Inside Graduate Studies

LIM Grad Student Turns Dreams Into Reality

Posted by Staff 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.

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


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


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. 



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.


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.



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 in what today is a growing $10B regular price business, we believe this move will help us meet that goal " said Eric Nordstrom. 




Topics: graduate school, Nordstrom, fashion, amazon

CEO Speaker Series: 12 Lessons to SUCCEED in the Fashion Business

Posted by Paul Mucciarone on Thu, Oct 23, 2014 @ 04:44 PM


Have you ever heard of or seen a house coat? Most will quickly say no, until they see what one looks like. It will bring you back to that childhood memory where your grannie serving you cookies and milk wearing this comfortable dress with a zipper up the front, probably in a loud color or print.

Komar housecoat

When I think of house coats, I usually think of cheap, matronly, brightly-printed sack dresses sold on the sidewalk outside the dollar stores in my neighborhood. In the early 1900s, a house coat was a woman's robe or dress-like garment for casual wear around the house. No woman would be caught wearing this running household errands or hosting a dinner party.

You might be thinking to yourself, why is this vintage obsession of an era way before our time relevant? The reason is that the grandson of the creator of the house coat visited LIM College this past week. Charlie Komar of Komar, Inc. participated in LIM College's CEO Speaker Series on October 15, 2014.

Charlie Komar at LIM 2

Charles Komar (our guest speaker's grandfather) founded The Atlas Underwear Company in 1908. After WWII, Sidney, Herman and Harold Komar joined and the company became Charles Komar and Sons. Today, third generation Charlie and David operate the brand as Komar and have transformed it to a small domestic housecoat manufacturer to a global sleepwear and intimate industry leader. 

Mr. Komar offered lessons for the graduate students in hopes of applying them to their careers in fashion companies and entrepreneurial ventures.  Here are Charlie Komar's top 12 pieces of advice for thriving in the fashion business. 



  1. If you want to be successful in business don’t just STUDY accounting, LEARN accounting. Understand how to read financial statements. Without this knowledge it will be very hard to succeed.

  2. Being a good sales person is more important than you realize…SMILE, don’t BAD MOUTH, ask QUESTIONS and LISTEN more than you TALK. 

  3. Merchandising 101...FIND THE WHITE SPACE!

    Charlie Komar at LIM
  4. A sale for the sake of a sale is useless, know your costs to insure all sales are profitable.

  5. If a bank does not want to loan you money, don’t take it personally. Listen to their reasoning, they might be smarter than you are.

  6. There are times in business where you have to make TOUGH DECISIONS. You always have to keep your eye on the overall success of the business even if it means making very PAINFUL CHANGES. 

  7. If you have a weakness, seek out help sooner rather than later.

  8. Inventory is milk not wine. Manage your inventory, always value it conservatively.

  9. Always believe, never give up!

  10. Learn from your mistakes.

  11. Don’t be afraid to hire people that are smarter than you are!

  12. When considering an investment don't focus on how much you can make, focus on how much you can lose. Understand the downside and can you afford it if things go wrong.



12 Lessons from Charlie Komar


LIM College Graduate Students Travel to Seattle to Attend 2014 Summit

Posted by Paul Mucciarone on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 @ 11:48 AM


More than 5,400 students and professionals gathered in Seattle for the Summit, a 2½ day event specifically for digital and multichannel retailers. Attendees got the rush of discovering new ideas while building strong relationships with the brightest and most innovative players in the digital retail world.


Theodora Papamihalakis and Nargiza Dakmak were given the opportunity to attend the event in Seattle. Both MBA students were chosen by LIM College based on an essay submission and their passion to pursue a career in ecommerce.  


At the summit, a variety of panel discussions took place including  a keynote speech by Jamie Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom stores, who told Student Program attendees at the Summit that the company’s location is a reminder that retailers must constantly innovate or risk extinction. “When you stop evolving with your customer, you die,” he said. He was passionate about his retail journey and encouraged students to work in retail.


