LIM College recently introduced a new graduate degree program: the Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Fashion Merchandising and Retail Management. By offering an array of graduate degrees, our students have the ability to choose the program that caters to their individual career goals in the fashion industry.
Since there are now two master's degree programs that focus on the fashion business, many prospective students want to know which degree program is the better one to fit their needs.
The MBA has two distinct concentrations: Fashion Management and Entrepreneurship. The entrepreneurship concentration will benefit anyone who is looking to start their own business venture, or looking to take their existing fashion venture to a higher level. The classes featured within this concentration are designed to provide you with the knowledge on how to launch a business, attract investors, grow the business, and ensure its continued success.
On the flip side of the MBA is the Fashion Management concentration. A student pursuing the Fashion Management concentration is aiming for the executive level. The end goal of these students is to become the person in charge of strategic initiatives in a fashion company. This concentration is for someone who envisions becoming a leader, boldly taking a business towards its goals.
The MPS in Fashion Merchandising and Retail Management has a narrower focus. This degree was designed to empower its students to transition into the fashion industry by entering into the fields of retail management, buying, fashion forecasting, or retailing. The curriculum consists of courses in merchandising, product development, visual merchandising, and branding.
What's the best way to know which program is right for you? The answer comes from talking it out. Give me a call (646-218-4124) or send me an message. By discussing your career goals and ambitions as a professional in the fashion business, I can advise you on making the right choice for the best graduate program for you.
Pictured here are MBA students Riki Tang from China and Patricia Gomez from Venezuela.
If you walk into any of our graduate classrooms and introduce yourself, you are likely meet students from all over the world. Our MBA students come from a multitude of countries: China, Brazil, Venezuela, India, Indonesia, Canada, Germany, Turkey, Thailand, Italy, South Korea, Bermuda, Bahamas, Spain, and Australia.
International students bring a unique perspective and add value to classroom discussions. The fashion industry is truly a global business and LIM College's MBA program prepares its students to understand the increasingly international fashion business.
The internship is a very important part of the MBA and MPS programs. This is a chance to get a unique experience in a top fashion company. We currently have a Braziilian MBA student who is interning at Versace. We had two MBA students from Thailand complete their internships at Gucci. The possibilities for work experience in the fashion industry in New York are very good. Our MBA students have also interned at Chanel, Givenchy, Emilio Pucci, Giorgio Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, Prada...the list could go on and on!
Our MBA student from China, Li Xiong, started the MBA program in March of 2012. She is now beginning the search for her internship experience. She is currently looking into a possible opportunity with luxury brand Lanvin. She has consulted with our career counselor on her best options. Asking Li about her experience in the MBA program, she replied, "I love it. I am interviewing and hoping to work with a brand that I have always admired! The career counselor Nancianne has been very helpful, and so has our school's job database, Symplicity! I did have interviews with a few companies, such as Derek Lam, Elie Tahari, a fashion magazine, and a PR company. Now the Lanvin interview opportunity makes me so thrilled and I can’t wait for it! My fingers are crossed, wish me good luck !"
Studying in New York presents so many opportunities in the fashion business. That's why LIM College is in the ideal place to help you develop the fashion career you want. Aside from the professional opportunities, there's nothing like life in New York City!
MBA Student from China, Li Xiong, is searching for her first internship in the fashion industry. In this picture Li is at our Career Fair speaking with a fashion industry recruiter.
As the admissions counselor for our graduate programs, I am your point of contact so that you can get all the information you need to make a good decision. I have worked with many applicants from many countries and I can answer your questions about visas, internships, life at LIM College, life in New York, classes, and other aspects of your big move to the USA. The process of applying, getting accepted, and making the moving arrangements can be quite overwhelming. I will guide you so that you know all the steps toward making your dream to grow in the fashion industry into a reality.
If you are an international student, LIM College welcomes you and will give you a meaningful experience here in New York City. If you have any questions about applying to our graduate programs, please email me at GraduateStudies@limcollege.edu and ask!
Want to get to know more international students at LIM College? Read about our undergraduate student from Hong Kong, Aaron Ku, and his experience interning at Chanel.
For information about applying to our graduate programs as an international student, please view our detailed information about international admission.
