New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

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Watty
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by Watty » Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:02 pm

psteinx wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:37 pm
I kinda agree with btenny. If she's serious about breaking into the industry, she needs to be living where the industry IS.

Somebody in need of an entry level fashion employee - say a studio in Los Angeles, is not going to want to fly someone in from Alabama to interview for the $15/hour position, and probably not be fully comfortable with a video interview either. Milk the family contact lists for a friend or relative in the LA area (or NYC), get the kid to move there, hopefully couch surf or stay in a spare bedroom for a few weeks (at least until she can get a stable apartment with roommates), get a waitressing or temp job with flexible hours, then use the downtime to hustle for work in her desired career. Or, maybe go out with a plan to spend 4-6 weeks looking for the fashion design stuff without having to waitress, but fall back on waitressing after 4-6 weeks if the fashion stuff doesn't kick in right away.

Then, give the whole thing 12-18 months, and if things aren't looking promising, reconsider career path and educational possibilities...
I do not know any of the details but a lot of movies and TV shows are now being filmed here in Atlanta because of the lower costs. I know several people who have kids that have or are working at the productions studios. Tyler Perry recently opened a huge new studio in Atlanta.

Given that it sounds like she is already living in the south that might be a better option to look at first and they may be more receptive to a degree from Auburn.

psteinx
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by psteinx » Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:07 pm

Sure, if there's a good industry for this stuff in Atlanta, go for it. (Though personally I suspect whatever is in Atlanta is much smaller than LA & NYC). But the important thing, I think, is that she's likely to have far better results being in a good geographic place while jobhunting, versus trying to do it remotely.

getthatmarshmallow
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:08 pm

btenny wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:56 pm
You need to get your grand daughter to pack up and move to Los Angeles. I know there are tons of fashion related jobs all over the place. Who do you think makes all those elaborate clothes and costumes? They need her skills in the movie studios and game studios and the ad agencies and the clothing design shops and export/import fashion businesses all over LA. Yes she will probably have to work for near minimum wage for 1-2 years. And yes she will probably have to sew wedding dresses or wait tables or tend bar to make enough money to live there during that time. But she should be able to finds places that fit her well after a while that pay a better wage. And if she does not like LA she can also look at jobs in Las Vegas for the various stage acts or she can move to New York and look for fashion or AD agency work there. Just get her to move and be aggressive in finding a job...

Good Luck.
+1. Coincidentally just got out of a meeting where I encountered a former student who has managed in the past 24 hours (through university contacts and networking like a boss) to get an internship with an Oscar winning costume designer. She is going to have a couple of years of hustling, eating ramen with roommates,and maybe she in the end doesn't make it, but if nothing else she learns to hustle, which is a valuable lesson even if she goes back and gets a degree that Bogleheads recognize as a job.

But she's not doing it by staying in her hometown. OPs daughter probably needs to move unless NC is a design mecca. It might be Atlanta (lots of film work in Georgia) but she needs mentors yesterday.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:09 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:44 am
Oh, another thing...

One of mine graduated with an equally “useless” degree. Digital animation. Seriously. Who does that? I doubt there are more than a few hundred jobs as animators in the entire country. She was brilliant and creative and had a scholarship, but we figured she would be waiting tables forever.

Anyway, for the first 2 years after graduation, she and several of her similarly underemployed animator friends lived together really cheaply in a house near campus, working low wage jobs and working together on passion projects to build their portfolios. The kids created some interesting work that maybe a dozen people ever saw, but my kid leveraged that into a job with one of the major animation houses.

Honestly, if we had told her what to do and she listened to us, she would have become a middle school art teacher or something. But she worked it out for herself better than we ever could have for her.
Good on you for letting her work it out. 👍 Funny to see the normally “skin in the game,” “they’re adults now” crowd recommending that the parents/grandparents mastermind.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

psteinx
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by psteinx » Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:10 pm

Also, she's probably got very little tieing her down as a recent grad. It's easier on many levels to move to, say, L.A. and take the stab at it now.

