Moving to New York City alone can be an overwhelming, nerve-wracking experience. Moving there, and trying to get a job in the fashion industry right away? - very nerve-wracking.
When I moved here in 2012, I had no idea what to expect: I was a freshman at LIM College, living in the dorms, trying to get a grasp on this new world. After a few weeks of getting comfortable in the city, making friends, and getting settled at school, my dad reminded me it was time to get a job.
Let me tell you - I was NO WHERE NEAR PREPARED when I walked into my first interview with my resume (which, may I add, had about… five lines?) Luckily, it went smoothly, and the company just wanted to get a feel of who I was and what I could bring to the table. A few weeks later, I got a call back, and I started my first job at Barney’s New York.
Since then, my experience has been spread out between internships and work experience. I can happily tell you that I wear many hats: having worked in public relations, marketing, event planning, international sales, and have finally ended up at my first job in wholesale.
But - it doesn’t always go smoothly. There were a lot of interviews, a lot of learning, and a whole lot of patience. If you’re looking to get into any industry, especially the fashion industry, I would give you one piece of advice: Be prepared, especially for the unexpected. Be good on your feet. Be ready for anything and everything. Not only does it show you’re resourceful - but it shows your dedication to that present moment.
Interviewing is the best practice - most of my advisors through school encouraged us to go to as many as we can, simply because you improve a bit more and more every time.
The interview that has shaped me the most throughout my years of experience was a recent one - one that was very important to me because it was for a full-time position after graduation. I went in knowing I would be meeting with the Director of the department; so I was incredibly prepared (or so I thought). Within the first five minutes of the interview, I was quizzed on the languages I had put on my resume, asked to “sell” several items of merchandise to the Director, and list the last four books I had read. Oh, here’s another tip: NEVER “STRETCH THE TRUTH” ABOUT LANGUAGES ON YOUR RESUME. I ended up doing the first half of my interview in Spanish. Can I speak basic Spanish? Yes. Can I explain to someone that I was currently working on compiling a list of competitive analysis reports? Not so much.
Luckily, and thankfully after switching back to English, I was able to sell myself and made it to the final interview round. Thinking on my feet and being able to glide through unplanned situations really saved me here - and it is something I’ll take with me through the rest of my professional career.
Work hard and be nice to people, live like a sponge and absorb as much information as you can. Be patient, learn that “no’s” will come along so you’ll be ready to accept your “yes,” and most importantly, do not forget to remove fluent in from your resume.