Off the Ice and onto the Runway: The Unlikely Pairing of Brawn and Beauty
By Natalie M. Oshin, MBA Student
As a student of LIM, it goes without saying that I have a passion for fashion. However, it may not be as evident, based on my petite frame, high-pitched voice, and bubbly personality, that the sport of ice hockey also plays an important role in my life. In high school, I played for two years on the boys’ varsity ice hockey team, and later when on to play for the women’s club team at the University of Pennsylvania. For the last 3 years, I have been a volunteer coach for the nonprofit organization Ice Hockey in Harlem, the main objective of which is to improve the social and academic wellbeing of children from the Harlem community through participation in ice hockey. For those of you who are unfamiliar with ice hockey, it tends to be a very expensive sport; the cost of ice time, equipment, and club fees can add up to more than $1,000 per child, per season! Since 1987, Ice Hockey in Harlem has helped thousands of children participate in a sport that would otherwise be financially unavailable to them.
To fund its efforts, Ice Hockey in Harlem hosts several fundraisers throughout the year, consisting of golf outings, dinner parties, and an annual sports auction. Historically, I have not been involved with these events; my main contribution to the program has always been the time I spend with the kids on the ice. However, when I got an email announcing that Ice Hockey in Harlem’s next fundraising event would be Fashion Faceoff, a hockey-inspired fashion show and design competition, I knew that this would be one event that I absolutely could not miss.
Only seldom do the worlds of ice hockey and fashion collide. The most famous intersection of brawn and beauty can be credited to former New York Rangers player, Sean Avery. In 2008, Avery was a popular player in the NHL, whose celebrity crossed over into the New York City social and fashion scenes. Avery made national headlines when it was announced that he would be spending the summer off-season that year interning at Vogue magazine. An article in Women’s Wear Daily, written about the interesting career move, describes Avery as "a self-confessed clotheshorse who has been known to give girlfriends advice on how to dress, and in interviews has expressed a dream to become a fashion editor after his days on the ice.” The following year, Avery tried his hand at designing, working with men's fashion label Commonwealth Utilities to present a clothing line for Fashion Week in New York City. In early 2012, Avery was a guest judge on Lifetime’s Project Runway All-Stars, and later that year, he served as the face of Hickey Freeman's Spring/Summer 2012 ad campaign.
Although Avery’s foray into fashion is the most well-known, other NHL players have also shown an interest in the field. In 2008, Alexander Ovechkin, decorated captain of the Washington Capitals, launched the Ovechkin Designer Street Wear Collection for men in collaboration with hockey brand CCM and designer Roger Edwards. Three years later, accomplished New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist took home the “Most Stylish Athlete” award at the 9th annual Style Awards, and has topped numerous best dressed lists. Entire NHL teams are also stepping off the ice and onto the runway. At the end of 2011, the NHL’s New York Rangers signed a surprising sponsorship deal with DKNY, allowing the fashion brand to adorn the team’s practice jerseys with its recognizable logo. (If my instincts are correct, that will simply be the first of many similar deals to come in future seasons.)
Ice Hockey in Harlem’s September 4th Fashion Faceoff fundraiser was the latest example of the ever-increasing overlap between hockey and fashion. Taking place at the posh Manhattan nightclub, Providence, the fashion competition brought together key players from both arenas. In attendance were retired NHL players Chris and Peter Ferraro, and Italian designer and socialite Maria Valentino. The event’s judges included E.J. Johnston, creator and executive producer of NBC’s hit show Fashion Star, Ville Leino, a forward for the Buffalo Sabres NHL franchise, and Nova Lorraine, founder and editor of Raine magazine. For the event, ten designers were invited to create a collection composed of three looks inspired by hockey team colors, logos, or anything else related to the sport.
Featured designers included Dania Richardson, Kayty Turpin, Wickett Ophelia, Jene Stefaniak, Malinda Williams, Rebecca Bernstein, Paola Richardo, Brina Stella, Arzu Akcay, and Keon Brown. Although she did not place in the top three, one of the designers whose work I though was most impressive was Malinda Williams of Oakland, California. While a clear connection to hockey was not immediately evident in the majority of the designers’ work, Williams’ men’s jacket and shorts combo was the exception. Inspired by the red and blue lines on a hockey rink, Williams designed a simple, yet innovative look, without being too literal in her interpretation. By the judges’ assessment, the big winner of the evening was Keon Brown of Paterson, New Jersey. Brown was inspired by the New Jersey Devils, “with its wickedly chic details, bold color, and sassy silhouettes.” His three designs received top honors, earning him the grand prize of a 2-page fashion spread in Raine magazine.