As part of the Summit Student Program, students had the opportunity to sit down with retail veterans. Students received career advice and learned what soft skills are needed to successfully transition from the classroom to the workplace. Theodora and Nargiza both got the opportunity to be mentored by Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, CEO and Co-Founder of Gilt Groupe, Mindi Grossman, CEO of HSN and more. Check out this YouTube video of the mentoring session from (LIM College MBA students Theodora and Nargiza make their brief appearance 00:56 seconds into the video) 


LIM College graduates also were given  a tour of Amazon from one of its communications reps. Amazon has what is probably the biggest urban office space in the world. Its main offices are just a few blocks from Lake Union, right in the heart of Seattle. It's less than 30 minute walk from downtown, or tourist spots like Pike Place Market, or nice neighborhoods like Queen Anne. Amazon's buildings blend right in with their urban environment. Walking past Amazon's buildings, you wouldn't even realize you were in the middle of its corporate headquarters unless someone told you. 

2014-09-29_16.58.57Theodora and Nargiza in Amazon's Lobby

this-art-is-in-the-lobby-of-day-1-northArtwork features in Lobby of Amazon's Day 1 North Building

dogs_at_amazonAmazon is a dog friendly work environment where employees can bring their dogs to work 

Topics: Nordstrom, fashion, retail environment, seattle, Ecommerce,

CEO Speaker Series: Daniella Vitale, COO and SVP of Barneys New York

Posted by Paul Mucciarone on Tue, Oct 07, 2014 @ 01:22 PM

Work ethic, leadership and mentoring are the three key points Daniella Vitale, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Barneys New York, spoke about at the most recent CEO Speaker Series at LIM College Center for Graduate Studies. Students eagerly listened to the advice Daniella voiced to MBA and MPS students along with the esteemed faculty and members of the college.

daniella 1

"Work ethic is a skill of one's personal development" mentioned Daniella Vitale to the audience of attentive students. Barneys’ chief operating officer and senior executive vice president urged graduates to endure their first jobs with vigor, insisting that a positive attitude will serve them well. She also offered to, “...enjoy what you do. Have fun and laugh along the way because people underestimate the power of humor and how that shapes a career. I know that my success has also been being able to laugh at many situations over my tenure in this industry.”

danielle 2

Graduating from LIM College years back, Daniella spoke of her many jobs throughout her career. Starting from Ferragamo to Gucci and ending at Barneys New York, leadership has always been present in her positions from assistant merchandiser to senior vice president. She mentioned that her mentors, two people with whom she worked while she was at Gucci and Ferragamo, kept her driven to succeed and move on to bigger and better positions.

group picJacqueline Jenkins, Director Of Graduate Studies, Daniella Vitale, David Freschman, CEO of FashInvest

Daniella Vitale delivered the keynote address at LIM College’s 75th annual commencement exercises on May 22 at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York.  Daniella received LIM College’s Distinguished Achievement Award and an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degree at the ceremony. “I am honored to receive this recognition and more importantly getting any opportunity to speak to a graduating class on all the good things to come,” said Vitale.

group 2

Graduate students at CEO Speaker Series Event at LIM College Maxwell Hall

group 3MBA students at CEO Speaker Series event at Maxwell Hall

Topics: mps, MBA, LIM, barneys ny, fashinvest

Fashion Industry Mentoring Opportunities for Graduate Students

Posted by Paul Mucciarone on Wed, Jun 25, 2014 @ 02:12 PM


mentoring event

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.

birde eye

 (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)




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Topics: LIM College, mps, networking, fashion, Mentoring, professionals, careers, fashion master's degree, fashion careers, fashion education

CEO Speaker Series: Michael Gould On Leadership

Posted by Paul Mucciarone on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 @ 03:54 PM


 “Every one of us has it in themselves to be a leader”, said former CEO of Bloomingdale’s, Michael Gould, inspiring the graduate students of LIM College. In his most recent visit to LIM, he participated as the keynote speaker in the CEO Speaker Series where he gave a presentation about leadership, integrity, discovering opportunity and following your curiosity. 

Michael Gould


Michael Gould is known for encouraging today’s young professionals to become leaders. Having decades of  retail experience under his belt, , he has learned that leadership doesn’t come easy unless you work for a company that will provide opportunities to allow growth and empowerment which eventually lead to leadership roles. During the 2008 economic crisis, Bloomingdale’s, like many other companies at the time, had to make strategicbudget cuts, but Michael Gould prevented any decrease in spending for employee leadership training.  “You need to give people the opportunity to grow, that’s what it’s about. You can’t stop learning. Life is about education.” Mr. Gould is a strong believer that having trust and allowing others to trust you contributes to the leaders that are born or created in an organization like Bloomingdale’s. Mr. Gould clearly mentions that becoming a leader starts with integrity and is followed by intellectual curiosity. 

