Read on to see how her perseverance paid off and what advice she has for senior students.
How did an internship or on-campus job help prepare you for your first job after graduation?
When I was at Columbia I had an internship at a wholesale showroom. Although wholesale selling wasn’t what I wanted to do post-graduation, it gave me exposure to the buyers who would come in during Market weeks. It also helped me to further understand the retail cycle and professionalism within the industry.
How did you stay positive and motivated in your job search, especially if your first job wasn’t your dream job?
When I first interviewed at Claire’s I did not get the position. I kept trying because after getting a taste of the industry, I knew I had to be there! Never stop trying! After two months I interviewed again and got the position as an Assistant Buyer!
In addition to technical skills, what other skills are important for students to be aware of as they prepare to graduate and interview?
As a Fashion Business major at Columbia, I not only learned about Fashion, but also about the business world. I had a leg up on my peers by knowing how to correctly write and respond to emails, in addition to experience with public speaking and presenting. I also learned how to market myself which starts in the interviewing phase, but will continue on with you throughout your career!
What advice do you have for senior students?
Network, network, network! It’s definitely the key to getting your foot in the door no matter what field you are in! Get a mentor or internship first to get a feel for the company you are looking into! When interviewing always be confident and show off your portfolio/class projects (interviewers will love this). When you do land your first job, it’s important to always ask questions! That will help you to stand you out from a crowd and shows management and colleagues that you are really interested in excelling within the company!
If you are a junior or senior interested in creating a website of your body or work, make an appointment with Darlene Jackson or Melissa Hennessy in Handshake.
You can also view Autumn’s website here.