Although I did not take part in the competition as a featured designer, I was inspired to create a design of my own, which I wore to the event. My design was a strapless cocktail dress, made from my old practice jerseys and hockey skate laces. Since the dress was so traditional in its design, only upon closer inspection did some people actually recognize the materials I had used. Based upon who commented on my dress, I was able to determine the true hockey fans in attendance. The dress was such a hit, perhaps I’ll create some more pieces and start a collection for other hockey-playing fashionistas. (There have got to me more of us out there, right?)
My takeaway from Ice Hockey in Harlem’s Fashion Faceoff event was that the seemingly polar worlds of ice hockey and fashion are not as separate as we once thought. Upon chatting with some of the organizers after the event, I learned that initially not everyone was convinced a fashion-themed hockey fundraiser would draw enough interest as some of the organization’s more traditional events. However, the event proved to be a huge success, bringing together an eclectic mix of athletes, designers, philanthropists, and fashion enthusiasts, all for a worthy cause.
My advice to both the hockey and the fashion worlds is to take notice. Hockey players are a unique breed of athlete. As much as we don’t mind shedding sweat and blood for an overtime goal, we still care that our hair looks good when we take off our helmets. As much as we poke fun at Sean Avery for his stint at Vogue and his preoccupation with his physical appearance, at least he’s honest about being so vain. Hell, there’s a reason hockey tape comes in so many colors, and why Ovechkin’s CCM skates from two years ago (with the yellow laces) are still available for sale in every size online. Whether we admit it or not, we as hockey players care about fashion. Not until we proudly fess up to this taboo interest can we begin to capitalize on the untapped white space at the intersection of brawn and beauty.
LIM College's 2013 China Study Tour was an opportunity to experience China from a cultural, historical, and fashionable perspective. This year the trip took place during the first half of June. Several of LIM College's graduate students took part in the journey.
MBA student, Natalie Oshin describes her obersvations about Chinese cultural and business. Furthermore, she explains how studying abroad, even short-term, can be a life-changing experience.
How did you enjoy your experience in China?
While I risk sounding trite, I would not be truthful if I described my experience in China as anything but life-changing. When I embarked on this journey, it had been almost 10 years since I had last traveled overseas. Having missed the opportunity to study abroad as an undergraduate, I was looking forward to immersing myself in a foreign culture—the language, the food, the customs, and most importantly, the people. The two weeks we spent traveling between five cities—Beijing, Xi’an, Hangzhou, Wuzhen, and Shanghai—gave me the opportunity to do just that. The mix of sightseeing, cultural activities, and business visits allowed me to see China from a different perspective than that portrayed in the American
media. I was able to witness firsthand a culture deeply rooted in tradition, but also at the forefront of innovation and change. It is definitely a place I would like to visit again.
Which cultural experience did you most enjoy?
Visiting the Terracotta Warriors Museum in Xi’an, which the Chinese have proudly dubbed “The 8th Wonder of the World,” was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me. Standing in a room the size of two and a half football fields, with over 6,000 life-size terracotta soldiers, was a surreal experience. What was truly impressive is the fact that no two soldiers had the same face! It was also interesting to learn that the museum was built directly on top of the site where the first soldiers were discovered; it is in effect a “live exhibit,” since museum-goes can watch as archaeologists unearth more buried soldiers right before their eyes.
Which experience will add the most value your MBA degree?