“The most precious and tangible quality of leadership is trust” – Michael Gould, Former CEO Of Bloomingdales

ceo and director

Living in the generation where every aspect of our lives are being supported or enhanced by new technology, Michael Gould passionately spoke about how brick-and-mortar channels can avoid disintegrating.

He mentioned that if “four-wall businesses” are creative they have a far better opportunity than they ever before.  “We’ve been going to the market since the time of the Greeks. We want to be connected. I don’t see brick and mortar going away. You can’t make a connection online. You can go to the store and make a connection.” 

Post-Bloomingdale's, Michael Gould is occupying his time ensuring that leaders are being encouraged daily. During his speech he frequently referred to American writer John Gardner and his essay on personal renewal, which he himself refers to daily for his own personal renewal.  “I want to be relevant. I want to continue to learn....The day anyone on the job stops learning, that’s the day you take the pictures off your desk and go somewhere else to work.”


Topics: LIM College, Bloomingdales, CEO, grad school, Leadership

10 Reasons Why You’ll Love Studying At LIM College

Posted by Paul Mucciarone on Tue, May 20, 2014 @ 04:31 PM

lim1 resized 600

Coming to study in the Big Apple? LIM College's Center for Graduate Studies is the best choice for practical and theoretical training in the business of fashion! Here at LIM College, we are sure that your academic knowledge and professional career will rise all the way to the top of the Empire State Building! 

lim nyc street phoyo

10 Reasons Why You’ll Love LIM College:

  • The City that Never Sleeps, the Capital of the World, whatever you want to call it, New York is an exciting place to live. There is always good food, new Broadway shows, and plenty of opportunities to visit a museum or two. From student discounts to countless inexpensive dining options, you don’t have to break the bank to go to grad school. Some of the best things to do in New York are free or cost very little: visit Central Park, grab a Citibike and ride down the West Side Highway to Battery Park while taking in the amazing views of the Hudson River!

  • Access to industry professionals is an important component of an LIM College education. CEO Speaker Series and Fashion Insiders Speaker Series are just two of the many ways LIM College exposes their students to industry experts who in their unique way, have made their mark on the fashion world.

    ceo at lim
  • Internships will provide you with intensive hands-on experience in the fashion industry. Symplicity is LIM College's jobs and internships database. Students can search for full-time positions before graduation and internships while an LIM College student. Some of the companies where our MBA students have interned include Chanel, Bergdorf Goodman, Michael Kors and more. 

  • All coursework revolves around the fashion industry. LIM College is exclusively devoted to the business of fashion. The best way to grow in this challenging and competitive field is to focus your classroom learning on the industry thus becoming a true fashion expert.  

  • Small classes, many of which focus on active learning based methods that involve “hands-on,” experience-based classroom work. 

    small classrooms
  • LIM College Professors understand the fashion universe inside and out. LIM College faculty members are published authors, nationally known experts, in-demand speakers and experienced professionals in every aspect of the business of fashion. They’re also dedicated teachers who care about your professional and personal success. Professors work closely with students offering professional industry experience with a personal approach.

career fair
  • Friday Seminars Series aid students by exploring many subjects that are vital to the fashion industry. Covering a variety of topics such as social media in retailing, Adobe Photoshop, design sketching and much more, these weekly seminars prepare you to a become well-rounded professional in the fashion industry. 

  • The Department of Experiential Education & Career Management at LIM College welcomes companies to our campus for many kinds of recruiting events, including Career Fairs and on-campus interviews for graduate students seeking jobs and internships. 

