was too late.” According to Susan, some students were even unaware that they could ask for help from EECM whenever they wanted—as long as they set an appointment.

One common mistake students make is that they wait too long to secure an internship. “This is a very aggressive industry,” Susan says. “Students should already be applying as early as now and these sessions will guide and instruct them throughout their application process.”

“By attending the seminars, my hope is that they get better internships. It’s also an opportunity for them to network,” she explains. “We don’t have a magic ball that will tell them what’s going happen. We are just sharing our experiences.”

Susan says that it’s important to utilize all the resources the school has to offer. “If you have no idea where you want to intern yet, then you should go to events to network. The upcoming April 14 Career Fair is a great way to explore your options, as well as get some one-on-one time with a representative of a specific company.”

For more tips on landing your dream internship, look for the second part of the interview next week, and come to the second session of the MPS Internship GPS on March 25 at FashionOpolis from 4 to 5:30 pm.

Gabrielle Aranda

 

Topics: graduate school, grad studies, internships, eecm, Susan Bauer

New MPS Program: Global Fashion Supply Chain Management

Posted by Jacqueline Jenkins on Wed, Mar 04, 2015 @ 03:53 PM

by Jacqueline Jenkins, Director of Graduate Studies

Jacqueline_JenkinsI was first introduced to supply chain management when I worked on the operations side of the business for Ann Taylor, Inc.  Given the many business decisions that fall within the supply chain arena, such as material sourcing, product development, transportation, and inventory management, I found my supply chain management position to have been one of my most fulfilling roles within the fashion industry. 

Today, supply chain management has evolved from a back office function to a critical component of any organization that produces and/or distributes goods and services. 

To address this need, LIM College is thrilled to announce the launch of the Master of Professional Studies in Global Fashion Supply Chain Management a 30-credit, one-year program. 

We are accepting applications for students who will enter the program in September of 2015. Given that our goal is to prepare graduate students for strategic management roles, this degree is comprised of courses from both the technical and management aspects of the field. 

The technical courses, such as Supply Chain Fundamentals and Logistics Management, will provide foundational knowledge of supply chain management. To gain an understanding of the management aspects of the business, our students will also study leadership techniques in courses such as People and Project Management and Innovation and Change Management.   

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of logisticians – those who analyze and coordinate an organization’s supply chain -- is projected to grow 22% from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. The 2013 APICS Supply Chain Council Operations Management Employment Outlook states that the average total compensation for supply chain and operations management professionals with a master’s degree is $107,934.

For more information about LIM College’s MPS in Global Fashion Supply Chain Management, contact Paul Mucciarone, Associate Director of Admissions at paul.mucciarone@limcollege.edu or 212.752.1530 Ext. 446, or visit http://graduate.limcollege.edu/

Topics: global fashion, Masters of Professional Studies, Jacqueline Jenkins, supply chain management

One Grad Student's Journey to an Internship at Max Mara

Posted by Gabrielle Aranda on Fri, Feb 27, 2015 @ 04:32 PM

Anastasia_Grishankova1There’s nothing more refreshing than having a conversation with someone who is so passionate and full of life. That’s exactly how one would describe 22-year-old MPS Graduate student, Anastasia Grishankova. The Russian native received her bachelor’s degree in accounting, but pursued an interest in fashion. Working in fashion PR in Russia, she even worked as the Fashion Assistant to the Fashion Director of InStyle there. Even with everything going on track, she craved adventure and wanted to study marketing.

So, with her thirst for knowledge and passion for fashion, she began looking for schools that met her criteria. She chose LIM’S MPS in Fashion Marketing because after looking at the curriculum, she felt like it was everything she needed and wanted to know about Fashion Marketing integrated into a Master’s program. To her it was compact and would offer her an advantage in the competitive industry.

Before her first semester ended, Anastasia already had started applying for internships for the spring semester. She now works as a PR intern in Max Mara. Her responsibilities include dealing with traffic sampling and sending samples to celebrities like Beyonce and Lady Gaga. Anastasia also compiles press clippings and reports.

Anastasia1When asked how she got her internship, she answered, “Through Simplicity, of course. It’s a great resource to look for openings and job opportunities.” While she is truly enjoying her time here in NYC, Anastasia admits that there are certain struggles that she has to deal with every day like the language barrier, adjusting to another new culture and establishing new relationships. Nevertheless, she tackles everything with a brave face. Her plans for the future include starting her own business—something related to fashion, but, she would like to do something that will also help those in need.

After starting a jewelry business back in Russia that didn’t do so well, Anastasia admits to not doing enough research and preparation as the reasons for its failure. Now, she knows better. “Life is all about getting up and learning from every mistake.”

When asked if she has any tips for fellow graduate students looking for an internship, she says, “Stay positive. Don’t get discouraged and be professional.” She also stresses that it is important to find everything there is to know about the company before an interview and lastly, “Don’t forget to follow up with a thank you letter.”