The experience I feel will add the most to my MBA degree was our business visit to Alfilo, a brand licensing firm co-founded by LIM graduate, Richard Kisembo. While working at Iconix Brand Group, Richard had the opportunity to brush shoulders with famed Chinese investor, Silas Chao. Chao shared with him an important insight regarding a major difference between the American and Chinese cultures. According to Chao, Chinese people place a very high value on ownership, which he believes is why traditional brand licensing models are not successful in China. With this valuable knowledge, Richard and his business partners founded Alfilo, in an attempt to reinvent the way brand licensing is conducted in China. His team pioneered the “license to joint venture” model, which enables Chinese business partners to earn partial ownership of an American brand over a three year period. Richard’s story was extremely inspiring to me, not only because he was able to become a successful entrepreneur at such a young age, but because it changed my perspective on what it means to be an innovator. Richard taught me that you don’t necessarily need to invent a product to be a visionary; sometimes it’s as simple as retooling an existing idea to make it applicable to a foreign market.
How does the fashion industry in China differ from the US?
Quite a few things about China’s fashion industry stood out to me as being different from that of the US. For one, there is a much larger focus on men’s skincare as a standalone category. While there are a few specialty shops in the US that offer male-specific products, in China every drug store has a large men’s skincare section, and in Sephora, almost as much space is devoted to men’s products as women’s. Another observation is that the overall vibe of women’s fashion is much more feminine than in the US. At the department stores we visited, I felt as if I were lost in a labyrinth of pastels, ruffles, and brocade. On the street, it was very rare that we saw a Chinese woman wearing flats. Women driving mopeds and pedaling traditional bicycles all seemed to be wearing some type of heeled shoe, with platforms being the most popular choice. While the trends in China may be different, the love of fashion seems to transcend culture, as evidenced by a fight I witnessed between two women reaching for the same shirt at a Zara in Shanghai.
What experience did you find the most surprising?
Most surprising to me was the hospitality I experienced from a Chinese family the night we spent in Wuzhen. Kelsey, another student on the trip, and I went out together in search of a place to eat dinner, but we were having trouble communicating with the restaurant staff who did not speak English. A Chinese family that was just sitting down overheard our struggles, and invited us to join them at their table. The 25-year-old daughter spoke English relatively well, and helped us order vegetarian dishes. At the end of the meal, we tried to pay, but the family would not accept our money. After treating us to dinner, they invited us to join them for dessert and drinks at a bar with live music. We had a blast! We were incredibly grateful that night for the kindness of strangers who shared with us a piece of their family vacation.
by Tara Robinson, MBA Student
One of most anticipated courses in the LIM College MBA is Capstone. This project allows MBA students to access all the tools and information learned throughout the program. The course revolves around real-world case study situations incorporating retailing and fashion merchandising along with financial, marketing and strategic plans. The students develop their own fashion or beauty business venture that they believe will be successful in the industry. The professor for this course was Patricia Hoeltge, the Graduate Studies Director of LIM College. She felt that one of the projects that especially stood out amongst the class was Curvators™, which was developed by a group composing of Kristal Davis, Shari Driver, Dionna Matlock and Cierra Sanders. Here is an interview with the team on their amazing business idea!
What is the name of your business and explain what it’s all about?
The name of our business is Curvators™. Curvators™ is an ecommerce platform that offers a unique shopping experience by globally sourcing independent plus-size designers and providing an engaging educational and social platform for its plus-size customers. Curvators™ aims to become the premier plus-size fashion authority that offers a one-stop-plus shopping experience unmatched by any retailer. Curvators™ e-commerce products have double benefits to both consumers and designers. Consumers are offered bolder and daring fashion forward trendy apparel based on their personality, while worthy plus-size designers maximizes brand visibility to help fill gross margin gaps. In addition, Curvators™ offers services that help to transition imagery of real models and fashion houses to mirror the everyday full-figured fashion consumer. It provides reputable wardrobe consultation services and an amazing CurV-Log social experience hosted by well-known fashion bloggers. Curvators™ goes further to reach its customer by partnering with non-plus size fashion designers to create exclusive small lines as a surprise flash sale.
Did you know what you were going to do when you started?
Initially, Kristal Davis came up with the idea. When we first started coming up with ideas for our capstone project, each one of us had our own great business venture. However, given the current need in the industry for a more concentrated focus on the plus-size market, we all agreed that the idea for Curvators would be the best one.
How did you come up with the idea?
