If you’re graduating from college soon, you’ve probably asked yourself “What’s next?” or “Where to go from here?” No need to worry — there’s a vast number of opportunities out there for all fashion students. Employers are pretty eager to accommodate Kent State students, as the known skillset of fashion design and merchandising students’ peak interest in most job areas. Kent State University also ranks 13th in the world as the top fashion school and fourth in the country.
If you haven’t already, create a profile on Handshake and wait as the job offers pour in. This platform connects students to employers and vice versa, for those hiring or seeking employment. You should also do your own research, attend as many career fairs as you can and start networking. Socializing on its own can get your foot in the door, with the right qualifications of course.
To make the transition less intimidating, think about your options beforehand so as the time approaches, you’re prepared for what’s next.
The Business of Fashion Careers is a great place to start your hunt for jobs and/or internships. It offers more than 4,600 employment options from 300 top fashion companies in the industry to view and apply for. Additionally, the BoF covers the latest fashion news, fashion history, analysis and business intelligence.
Furthermore, if you’re planning to further your studies, BoF also offers references for the best fashion schools, in case you need a change of scenery.
To start – subscribe to BoF and upload your CV to connect with a potential employer that suggests jobs that match your qualifications or experience level. Plus, you can sign up for personalized job alerts.
Here are some post-grad options to consider (deadlines included):
PR & Communications
Fashion Public Relations Specialists help apparel companies and retail stores build and maintain a favorable public image, find creative ways to keep the company’s brand name in the public eye and select information that they want to share with the public. They are also responsible for interacting with the media when questions or crises arise from outside sources. As such, PR specialists must maintain strong professional relationships with media personnel.
Coursework in journalism is preferred and an internship or some experience working at a fashion publication or other media outlet is key. Knowledge of journalistic basics including proper news release formats, excellent written and oral communication and presentation skills, good interpersonal skills, good time management and multi-tasking skills and the ability to maintain an even temperament under stress, are also necessary.
Responsible for conceptualizing, designing and implementing window and in-store displays for both online and brick and mortar retail stores. Visual Merchandisers must combine their artistic flair and creativity with technical know-how to set up displays that catch the eye and appeal to the senses of their target customers. Additionally, you may also oversee or have input into the design and layout of a store or department, tradeshow displays, fashion showrooms and any other areas where the store’s apparel and accessories are displayed, promoted or sold.
A bachelor’s degree in visual and/or fashion merchandising, applied design, graphic design or a related field is usually required. Coursework in consumer psychology and buying behavior is particularly helpful. An internship with a visual merchandiser or experience in retail sales is also needed. Necessary skills include artistic expression, technical and design expertise (e.g. building set, props, setting up proper lighting, etc), knowledge of fashion and art/design industry trends/forecasts and the ability to work well with others.
Fashion designers conceptualize and create new clothing and accessory designs. They must analyze fashion trends and work closely with production, sales and marketing departments to design, produce and promote a finished, ready-to-wear, salable product for apparel manufacturers, specialty and retail stores, and at times, individual clients.
A 2 or 4-year college degree in fashion design, fashion merchandising or a related field is recommended but not always required. Several years as an intern, design assistant or junior designer is also preferred. Necessary skills include creative expression, sewing, drawing and sketching skills, computer skills (especially with the use of CAD – computer assisted design), knowledge of fashion trends/forecasts, knowledge of manufacturing and production process, and the ability to deal with ambiguity, rejection and stress due to deadlines.
Responsible for overseeing the conceptualization, design, construction, selling and distribution of a manufacturer or designer’s products. They also oversee the set-up and implementation of quality assurance protocols for their product. Product managers usually handle a specific product, or product line.
A 4-year bachelor’s degree in business administration, marketing or apparel production is absolutely required. An MBA (Masters in Business Administration) is a plus, as is participation in some executive training programs. Necessary skills include strong math skills, extensive knowledge of the apparel industry and trends, the ability to combine information from market sales and production data with fashion forecasts and translate into smart product-line decisions, well-organized, detail oriented, the ability to work with other executives and calm under pressure.
Graphic designers design and prepare camera-ready copy for any type of printed material, including business cards and stationary, brochures, advertising, packaging, book covers and many other types of materials, for various fashion businesses. They may work for an advertising agency, fashion magazine, graphic design firm, as a freelance designer, or out of their own studio. In large agencies, they work on a team with the art director and creative director in order to conceptualize and create specific designs to be approved by their client.
A 2 or 4-year degree in graphic design or related field is highly recommended. Coursework should include techniques for graphic communication and electronic art. College internships and related experience is also recommended. A portfolio of previous work is most likely required. Necessary skills include good sense of style, color and design, ability to tolerate criticism, creativity and imagination, attention to detail, good computer skills and the ability to collaborate with other professionals.
Responsible for overseeing all aspects of a store’s operations. Depending on the size of a store, store managers do or at least are involved in some manner in everything from approving visual displays and print or television advertisements, ordering a store’s merchandise inventory, setting up pricing policies, to hiring, training, firing and promoting employees. They are ultimately responsible for the store’s bottom line, and as such must have the right combination of fashion industry knowledge, business acumen and interpersonal skills to keep their stores profitable. Working long hours, weekends, evenings and holidays are often part of the job.
A 2 or 4-year college degree is recommended for smaller stores while department stores require at least a bachelor’s degree. Ideal fields of study include fashion merchandising and/or fashion retailing, business management and other related fields. Necessary skills include interpersonal and management skills, highly organized, detail oriented, solid business skills particularly in marketing, accounting, sales and management.
Assistant Store Manager, Tory Burch — Leesburg, VA, United States – Dec. 5
If you’re currently searching for opportunities, make sure to check these options out as some deadlines are quickly approaching. And for those of you looking for future opportunities, they regularly update their job offerings, so there’ll be available options when you’re ready. Happy job hunting!
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