If it doesn't work, so be it - she's 24ish then and can change course. But at least she made the effort and doesn't have to wonder "what if" quite so much when she's 35.

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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by Isabelle77 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:19 pm

I have no idea if this will be helpful or not so take it for what you will.

My husband (then boyfriend) graduated with a music composition degree :| and wanted to be a rock star/songwriter. We moved to nyc after college and he worked for minimum wage at a record label during the day and for free all night in studios. The guy never slept except on couches at the studios. Eventually the record label hired him for a real job and he also was able to get publishing deal for many years with a major label. He’s been successful in marketing of all things but because of that label in nyc.

Anyway, there are a lot of people hustling in New York and LA. If she’s willing to have a bunch of roommates and sometimes work for free in order to get experience and connections, it can work. If I were passionate about something like that and in my 20s, I’d certainly give it a shot. What do you have to lose? The clothing retail jobs will likely always be there.

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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by KyleAAA » Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:06 pm

IMO parents should stop pretending they understand the job market for young people of the present, much less the job market of the future. Let kids in their 20s do what they want. They will be okay. What worked 20 years ago doesn't work today, and certainly won't work in the future.

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Tamarind
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by Tamarind » Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:11 pm

It is unusually shortsighted of a bunch of Bogleheads to declare that certain majors are simply worthless ([Comment removed -- moderator oldcomputerguy]).

There was another thread about career paths here (viewtopic.php?f=2&t=264957) that generated much more helpful advice from folks (including those with degrees in STEM and those without) about how they found their career fields. Plenty of people weighed in to describe how a period of work outside their fields of study led to fulfilling and lucrative careers. Some eventually returned to their original field... Others found something better. The journey was not always linear and the destination was often unclear for long stretches.

I majored in a social science I'm sure many would deride as useless, and use it every day in my STEM-ish job. It makes me better at my job. There is literally no college that teaches what I do so I could not have gotten an "appropriate" major, but I discovered that I'm good at it. It took me 4 years of hustling after school to find the field that's currently my career. It was worth it and the pay is great.

OP's granddaughter has certainly chosen a difficult row to hoe, and a field that requires even more work than usual to break in to, but she seems to have demonstrated perseverance and to have acquired computer skills. Per OP, she also appears to have some genuine talent, which helps.

She's going to need to work on her networking and entrepreneurial skills. She's going to have to take jobs other than her dream job. She might decide eventually it's not worth it but I see no reason to rain on her parade when she hasn't even got started yet. I think OP should focus on encouraging her to get past fear and trepidation (ie lamenting no jobs, too proud/scared to take other jobs, hesitating to move to a big fashion city, not putting herself out there) so she can take a good run at it.

OP might find interesting some of the bios of contestants on competitive fashion programs (things like Runway or Next in Fashion). A lot of them have had very precarious careers and finances, but many also a lot of success.

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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by stoptothink » Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:15 pm

Tamarind wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:11 pm
OP's granddaughter has certainly chosen a difficult row to hoe, and a field that requires even more work than usual to break in to, but she seems to have demonstrated perseverance and to have acquired computer skills. Per OP, she also appears to have some genuine talent, which helps.

She's going to need to work on her networking and entrepreneurial skills. She's going to have to take jobs other than her dream job. She might decide eventually it's not worth it but I see no reason to rain on her parade when she hasn't even got started yet. I think OP should focus on encouraging her to get past fear and trepidation (ie lamenting no jobs, too proud/scared to take other jobs, hesitating to move to a big fashion city, not putting herself out there) so she can take a good run at it.

OP might find interesting some of the bios of contestants on competitive fashion programs (things like Runway or Next in Fashion). A lot of them have had very precarious careers and finances, but many also a lot of success.
+1. Just a few months out of undergrad and OP's granddaughter already has a full-time job (not making good money, but probably enough to support herself) in a somewhat related field to what she studied; that is probably better than a lot of us at the same point, on a board filled with super high achievers.

