FORM & Fashion Fair

Lately, when meeting new people and introducing myself—which often includes mentioning my major—I’ve discovered that there are many other people who are interested in fashion merchandising. And if not fashion merchandising, fashion business seems to be a unique but popular career interest among students here. Unfortunately, Rutgers does not offer majors for this field.

Because of that, I’m always really excited when fashion-related activities appear on campus. Just this semester, FORM, the Fashion Organization of Retail and Marketing, was created, providing students with the opportunity to explore and develop their interests in this field. There isn’t a club like this on campus, and I think it’s great that students will now be able to learn more about retail outside of the classroom. So far, FORM has held a resume critique session and brought in guest speakers within the fashion industry. One guest speaker was Professor Arnold Pollack from Rutgers Business School-Newark, who shared his experience working as a buyer for Macy’s and gave a short lecture on fashion merchandising. Representatives from Kru and Krahn, a local boutique here in New Brunswick, also came to speak to FORM.

Some FORM E-Board members & a general member

Some FORM E-Board members & a general member

Their big event, though, was the Fashion Fair, held on April 9th in the Rutgers Student Center. This was the first fashion career fair that Rutgers has ever had, and I would definitely call it a success. Hiring representatives from around 10 different retail companies were there, including Michael Kors, Saks 5th Avenue, PVH, and Dressbarn.

Even though I am a freshman, this career fair was a great opportunity for me to network and learn more about potential careers in fashion—which is my end goal. And if you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’ve been considering a career in fashion yourself. Here are three key tips I gathered from the employers there:

 

1.       Dressbarn: Know exactly what you want to do and what you are looking for. Be specific, don’t be wishy washy. Employers want to see someone confident and directed!

2.       Lord & Taylor: If you want to work in fashion, it is helpful to have retail experience, even as a sales associate. Retail experience provides insight into the inner workings of a business or store which could give you an advantage when going corporate.

3.       PVH: Start early! Go to events like these to build your confidence and get your feet wet. Get your name out there, make connections! When you’re older, you’ll be able to utilize these connections and know exactly how to interact with employers.

 

RU Students in line waiting to talk to employees of their favorite fashion brands

RU Students in line waiting to talk to employees of their favorite fashion brands

Overall, I really enjoyed the fashion fair, and I like being in FORM. I hope FORM continues this event because I’d love to talk to these companies and more next year. I’m excited to see more of what FORM has to offer, and I’m excited to see FORM grow as an organization.