Student Life at FIT: Career Prep, Clubs, & Remote Learning

Since my sophomore year of high school, I was trying to figure out what was in my heart for me to go to college for. I’ve always wanted to go to college and never opposed the idea, but finding a career which would really interest me to pursue was the part I was struggling with. I loved dressing up, buying clothes, and always noticed how much I loved fashion but taking it as a job was something I would never assumed was possible. So many people judge the fashion industry and assume it’s either people who know people that can make it to the top, you have to be wealthy, and already have some sort of platform or foundation in the industry to even be relevant. These are all false.

After finally doing a lot of research for months, I applied to several different colleges one of them being FIT, Fashion Institute of Technology right in New York. I live in New Jersey less than an hour away from the city so I could easily commute, and I absolutely love the city so I knew this would be perfect. Luckily after a suspenseful amount of months just waiting for my answer, I received an email on a random morning in April 2020 and I couldn’t believe my dream had really come true. Fast forward to October 2020, I am now in my second month at FIT and it has been an incredible experience even though I haven’t had the opportunity to go to the school physically, I really have loved all my classes so far. My major right now is Fashion Business Management which is one of the most popular and most applied to degrees making it a little bit competitive in the application process.

One of the things I love about FIT is how it is so centered around helping students and making sure we get as much information as possible about finding careers, talking to others in the industry, and being educated on what it is we are going to do after we graduate. One cool event that was taken place is a “Coffee with the Dean of Students: Virtual Edition.” This consisted of a virtual coffee or tea session with the Dean and you can have a one-on-one talk with her about anything on your mind. Whether it’s your online experience, your favorite professors, and more. Although I did not attend, I did receive the email and thought it was such a creative idea to stay interactive with the students as the Dean.

Almost every single day, I also receive emails about the plenty of virtual workshops that are held relating to career opportunities with brands like Skechers and Uniqlo, how to ace a Zoom interview, Resume Review Days, Career Fairs, Wix workshop on how to make a website, and more. Even the recruiting team from Abercrombie and Fitch have spoken to students online about the designing and process of working at this brand. This is all provided by the career and internship services which focus specifically on providing these webinars and other resources for students to use. There is even a virtual workshop coming up on Friday, November 6th called “How To Manage Career Anxiety” which focuses on “how to unlock the power of your mind through meditation to help you win your career.” Not only is it based around careers, but also mental health and how that plays a huge role in our lives.

You can also schedule appointments with your academic advisor whenever you have a question about anything and can get guidance. You never really feel like you’re alone and are always an email away from getting in touch with anybody from FIT to help your concerns.

After getting into FIT my senior year of high school, I also decided to start this blog and it is an example of how I started my career in fashion earlier than others. When I was starting to apply for jobs, I noticed my resume was extremely empty and wanted to add something to it which would enhance my opportunity at getting somewhere. I started this blog during the quarantine back in April and since then have had so much progress and amazing opportunities to talk to brands, business owners, receive product from companies to review and post, and interview influencers about their careers and advice for others. Having this blog seriously opened up a whole new world to me and allowed me to not only focus on my school work, but also participate in clubs, and even doing the blog on side. I always make time to do what I love and the best part is that even though it is a hobby, it feels like I am just having fun and being creative while getting to share my work, ideas, and thoughts with the world.

Participating in clubs and being very active in student activities is something else I really enjoy. Even in high school I always tried to be apart of things which would benefit me in the long run such as my school newspaper, doing track for almost three years, and Yearbook. Although I didn’t continue doing sports in college, joining the W27 Newspaper which is the official newspaper of FIT, has been a fun and very organized experience as well. If you’re interested in being apart of the clubs, some of the ones they have to offer include the Business & Entrepreneur Club, WFIT (Radio), Culinary Arts, Diversity, Merchandising Society, Technical Design, and more.

Several events also take place for everyone who doesn’t want to be apart of clubs such as Mindful Monday X Yoga which is every Monday and is part of the FIT Health Services. In the Department of Athletics and Recreation, you can join virtual workout sessions called “Six Pack Attack with Aubrey Brown.”

As a college student at FIT, you are also given many IT-Support Software and Applications to make your experience a lot easier. Blackboard is the official learning software which we use to attend our classes and meet with our professors. There is an official FIT app for anyone to download and learn more about the school. LinkedIn Learning is provided which has 5,000+ demanded courses. Even Office 365 which includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint and more so that we can do assignments through there if a professor asks us to. Having all of these resources provided to us is a huge plus to our education.

Despite not having the opportunity to attend FIT in person and really start off college with an amazing experience, doesn’t mean that I haven’t been able to get this from online. It obviously isn’t fun being at a computer for hours and staring at a screen but luckily I have had great teachers who try to incorporate fun and education into our lectures and assignments. Everyday I wake up at pretty reasonable times to attend my classes and I still get ready to sit at my desk or my dining room table and begin my day. I try not to let the fact that it is online to let me get lazy and do everything from bed although I do have my days where I really don’t want to move.

Remote learning takes place either on Webex or Blackboard Collaborate and these are similar to Zoom but the educational version. We can be put into breakout groups with random students from that class to discuss what the teacher would like us to, we could show our faces if we choose, and as long as we participate and do the assignments on time, the classes are very manageable. You still have to stay responsible and be on top of your work or else it will all catch up to you and you’ll find yourself pulling all nighters.

My overall experience with attending FIT and doing everything virtually has been an interesting one and I have had no complaints so far which I’m glad. I have been seeing the positive with staying at home and it is just to protect ourselves and others from the spread of COVID-19 so of course we can’t be mad at that because at the end of the day, we all need to stay safe. Teachers are also very considerate of their students having wifi problems or issues with their connection which has happened to me a couple times since starting school in August.

When I first was applying for for colleges, I did finally figure out that business was what I wanted to do, but in the fashion industry was something I never thought I could do. After being at this school since August 2020 and it now being October 2020, I have come to realize just how important my career is and have been provided with so many cool workshops, live classes with people from the industry, and employees from brands speaking about their experience.

The most important part about the fashion industry is that even though it is competitive, you have to always have hope and remain faithful that you will get to the road your life has for you, when the time comes. Everyone receives different things at different times so we can’t get discouraged when we see someone who gets something you wanted because all of our time will come when it’s meant for us and having this positive mindset has really helped me with my experience as well.

The Fashion Institute of Technology is truly a great school so if you’re thinking about applying or want to learn more about whether this experience is meant for you, hopefully this blog post helped and can make the process easier in terms of deciding the path for your future. I can’t wait to see where FIT takes me in a couple of years when I graduate.

Thank you so much for reading! 

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Author: Pamela Valdez

Content Writer Intern for She's SINGLE Magazine, Social Media Marketing Intern, and PR Editorial Intern for Access by NKC. Pursuing fashion industry and will be an upcoming undergraduate at FIT.