Gabrielle Aranda

Topics: marketing, public relations, internship, LIM Grad Student, Max Mara

Recap: Mark Weber, CEO Speaker Series

Posted by Gabrielle Aranda on Fri, Feb 20, 2015 @ 02:08 PM

Mark_Weber_JacquiThe former Chairman and CEO of Donna Karan International, former CEO of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy USA and the author of Always in Fashion, Mark Weber, paid a visit to the MBA and MPS students of LIM College on Tuesday night, February 17. Mark really captivated the students with his passion, wit and stories on how he has climbed the ladder of success.

He explained how “the Godfather” analogy helped him aspire to be the best that he can be. In the logo of the Godfather, you see the image of a puppeteer running the show. Well, Mark did not want to be at the bottom of the strings—having a puppet master dictate his every move. In terms of relating it to the fashion industry, Mark said that he loved design but explained that he was not an expert on finance or merchandising. He already realized that by not understanding these two important disciplines, he would inevitably end up at the bottom of the strings. He needed to study these aspects in the industry. Mark went out of his way to excel in these fields because he knew what he had to do in order to succeed.

Godfather1

When asked why he got into fashion, Mark said, “He ended up here by accident.” Actually, he had always wanted to be a newscaster, but was lucky to get into the fashion industry because, as he said, it’s relatable and easy.

He quickly found what his strengths were and used them to his advantage. Mark said that he has always been a student of life and people. In the first chapter of his book, he emphasizes, “You have to know how to relate with people if you want to be in business.” According to Mark, it’s all about building and forming relationships and it’s equally important to find people that you emulate and respect.

Mark went on to explain that one can truly be successful only when you are able to identify what you excel in. On our own journey to success, he said, you are always going to meet people who aren’t good—but great at what they do.

It’s essential to keep adding to your experiences and wisdom, said Mark. “The more experienced you are, the more it adds to your package.” He explained that your package is your brand and it’s extremely important how you present yourself in the dog-eat-dog world of fashion.  

He continues to give advice on making negotiations in business, and said that leverage is always with the person who can walk away. When you show that you are in need of something only that person can give, Mark said, you are already giving away the possibility to make further compromises. A good negotiation is when both parties leave the room satisfied.

He concluded by saying that balance is another important factor in being successful. According to Mark, business life and family life have to be attended to with equal weight. Mark Weber is a proud father and loving husband. One of his sons was in the audience, smiling at his father, as he was giving his talk. Mark’s success would be incomplete without the love and support he continues to receive from his family.

Mark Weber's autobiography will be available at the LIM Bookstore until Friday 2/27. $30.50 plus tax.

Gabrielle Aranda

 

 

Topics: careers, CEO Speaker Series, Always in Fashion, career advice, Mark Weber

Tenacity Rules! (When getting an internship.)

Posted by Gabrielle Aranda on Fri, Feb 13, 2015 @ 01:24 PM

Pen3-1

"Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goals. My strength lies solely in my tenacity.”

- Louis Pasteur

I have always believed the old adage that experience is the best teacher. Don’t get me wrong—theoretical learning is just as important. I value the lessons I learn in my classes but more than that, I love hearing about my professors and their careers, and how much of the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired has come from their experiences.

With this on my mind, I decided to take on an internship. I figured I would get the best of both worlds by learning in the four walls of a classroom while getting my foot in the door with an internship.

I went on so many fashion sites and blogs to look for the perfect one. As an international student, it wasn’t easy for me to find an internship because I didn’t really have that many connections in the city. Unfortunately, not a lot of the companies I sent my resume to, got back to me but, I was persistent. I wasn’t going to take no for an answer. I sent emails and drafted various cover letters. I also asked a few of my friends to edit my resume.

I was scheduled to meet up with my career adviser so I decided to consult her about my dilemma in finding an internship. When I met up with her, she told me about Symplicity, which had a ton of listings for internships. I also saw that they were accepting volunteers for fashion week. So, I applied to be a volunteer for Altuzarra during market week. Fashion week was just around the corner so I made the most out of it and I also decided to volunteer for a series of fashion shows for Australian designers, which I also came across in Symplicity.

A few days later, I got an email from Atluzarra for an interview! When I want to their office, I didn’t realize that I was being interviewed for an internship and not just for fashion week. This was a hidden blessing because I didn’t get a chance to be too nervous. Then a week later, I got an email saying that I have been offered a fall internship in the wholesale department. I was thrilled! Here’s what I learned in my journey to find an internship.

1. Don’t be afraid to talk to your career adviser. They are there to guide and impart knowledge.

2. Use all avenues in looking for an internship. Explore various fashion sites as well as Symplicity.

3. Have someone check your cover letter and resume. It’s always good to have a second set of eyes in making sure your resume reflects all your strengths.

4. Never give up! Persistence is key. Right now, with fashion week coming up again, companies, designers or stylists are in need of happy helpers! Even just assisting them for one day could help widen your network and eventually, this could become an internship or a job!

With the spring semester just beginning, I encourage everyone to get an internship. It’s a great way to learn and network at the same time. Good luck in landing your dream internship!