Elysium
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by Elysium » Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:55 pm

carolinaman wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:39 am
getthatmarshmallow wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:10 pm
Different thought: why tell her to go back to school? Especially just to get married??

She has a job in a field adjacent to her degree. It isn't exactly what she wanted but a lot of new grads are good at figuring out what their dream is but not how to get there. How do fashion designers get hired? What's the career ladder look like? Where do people wind up?

Are they usually plucked out of nowhere in NC? (My guess is no.) The first thing she needs to figure out is what that path looks like. Where is her school's alumni network the strongest? (Atlanta, maybe?). What is she good at? Design? A good eye? If she's selling high end women's clothing, can she use her design knowledge to move into being a buyer? Go corporate? Can she write?

Because look, she's just out of school. She can go back and get an accounting degree, sure. If she's good at math. If she has money for more school right now. What's concerning is that she's six weeks out of school and thinking or being told that because she hasn't made it big already she should just go back to school. I mean, I'm sure someone will be happy to take her tuition but maybe she should try working the job she has while she figures out her next steps and where she wants to go?
Great post! I think it is too early to push career change for her. She needs some time to pursue her dream, but she needs to be aware of the challenges to be successful in fashion design. Her parents recognized this from the beginning but she is very headstrong and determined. She is very talented. She could probably make a living as a photographer. She was photographer for her HS newspaper her junior year and became co-editor her senior year. Their school newspaper was more like a small town newspaper (HS had 4,000 students) and was recognized as the best in the South and one of the best in US.

I think she could be really good as a graphics designer, given her computer skills and artistic design ability. I have encouraged her to consider that in the past but so far no go. She could probably earn a minor in graphics design with a little more school.

But it is her career and she is the one that will have to decide what she is going to do.
OP, This thread has brought out some of the worst elements of the conservative thinking on the forum. It is one thing to invest in low cost index funds and believe investing should be passive. But life should not be passive!

The naysayers are wrong. I understand some of them are well meaning when they say get an accounting degree or a STEM degree. There is also a lot of reality in this. But here is what they and perhaps you are missing.

This young women from what you described is incredibly talented! Did anyone miss that, or are they not able to see that because of their own prejudices that anything other than earning a paycheck job right after graduating is worthless to pursue in life :shock:

You said she has a great passion for Fashion Design. She has talent in arts and photography. You said she could make a living with just Photography. Perhaps she could be taking photographs the world will remember. She was co-editor for a popular school newspaper at a national level possibly. Perhaps she could be a great mag editor / blog writer that changes issues impacting society. Who knows? Perhaps too many people responding are from another era, I am myself not a spring chicken, but I realize the Generation Z thinks and experience things differently.

This is a young women with multiple talents and a passion for what she does. Just because she didn't study accounting and engineering so she could get a paycheck job doesn't make her broke. She has a job, making enough money, while she figures out how to break into her field of passion.

We tend to forget some of the greatest achievers did not study accounting & engineering and sit behind a desk collecting pay checks, siphoning off $300 dollars a week into 401(k) invested in 3 fund portfolio at the cheapest cost for 40 years then retire on 4% withdrawal rate. Life is much more than that for someone starting their life.

Give her a chance. Encourage her. Try to find how she can be successful with her talents. You are already doing something by thinking graphics and computers. She will get it eventually. But needs encouragement and support possibly.

If after trying for a few years and still nothing works there is always a fall back. This is the US of A where people dream big and make things happen, don't let anyone tell your granddaughter tell her she can't do it, instead encourage her to find a way. Good luck.

budgetbae
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by budgetbae » Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:30 pm

Long time lurker, first time poster. Felt the need to finally make an account, because I think the fashion design field is being a little misrepresented here.

OP, I can relate to your granddaughter as I also went to college for the “useless” fashion design degree that people are bashing here. My dad told me “if fashion design doesn’t work out, you can always just work at Joann Fabrics”. Cool.

7 years post-grad, I’m a mid-level Designer at a mass market retail company in NYC, making $75,000/year + 15% target bonus with room for growth. My starting salary was $50,000/year right out of college (more than my friend with an expensive engineering degree was making at the time). Almost everyone that I work with has a fashion design degree. It’s a difficult but not impossible field to break into.