  • As you pursue an advanced degree at LIM College, you’ll experience the energy and excitement of urban life.  LIM College offers a friendly, close-knit environment where each student feels like they are part of a family. A truly rewarding college experience means a lot more than just going to class, working on class projects, and gaining experience in the industry. At LIM College, we know that attending graduate events, exploring the city, making important professional connections and forming lifelong friendships are just as important as your classroom studies.

    urban life

 (In photo: Jacqueline Jenkins, Director of Graduate Studies at LIM College, with graduate students)


Topics: admission, life in NYC, 5th Ave., grad school

Beyond The Textbooks: FundingPost Event

Posted by Paul Mucciarone on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 @ 11:56 AM


LIM College's Center for Graduate Studies offers more than executive training needed to succeed in the fashion industry. Here at LIM College, students are given the opportunity to go beyond their textbooks. On Thursday April 10, 2014, David Freschman, a professor at LIM College and CEO of Fashinvest, invited his Investing in New Ventures MBA class to a digital media & entertainment investing conference in New York City.  Students who attended were able to see firsthand what venture capitalists and investors do to find promising small businesses.

“Attending events such as the Fundingpost one, gave me a firsthand experience with expert individuals from the industry. Listening to the VC's speak was very influential and a once in a lifetime learning experience as an MBA student at LIM College. I will be able take what I learned with me in my future endeavors.” – Keri Murphy, Current MBA Student

funding post

mba studentleft to right: Keri Murphy, MBA Student, Cristina Munoz, MBA Student, David Freschman, CEO of FashInvest, Theodora Papamihalakis, MBA Student

The event consisted of three panel discussions with expert investors. The first panel discussed early stage investing and how to meet investors, pitch to them and the details of what it takes to get them to actually invest. The second panel discussed how to grow media and entertainment businesses. They went into great detail about how to protect, sell and partner up for future growth. The last panel talked about the newest investing trend called crowd funding and how businesses can use it to their advantage. David Freschman, moderator of the last panel discussion, spoke briefly about exit strategies and personal experiences with companies.

Exhibiting companies gave live elevator pitches in person to the panel of investors during the event. Before and after each panel there was time for networking with the panel of investors where insights and advice were exchanged.

“Education is all encompassing.  It’s not about textbooks, smart boards, or classrooms only. In today's competitive world it's about real life experiences that translate into real life knowledge. Having my students see the real world and meeting the industry influencers is what sets the LIM College MBA apart from other programs.” –David Freschman

Topics: LIM College, graduate school, fashion business, venture capitalist, MBA

Life after MBA: Michelle Reid, Co-Founder of

Posted by Paul Mucciarone on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 @ 01:24 PM

lim banner

LIM College’s graduate program breeds entrepreneurs. After graduating, new alumni are thirsty to own their own businesses. Michelle Reid, an MBA student specializing in entrepreneurship is using the tools that LIM College has provided in order to embark upon her journey to become successful. Hailing from Kingston, Jamaica, Michelle lives in Harlem, New York City and will be graduating in May, 2014.

In 2012, Michelle and her two partners started is a style social network that allows people to photo-share their personal style, network and buy and sell fashion products. The company's mission is to inspire others and represent everyone who loves fashion. Michelle Reid believes, “Fashions come and go but style is forever!” is currently running and showcasing New York City’s most stylish people caught on camera by the company’s scouts. Viewers also have the ability to register their username to join the mobile app that is planned to launch in the summer of 2014.

Flycatcha 2

Michelle Reid mentions, “We are more than a fashion blog…" will release their mobile app, available on iOS, Android, Windows and RIM, in summer 2014 allowing users to share their style each day, rate looks, comment and message each other.  Registered users will be able to set up profiles, explore other posts, as well as view photos of the stylish people with diverse styles. Anyone interested in using the mobile app may pre-register their username via the website. 

Flycatcha 1

The name of the company came about back in 2008, in New York City and was tweaked along the way. It symbolizes that if there is a fly trend, look or item, will catch it. With an initial seed investment, the development of the website and mobile app have been improving since its inception. Michelle and her team hope to take her company public in addition to opening up brand extensions, like public relations and style publications. 

“I will always want to be involved in the company, though I want to sell it and create other businesses...I'm a serial entrepreneur.” – Michelle Reid

LIM College has prepared Michelle with useful business tools in finance, accounting and marketing to continue to grow and expand into new businesses. She hopes that with the great success of, she will be able to give back to her LIM College community. Her most memorable experience in graduate school was in her Capstone class, where she refined her business plan and presented it to future investors that gave her useful feedback. 

Please support by visiting the website and following via social media! @Flycatcha on Instagram and Twitter



Topics: LIM College, fashion business school, Entrepreneur, graduate, MBA, fashion mba program