Gabrielle Aranda

 

Topics: New York Fashion Week, internships, career advisor, Symplicity, Tenacity, Atluzzara

LIM Grad Student Turns Dreams Into Reality

Posted by Gabrielle Aranda on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 @ 11:33 AM

GabrielleSome people dream of great accomplishments, while others stay awake and do them.

- Anonymous  

Growing up in the Philippines, I’ve always dreamed of studying fashion in NYC. I got my undergraduate degree in economics, but I’ve always been intrigued by the creativity and beauty of the world of fashion. So after graduating, I decided to do a 180 and visit my sister who lives in New York, and take a short fashion course. I enjoyed my experience, but my stay was short-lived and I eventually had to return home.

I worked for a couple of years in Manila as an assistant to a celebrity stylist. It was a great way to immerse myself in the crazy and spontaneous side of the industry. Someone told me that if anyone really wanted to be in fashion, they should experience living and working in the center of it all—New York City, the fashion capital of the world.

The MPS Fashion Marketing program at LIM College Graduate Studies became the obvious choice for me. No other school in the city offered the same Master’s program. Months after sending my application and the nerve-racking wait, I was more than pleased to receive my acceptance letter to the program beginning in the fall of 2014.

Everything was falling into place and before I knew it, I was on my way to New York. The city was just as vibrant and exciting as I remembered. I wanted to make the most out of my time here so I also took on an internship because my classes were at night. I interned for the women’s clothing brand Altuzarra in the wholesale department, and worked closely with the sales team in organizing the collection for market week—which is just as busy as fashion week.

I didn’t realize that the workload from school and the responsibilities from my internship would be difficult to balance. On top of that, I had to adjust being away from the familiarity of home and my loved ones. I told myself to snap out of it. Who was I to complain? I was studying in one of the best fashion schools…and in the best city in the world!

All it really took was some getting used to, a lot of sacrifices and following through on the journey that I embarked on. After all, it is not our decisions that make us who we are but our commitment to them. I was out of my comfort zone but I’ve never been more comfortable. I enjoyed the independence and the freedom of being on my own.

Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t easy to have all these on my plate but, I know that these challenges have helped me develop my character and bring me one step closer to reaching my goals.

This affirmed my dreams and I immediately started looking for schools and programs that would help further my career. I love the artistic side of fashion but with my economics background, I knew that it would have to be supplemented with knowledge of the business side of it. I would really like to work in Public Relations or Marketing for a luxury fashion brand one day and eventually have my own company.

Gabrielle Aranda

Topics: public relations, fashion marketing, mps, LIM Graduate Studies, LIM Grad Student

CEO SPEAKER SERIES: ERIK NORDSTROM

Posted by Paul Mucciarone on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 @ 03:58 PM

limbanner

Erik Nordstrom visited LIM College to participate in our monthly CEO Speaker Series for the Center for Graduate Studies. Of the many topics he mentioned, Nordstrom’s customer focused strategy was the one that left a major impression on the audience. LIM College interviewed a few graduate students who talked about the experience from their point of view. 

IMG_4556


nordstrom1-1-569898-edited

LIM College:  What was the most interesting thing Erik spoke about?

Nargiza Dakmak, Graduate Student: The most interesting thing for me was to learn that Nordstrom’s philosophy is focused on customer and making his/her life easier. The customer is the most important segment followed by sales and support people because they have direct interaction with the customers. The executive team and board of directors are at the bottom.

Uzoma Ejiasa, Graduate Student: Their # 1 goal is to make sure customers feel good because the better service you give the more you sell. 

Brittany Alexander, Graduate Student: What was most interesting to me were how new trends like personalization, strategic partnerships with other brands, fast in-store check-out, organic searches, social engagement and embracing social media were the best channels of spreading awareness incorporated in Nordstrom’s business strategy.

IMG_4563-616289-edited

LIM College: What are some of the audience’s questions for Erik?

ND: I asked if he had any recommendations for students graduating this term. Erik recommended to be curious, passionate and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

UE: I asked him was his first job in fashion. His first job was a shoe sales associate at Nordstrom, where he started his retail career.

BA: I asked him how are pop up shops affecting operations/sales at Nordstrom and how are they going to compete with Amazon if they open up a store in Seattle next to their flagship. 

LIM College: What advice did Erik leave you with?

ND: Make yourself an expert of what you are doing.

UE: Be willing to learn and find answers, never be afraid to ask questions.

BA: Have passion and excitement of what you are doing and understand every part of your company.

IMG_4574-651012-edited

 

Erik Nordstrom was named president of Nordstrom Direct, the company’s $1.6 billion online, full-price business in 2014.  "As we work to further leverage our capabilities across Nordstrom stores and Nordstrom.com in what today is a growing $10B regular price business, we believe this move will help us meet that goal " said Eric Nordstrom. 

IMG_4571-669732-edited

right_tagline

LIMcolorbar.jpg-1 

Topics: graduate school, Nordstrom, fashion, amazon