We thought about what it means to be a plus-size consumer and the frustration of not having a consistent source of contemporary trendy fashion styles. One of our teammates is a plus-size fashionista and one of her main complaints as a consumer is the lack of style and sizes available for her to choose from when shopping. We were all familiar with other online retail sites like Sonsi and Madison Plus that cater to the plus-size customer, but the sites lacked a social media component that would help customers make the best styling decisions for their individual personality and body type. We wanted to develop a platform that married the concept of ecommerce with social media to provide a full range of service for our customer.
What sets it apart from the other capstone projects?
I believe our project truly focused on a niche market that has yet to be targeted by existing fashion brands. There are several brands that offer fashions to other market niches like maternity wear – a niche that was targeted by the capstone group Glammy, but we felt that Curvators is on the cusp of a new movement in fashion retailing, catering to the underserved market of the plus-size customer.
What were some of the difficulties you faced?
Time management was one of our biggest challenges. There was so much research and data available to help us identify our target market, but to "curate" through all the resources took a lot of time and effort from the team.
How did this prepare you for the real world?
Fortunately, we were a very diplomatic group and we all listened to each other’s ideas with an open mind and critiqued each other on ideas that need further development. Occasionally, a creative difference would come up (i.e should we start source global designers right away or focus on domestic designers first), but we discussed the pros and cons of the issue until an agreement was made. Sometimes, ideas were revisited and we had to keep reminding each other about the overall mission and vision of Curvators.
How did you resolve your creative differences?
Preparing a business plan is a great way to really understand who you are as an entrepreneur. A business plan allows you to see the business idea in its entirety and not just the idea itself. It is a realistic approach to discovering if you really want to start the business and will you be able to handle the unforeseen struggles that come along during the startup phase. Overall, I believe this business plan preparation pushed each of us to go beyond our comfort levels and pushed our creative limits further than we otherwise thought were not possible.
Request more information about our graduate programs
An LIM College MBA Student Guide to Finding a Place in the City
By: Tara Robinson, MBA Student
You somehow completed the GMAT, finished your application and have painfully waited to hear the response that will determine the next 15 months or more of your life. Then that email comes and YOU’RE IN! You now have the “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys playing in the back of your mind simultaneously with scenes from The Devil Wears Prada.
You then stop your moment of glee, MID happy dance; to the painful reality that you have no place to live! Take some deep breaths and continue your happy dance because just 4 months ago I was in your shoes. This post will give you all the dos, don’ts and all the stuff I wish I knew 4 months ago.
First thing first, create a budget to know what your price range is before you start looking for apartments. Don’t start looking at these amazing apartments and then realize it’s completely out of your budget, trust me it’s too painful for one soul to bare. If you have a roommate in mind you’re on the right track! If you don’t, you can contact us so that we can put you in contact with other students who are looking for roommates as well. Also use the Facebook groups and pages as resource to meet other students.
Okay now that that’s out of the way there are a few things you need to know about apartment hunting in NYC.
Don’t start looking until about three to four weeks before your move in date. I know this one is a tough one but apartments go off the market quickly in New York. If you look at something months before it probably won’t be there when you’re looking again. I do advise that you make a list of areas you want to live in or possible buildings that list availabilities. Boroughs such as Brooklyn, Harlem and the Bronx are good alternatives when looking for more space and lower rents than you will be able to find in the city.
Make sure you check the commute from your apartment to LIM College (type in Maxwell Hall’s address because this is where all your classes will be) and make sure there is public transportation nearby .
You don’t need a two bedroom apartment just at apartment that can fit two bedrooms! This is a trick you will learn in New York, some apartment buildings will let you put up a flex/pressurized wall that can separate a space and make a 1 bedroom apartment into a 2 bedroom. This can cost you up to 700-950 depending on which company you use. This includes the door and taking the wall down when you move out! This is what I’ve done in my apartment because we had a huge living room and my room is actually bigger than my roommate’s. If you know you want to do a flex wall make sure you call them as soon as you find an apartment because they can take a while. Also ask your leasing office what contracts or forms the wall company will need to present in order for them to put up the wall.
Try to avoid using a broker! There are a lot of apartment hunting websites that will show you great buildings. However, you then have to contact the broker to view the apartment and each apartment will have a different broker and a different broker's fee! You can end up paying thousands in broker fees. So avoid these sites because it’s an unnecessary additional cost to finding an apartment. Here’s a list of websites that can help you avoid those pesky fees. Also if you can find the name of the apartment contact the leasing office yourself! (Envision Miranda in that scene in Sex and the City following the movers with the couch. You have to be aggressive!)