Everyone on this forum (probably) wears clothes. Someone sat behind a computer to design what you’re wearing right now from your shirt to your socks. Your granddaughter needs to relocate to NYC as it has the largest pool of fashion companies. Many companies like Target and Walmart outsource design for certain specialized categories (i.e. swimwear) to companies here that specifically design third party merchandise for big names. She could meet with a freelance agency here (there are plenty) to get her foot in the door and build up her portfolio. We have about 10 freelancers in my office right now, who are frequently hired full-time after a few months.

She should focus on building up her computer skills. Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and having basic knowledge of how to build a tech pack/BOM (Bill of Materials) are useful skills to bring to the table.

She just graduated. Don’t kill her dreams yet. Hope this helps.

:beer

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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by joe8d » Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:27 pm

slick_dealer_05 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:57 am
Fashion design degree wont get her anywhere...but I guess u knew it 4 years back.
Unfortunately true.A job at Target is probably the end result.
All the Best, | Joe

CascadiaSoonish
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by CascadiaSoonish » Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:34 pm

budgetbae wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:30 pm
Long time lurker, first time poster. Felt the need to finally make an account, because I think the fashion design field is being a little misrepresented here.
Thanks for posting this. Yes, there's an antiquated idea here of what constitutes a job in fashion. We have friends who work for a major athletic fashion brand in town with jobs doing technical textile apparel design and marketing and branding and merchandising work. Six figure salaries. If you can break in, it's not a bad gig at all.

getthatmarshmallow
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:40 pm

budgetbae wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:30 pm
Long time lurker, first time poster. Felt the need to finally make an account, because I think the fashion design field is being a little misrepresented here.

OP, I can relate to your granddaughter as I also went to college for the “useless” fashion design degree that people are bashing here. My dad told me “if fashion design doesn’t work out, you can always just work at Joann Fabrics”. Cool.

7 years post-grad, I’m a mid-level Designer at a mass market retail company in NYC, making $75,000/year + 15% target bonus with room for growth. My starting salary was $50,000/year right out of college (more than my friend with an expensive engineering degree was making at the time). Almost everyone that I work with has a fashion design degree. It’s a difficult but not impossible field to break into.

Everyone on this forum (probably) wears clothes. Someone sat behind a computer to design what you’re wearing right now from your shirt to your socks. Your granddaughter needs to relocate to NYC as it has the largest pool of fashion companies. Many companies like Target and Walmart outsource design for certain specialized categories (i.e. swimwear) to companies here that specifically design third party merchandise for big names. She could meet with a freelance agency here (there are plenty) to get her foot in the door and build up her portfolio. We have about 10 freelancers in my office right now, who are frequently hired full-time after a few months.

She should focus on building up her computer skills. Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and having basic knowledge of how to build a tech pack/BOM (Bill of Materials) are useful skills to bring to the table.

She just graduated. Don’t kill her dreams yet. Hope this helps.

:beer
I think most of the negative responses equated fashion design with piecework.... :beer

manatee2005
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by manatee2005 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:47 pm

carolinaman wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:27 am
MathWizard wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:42 pm
Does Auburn have a career placement office that has contacts?

Sometimes Universities have a pipeline into certain employers.
This is not always the case, but she may get lucky.
Graduating mid year may not have helped but Auburn was disappointing in their assistance. Their career day was focused in other majors and no employers in her major showed up.
This is a big hint.

Barefoot
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by Barefoot » Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:26 pm

I'll add a data point.

My niece got a fashion degree in Dec '16. She worked for several years as a waitress, and has recently started a job at the bottom rung in a Human Resources office. She's still waiting tables part time for $.

