Chicago > New York > Chicago! 2014 Fashion Studies alumna Brittany Lippert shares her thoughts on her time at Columbia, internships, and her career path.
How did an internship or on-campus job help prepare you for your 1st job after graduation?
While attending Columbia, I completed two internships. My first internship was at BCBG- Max Azria as a Retail Management Intern and the second as a Merchandise Planner for Lord & Taylor in NYC. When the summer was over, I went back for my last semester at Columbia. Three days later, Lord & Taylor called me to interview for their Executive Training Program to be a Buyer. Post graduation I moved to NYC for the Executive Training Program at Lord & Taylor.
How did networking or making connections help you in your job search?
Networking plays a huge role in job searching. When I was at Columbia we had assignments to shadow or do an informal interview with someone in the field. This gives you an understanding if the job is right for you and if you can see yourself at that company. By networking with a friend, mentor or someone in that field, they can help you post graduation with securing a job. You can also make connections by going to events in your field of study. I would always volunteer for fashion shows in school.
What do you love most about your job?
Recently, I moved back to Chicago and now work in Retail Management with Neiman Marcus. I love by job because it’s truly what I love to do! Being in Retail Management, you get to grow people and watch them succeed. We are very fashion focused and receive the best quality of merchandise from the top designers. I also get to participate in events, social media, and building relationships with clients. Everyday is different. Fashion changes and never stays the same, that’s what makes fashion so exciting!
What advice do you have for senior students?
If you haven’t done so already, complete an internship. This way you know before graduation if the job is right for you and gain experience in the field. Always have a mentor in the field to help you along the way. When I started my freshman year at Columbia, Melissa Gamble helped guide my way to take a risk and apply to different positions. Listen to your professors they give the best advice since they work in the field. Network and make connections by volunteering, interning, etc. so you can land your dream career. Market yourself during the interview process. Bring your portfolio to interviews to show job seekers what your capable of. Most importantly, don’t give up!
Thank you, Brittany! Wishing you all the best for continued happiness!