NYBits (Our favorite as you can search listings as well as find buildings, property management companies, property developers and a ton of other information to help you find that dream apartment on your own)
Have a co-signer in mind! Let's say that you and your roomie have found the perfect apartment and it’s time to fill out the application PAUSE; you don’t make enough money for the apartment to approve you and you need a co-signer. This is one of the many annoying parts about apartment hunting in New York as soon as you find an apartment and contact them they expect you to have all the documents and applications done in the next 1-3 days (not business days!) or they will put the apartment back on the market. So it’s really important that you have all your information ready so that you don’t miss the perfect apartment when you finally find it. Here’s a list of documents that you and your co-signer/guarantor will typically need:
Recent pay stub
Letter of employment/enrollment letter
Copy of two or three recent bank states
Fill out an application (SSN# for background check and credit check)
*Listen up International Students! What if you don’t have a cosigner or your co-signer is out of country? Most apartments in New York will not take out of country co-signers (still ask) but don’t worry you do have other options.
Some Apartments will let you pay up to 6months-1yr up front if you don’t have a co-signer. Always offer 6 months first then up to a year.
Some apartments cater to alien residents like the Avalon apartments so look up your country’s embassy in New York and ask them what apartments their diplomats live in.
If any of the previous steps haven’t worked for you should think about subleasing a room for a while until you can find a more permanent location. Craigslist is a great resource for subleasing rooms. Just make sure that you meet anyone from Craigslist in a public area!
Say all hope is lost and you just can’t find a place or don’t want the hassle, then there is always on-campus housing. It’s on a first come first serve basis. Also keep in mind it will be the typical college dorm room.
Fashion 2.0: The Digital Evolution of Fashion Week
by Laurie Espino, MBA student at LIM College
Just a few years ago, Fashion Week was an exclusive, by-invitation event that was reserved for elite editors and journalists. These days, just about everyone can have access to the latest designer shows and collections thanks to the infinite advancements of the digital age. Social media is one of those new digital toys that have changed the way the world sees Fashion Week.
As a fashion journalist, I was blown away by the amount of social responsibilities we now hold to our readers: they turn to our Tweets to get style details; they check our Instagram posts to get an inside look at what designers are showing. Live tweeting has become so common at fashion shows that we hardly have enough attention span to actually watch the collection being displayed before us. Pretty crazy since that’s the main reason why we were sent to shows, right?
During my post-NYFW recovery, I attended Style Coalition’s Fashion 2.0: The Digital Evolution of Fashion Week. The panel was led by Style Coalition Founder & CEO Yuli Ziv, and featured industry leaders from all parts of the fashion industry. There was BuzzFeed Fashion Editor Amy Odell, DVF’s EVP of Marketing & Communications Michelle Horowitz, Fashion GPS’ Director of Sales Jill Melz, and WGSN Trend Forecasting Editor Rachel Arthur. Each panel member shared their personal and professional experience with the growing advancements of social media. It was great getting to hear about the digital revolution of fashion, and how it affects different business segments. As an MBA student who hopes to advance in this very area of the fashion industry, I found the experience to be priceless.
Fashion 2.0 was just one of the many events MBA students have the opportunity to attend. Our next event will be the CEO Roundtable Series with Brant Cryder, President of YSL America.
Photo Credit: Jillian Bove, http://www.meetup.com/fashion20/photos/11047052/
|Fashion 2.0 speakers from left: Style Coalition Founder & CEO Yuli Ziv, BuzzFeed Editor Amy Odell, DVF EVP of Marketing and Communications Michelle Horowitz, Fashion GPS’s Director of Sales Jill Melz, and WGSN Editor Rachel Arthur.|
|MBA students Riki Tang and Rahul Zala take time to snap a pic before the panel takes their place.|
So you want to be an entrepreneur. As you round out your MBA studies, and map out your entrepreneurial career, you’re probably wondering how to move forward. Recent LIM College MBA graduate Kristen Pagan co-founded her new business, SeamBliss, while still in school. Join us as we follow her story, and discover what it’s like to truly build a business from the ground up.