I could make a comment about the MRS degree, but I'll save it for another time.

veindoc
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by veindoc » Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:10 am

I don’t think her biggest mistake was the fashion degree, I think it’s where she got her degree. Auburn is not even in the top 50 for fashion design. Perhaps a masters degree at one of the top 25 in the future? I second the idea for her to move. She can get a retail job in any city while pursuing her dream. If she has an entrepreneurial bent, this is the career to explore that. My niece and her friends upcycled clothes from thrift shops and sold them on Etsy. I thought it was a hobby until they actually got some sales. :shock: :shock: The business failed due to lack of organization/interest, but it showed me anything is possible.

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carolinaman
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by carolinaman » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:23 am

carolinaman wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:30 pm
My oldest granddaughter graduated in December with 4 year degree in fashion design from Auburn. She found a job but not in the fashion design field. She is looking for her first fulltime job in fashion design. She had two internships while in school and was a good student. From what I understand, aside from NYC, these jobs tend to be scattered across US. She is from SC but willing to relocate to where the jobs are, including NYC. Do any Bogleheads have suggestions of where she might look?

Thanks for your help.
Thank everyone for their responses, especially those with constructive suggestions about pursuing jobs in fashion design. That was what I asked in my original post. We understand this will be challenging for our granddaughter but we understand she has a great passion for doing this and needs to be given a chance to succeed or fail. Too many young people have great passion for doing something and do not pursue it because people give what is practical advice, but fail to recognize the person's passion for doing something that is perceived as impractical. Many later in life regret not taking a chance at that passion.

Our granddaughter graduated less than 2 months ago. She needs time to see if this will work or not and we intend to give her that opportunity. I shared the complete thread with my daughter but she will wisely not share with her daughter, but she will use some of it in talks with her daughter, trying to guide her in her quest. I greatly value the wisdom of this forum, but as I explained to my daughter, it needs to be taken in context on this topic as a lot of forum participants place a high value on STEM and other marketable occupations but place a low value on the arts and liberal arts.

Thanks again for your help.

sd323232
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by sd323232 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:10 am

TSquare wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:26 am
So many classic boglehead replies here. Good grief people... Throw in the towel after 6 weeks? Go back to school for STEM or accounting?!

OP, I wish the best of luck to your granddaughter, and hope she can make her mark in her chosen field.
My friend, this is experience speaking here, we are alot older, wiser. We know how it is probably gonna end. I know, it is very pessimistic, but telling the kid to stick with it is just wasting time. She is young, she can recover. The worst thing is, she will go back to school in her 30s-40s. This situation is still salvageable.

almostretired1965
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by almostretired1965 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:46 am

This post has it exactly right. Unfortunately your gd picked a field, like most artistic oriented endeavors, where success depends more than a little bit on dumb luck. Nonetheless it sounds like she has a lot of talent and if I were her it's a bit early to be giving up. There is nothing wrong with waiting tables for a few years to pay the bills while you explore, build a portfolio and expand your network. You just need to improve your odds by being where the action is.

It may or my not work out, but if she doesn't give it a shot, she may regret it for the rest of her life ....

A

btenny wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:56 pm
You need to get your grand daughter to pack up and move to Los Angeles. I know there are tons of fashion related jobs all over the place. Who do you think makes all those elaborate clothes and costumes? They need her skills in the movie studios and game studios and the ad agencies and the clothing design shops and export/import fashion businesses all over LA. Yes she will probably have to work for near minimum wage for 1-2 years. And yes she will probably have to sew wedding dresses or wait tables or tend bar to make enough money to live there during that time. But she should be able to finds places that fit her well after a while that pay a better wage. And if she does not like LA she can also look at jobs in Las Vegas for the various stage acts or she can move to New York and look for fashion or AD agency work there. Just get her to move and be aggressive in finding a job...

Good Luck.
Last edited by almostretired1965 on Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TSquare
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by TSquare » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:35 pm

ohai wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:46 am
TSquare wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:26 am
So many classic boglehead replies here. Good grief people... Throw in the towel after 6 weeks? Go back to school for STEM or accounting?!

OP, I wish the best of luck to your granddaughter, and hope she can make her mark in her chosen field.
They are just being practical. What is the best actual suggestion otherwise? From above, no one has even proposed a possible non-retail job that uses that degree, let alone how to get such a job.