LIM: What is SeamBliss?
Kristen Pagan: SeamBliss is an online community for unique, handmade apparel. It connects customers who are looking for one-of-kind fashion directly to its designers. For designers, we offer great marketing exposure, so they can focus on their craft.
LIM: How did you get started on the entrepreneurial path?
KP: I was working a corporate job in fashion, and was very unhappy. While I was job-hunting, I heard that my current business partner was looking for someone to help with his start-up idea. We met up, and he showed me his business plan. After a thorough analysis, I felt confident about his venture and decided to join him.
LIM: What gave you the ultimate push to go forward with a start-up?
KP: At my corporate job, there was no excitement. There was a lack of engaging…in short, boring. With SeamBliss, I get to see a business build from the ground up. It’s very fulfilling, and I love it.
LIM: What’s on SeamBliss’s horizon?
KP: Well, right now we are working with an accelerator program in New Jersey called TechLaunch. They give us guidance with accounting, legal, and networking. We have our Demo Day coming up on November 1st, where we will be pitching to investors.
LIM: What LIM class do you think best prepared you for the challenge you face in your new business?
KP: Definitely Entrepreneurial Finance and Intrapreneurship. Those classes were pricelss.
Don’t forget to tune-in for more updates on Kristen’s entrepreneurial journey, and don’t forget to check out SeamBliss.com!
There are so many things to look forward to in the Fall: Pumpkin Spiced Latés from Starbucks, digging out our boots and scarves, and the start of our CEO Roundtable Series! Ben Fischman, CEO of the oh-so-addicting website Rue La La, kicked off this year’s series. MBA student Laurie Espino shares her thoughts on the event:
“I always love hearing how industry leaders got to where they are. Ben’s story is particularly fascinating because he started off stating that he never envisioned himself in the fashion industry. Before the presentation, I found it’s always good to read a couple of articles about the company they are representing. It shows you’re interested. Plus, it helps you think up a question during the Q&A section.
It’s important not just to attend these events, but to take the chance to meet the speaker. A lot of them are open meeting students, if only for a moment. Take a deep breath and introduce yourself to the speaker at the end of their talk – even if it’s just to thank them for coming. Also, try to score their business card at the end. This is especially handy when you’re on the job hunt!”
The thought of studying abroad can be equally terrifying as it is exciting. Getting to explore a foreign city and experiencing a new culture is an amazing opportunity for any student, but may require some courage to take the chance. However, LIM College MBA student Amanda Castilone knew she wanted to seize the opportunity. She took that chance and is now studying at PoleESG in the heart of Paris. Now, she shares with us the fears she had, and why she boarded that plane to France!
Why did you choose Paris out of all other places to study abroad?
I originally thought I wanted to study in London, but the graduate program at LIM College was still working on the exchange agreement with London College of Fashion at that time. Then, I found out I was able to study at PoleESG in Paris, and was thrilled! I knew that I would get a better experience studying in Paris, because the city really values fashion like New York.
Also, the Parisian way of life is very different from what we are accustomed to in the United States. I knew it would be difficult because the only French words I knew we're Bonjour, Merci, and s'il vous plaît... but I was up to the challenge!
What was your biggest concern when you considered studying abroad?
My biggest, initial concern was not knowing how to speak French. After being here for about a month, I find that almost everyone I talk to is more than willing to help me if I simply say "bonjour" and tell them "Je ne parle pas français" which means "I do not speak French." After people hear that they almost instantly speak English, and are very accommodating! Now my biggest concern is how to conserve my money with all the traveling I want to do!
What made you decide to go for it?
I didn’t take the chance to study abroad during my undergrad, and I knew this would be my last opportunity to study in another country. I knew as soon as I interviewed with LIM College and learned that they offered study abroad programs that I was going to go for it. As soon as I was sure the exchange program with PoleESG was in place and I was able to apply there would be no turning back for me!
What classes are you taking?
I am taking International MBA courses at both ESG Management School and Paris Business School. At ESG, I am studying International Marketing and Branding for Luxury Products. At PBS, I am taking Fundamentals of Luxury and Fashion.