If you ask me, the suggestions to get another degree are well justified. To most employers, the fashion degree will be like not having a degree. If you didn't have a college degree at that age and had the means, you'd probably decide to get one. Grand daughter can quite possibly re-enroll at Auburn and spend 1-2 years getting a complementary degree in something practical that will create a marketable package with the fashion degree.
OP didn’t ask for suggestions on how to steer his granddaughter out of the fashion industry. He was asking if members had suggestions for finding work within her chosen career field. I’m not arguing the merits of a fashion degree, It’s that most of comments here are not pertinent to the OP’s question. I say let the young woman try to make her mark.

ohai
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by ohai » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:10 pm

TSquare wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:35 pm
ohai wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:46 am
TSquare wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:26 am
So many classic boglehead replies here. Good grief people... Throw in the towel after 6 weeks? Go back to school for STEM or accounting?!

OP, I wish the best of luck to your granddaughter, and hope she can make her mark in her chosen field.
They are just being practical. What is the best actual suggestion otherwise? From above, no one has even proposed a possible non-retail job that uses that degree, let alone how to get such a job.

If you ask me, the suggestions to get another degree are well justified. To most employers, the fashion degree will be like not having a degree. If you didn't have a college degree at that age and had the means, you'd probably decide to get one. Grand daughter can quite possibly re-enroll at Auburn and spend 1-2 years getting a complementary degree in something practical that will create a marketable package with the fashion degree.
OP didn’t ask for suggestions on how to steer his granddaughter out of the fashion industry. He was asking if members had suggestions for finding work within her chosen career field. I’m not arguing the merits of a fashion degree, It’s that most of comments here are not pertinent to the OP’s question. I say let the young woman try to make her mark.
Of course those suggestions are relevant to OP's question. If I, a 30-something 5' 9" non-athlete asked people here how to realize my dream of becoming an NBA star, they should rightfully tell me to do something else.

gtg970g
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by gtg970g » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:29 pm

Would she consider costume design for theater or film? The film industry here in Atlanta is huge and it is much more affordable than living in LA or NYC. While perusing a full time fashion career I believe working in an adjacent field could be helpful. Costumers have to source their materials from somewhere and maybe that could help her build contacts in the fashion industry. I don't have experience in such artistic industries, I merely live in Atlanta and see crews and sets going up all over town.

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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by KyleAAA » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:54 pm

ohai wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:10 pm
TSquare wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:35 pm
ohai wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:46 am
TSquare wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:26 am
So many classic boglehead replies here. Good grief people... Throw in the towel after 6 weeks? Go back to school for STEM or accounting?!

OP, I wish the best of luck to your granddaughter, and hope she can make her mark in her chosen field.
They are just being practical. What is the best actual suggestion otherwise? From above, no one has even proposed a possible non-retail job that uses that degree, let alone how to get such a job.

If you ask me, the suggestions to get another degree are well justified. To most employers, the fashion degree will be like not having a degree. If you didn't have a college degree at that age and had the means, you'd probably decide to get one. Grand daughter can quite possibly re-enroll at Auburn and spend 1-2 years getting a complementary degree in something practical that will create a marketable package with the fashion degree.
OP didn’t ask for suggestions on how to steer his granddaughter out of the fashion industry. He was asking if members had suggestions for finding work within her chosen career field. I’m not arguing the merits of a fashion degree, It’s that most of comments here are not pertinent to the OP’s question. I say let the young woman try to make her mark.
Of course those suggestions are relevant to OP's question. If I, a 30-something 5' 9" non-athlete asked people here how to realize my dream of becoming an NBA star, they should rightfully tell me to do something else.
It strains credibility to think the odds of you becoming an NBA star are comparable to the odds of OP's granddaughter finding success in the fashion industry. One is more likely than the other by several orders of magnitude. The odds of success in the fashion field aren't that low.

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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by tibbitts » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:00 pm

ohai wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:10 pm
TSquare wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:35 pm
ohai wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:46 am
TSquare wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:26 am
So many classic boglehead replies here. Good grief people... Throw in the towel after 6 weeks? Go back to school for STEM or accounting?!

OP, I wish the best of luck to your granddaughter, and hope she can make her mark in her chosen field.
They are just being practical. What is the best actual suggestion otherwise? From above, no one has even proposed a possible non-retail job that uses that degree, let alone how to get such a job.

If you ask me, the suggestions to get another degree are well justified. To most employers, the fashion degree will be like not having a degree. If you didn't have a college degree at that age and had the means, you'd probably decide to get one. Grand daughter can quite possibly re-enroll at Auburn and spend 1-2 years getting a complementary degree in something practical that will create a marketable package with the fashion degree.
OP didn’t ask for suggestions on how to steer his granddaughter out of the fashion industry. He was asking if members had suggestions for finding work within her chosen career field. I’m not arguing the merits of a fashion degree, It’s that most of comments here are not pertinent to the OP’s question. I say let the young woman try to make her mark.
Of course those suggestions are relevant to OP's question. If I, a 30-something 5' 9" non-athlete asked people here how to realize my dream of becoming an NBA star, they should rightfully tell me to do something else.
There are no indications that the OP's daughter doesn't have the requirements to be successful in the fashion industy. I don't understand the analogy you're suggesting. In what ways do you feel there are obvious requirements that haven't been met?

ohai
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by ohai » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:27 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:00 pm
ohai wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:10 pm
TSquare wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:35 pm
ohai wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:46 am
TSquare wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:26 am
So many classic boglehead replies here. Good grief people... Throw in the towel after 6 weeks? Go back to school for STEM or accounting?!

OP, I wish the best of luck to your granddaughter, and hope she can make her mark in her chosen field.
They are just being practical. What is the best actual suggestion otherwise? From above, no one has even proposed a possible non-retail job that uses that degree, let alone how to get such a job.

If you ask me, the suggestions to get another degree are well justified. To most employers, the fashion degree will be like not having a degree. If you didn't have a college degree at that age and had the means, you'd probably decide to get one. Grand daughter can quite possibly re-enroll at Auburn and spend 1-2 years getting a complementary degree in something practical that will create a marketable package with the fashion degree.
OP didn’t ask for suggestions on how to steer his granddaughter out of the fashion industry. He was asking if members had suggestions for finding work within her chosen career field. I’m not arguing the merits of a fashion degree, It’s that most of comments here are not pertinent to the OP’s question. I say let the young woman try to make her mark.
Of course those suggestions are relevant to OP's question. If I, a 30-something 5' 9" non-athlete asked people here how to realize my dream of becoming an NBA star, they should rightfully tell me to do something else.
There are no indications that the OP's daughter doesn't have the requirements to be successful in the fashion industy. I don't understand the analogy you're suggesting. In what ways do you feel there are obvious requirements that haven't been met?
The point is that many posters here believe that the path to a viable fashion career is unnecessarily arduous, with generally low probability of success. This is to the point that they believe she should just be open minded to a different option altogether. Wouldn't you want this feedback yourself if you were in this situation and had not heard it before?

Yes, it would be great if someone came in with some answers that directly answered OP's question. However, in the mean time, any feedback is useful feedback. The fact that almost no one has any true fashion career suggestions is itself valuable information.

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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by DesertDiva » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:47 pm

Could she write a blog about her area of expertise? I would encourage her to 1) develop an online presence and 2) think like an entrepreneur.

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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by KyleAAA » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:48 pm

ohai wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:27 pm
tibbitts wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:00 pm
ohai wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:10 pm
TSquare wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:35 pm
ohai wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:46 am


They are just being practical. What is the best actual suggestion otherwise? From above, no one has even proposed a possible non-retail job that uses that degree, let alone how to get such a job.

If you ask me, the suggestions to get another degree are well justified. To most employers, the fashion degree will be like not having a degree. If you didn't have a college degree at that age and had the means, you'd probably decide to get one. Grand daughter can quite possibly re-enroll at Auburn and spend 1-2 years getting a complementary degree in something practical that will create a marketable package with the fashion degree.
OP didn’t ask for suggestions on how to steer his granddaughter out of the fashion industry. He was asking if members had suggestions for finding work within her chosen career field. I’m not arguing the merits of a fashion degree, It’s that most of comments here are not pertinent to the OP’s question. I say let the young woman try to make her mark.
Of course those suggestions are relevant to OP's question. If I, a 30-something 5' 9" non-athlete asked people here how to realize my dream of becoming an NBA star, they should rightfully tell me to do something else.
There are no indications that the OP's daughter doesn't have the requirements to be successful in the fashion industy. I don't understand the analogy you're suggesting. In what ways do you feel there are obvious requirements that haven't been met?
The point is that many posters here believe that the path to a viable fashion career is unnecessarily arduous, with generally low probability of success. This is to the point that they believe she should just be open minded to a different option altogether. Wouldn't you want this feedback yourself if you were in this situation and had not heard it before?

Yes, it would be great if someone came in with some answers that directly answered OP's question. However, in the mean time, any feedback is useful feedback. The fact that almost no one has any true fashion career suggestions is itself valuable information.
I'm sure granddaughter is aware of the reputation. But unless posters here have a legitimate reason to conclude it is unnecessarily arduous, as opposed to just assuming, it isn't helpful input. There have been several concrete fashion career suggestions and there are many successful paths in the industry. I don't see any basis expressed here for believing there is a generally low probability of success. It is not true that any feedback is useful feedback. Inaccurate feedback is far worse than no feedback.

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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by simplesimon » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:48 am

I’ll add another data point: someone I know got a degree from a fashion school in SF, moved to Paris for five years to do a masters degree (on scholarship) and got some work experience with a boutique, stayed in touch with a professor who got him a job for a brand in NYC. He now works for another big brand in NYC making $80k and about $10-15k teaching fashion design students on the side. He’s been thinking of changing brands and his options right now are LA, NYC, or somewhere in Europe.

He’s not retiring early (voluntarily) or saving 50% of his income, but he’s listened to my suggestions and is contributing 10% to his 401k into a three-fund portfolio.

After almost 80 posts, it appears only a handful know what they’re talking about when it comes to this field. As another person said, yes even those khakis you got from Kohl’s were designed by someone.

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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by blackangus » Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:45 pm

Thankfully for your granddaughter most of the advice in this thread is dated. While it will never be easy, the social media induced decentralization of fashion has provided 1000s of individuals a good income stream. And it's just beginning. Check out YouTube, Snap, IG, for plenty of examples. Fashion and beauty mainstays are struggling and as mentioned, it would be extremely difficult breaking into most of those places. But who cares, they won't survive long term anyways.

I would recommend she read some of Gary Vaynerchuk's books, particularly Crushing It! or Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. There are literal examples of individuals like her that have parlayed degrees/interest into serious income via social media. This is much more than the influenster fad, its how fashion will be communicated in the future

And if it doesn't work out she has plenty of time for a plan B.

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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by MaryO » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:46 pm

carolinaman wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:19 pm
Thanks for everyone's replies. I am not surprised at the responses and will share this my daughter who will share with my granddaughter. She currently has a job with a large department store selling high end women's clothing which she has a lot of experience with. She is making $36k which is not bad for this type of job and it pays the bills until she can find something in her field or decides to go back to school.
I assume this is a job that pays no or low commission?
While trying to break into the design field, she could be making 6 figures selling high end clothing if she finds a job paying decent commission. Start with Nordstrom and keep looking. Good sales reps can make nice money, even in retail environments.

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Will do good
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by Will do good » Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:26 pm

carolinaman wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:37 am
LifeIsGood wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:12 am
Not to be a negative Nellie here but my granddaughter did EXACTLY the same thing and finally got tired of minimum wages jobs working retail. Trying to find an opening using her fashion design training proved nearly impossible. She went back to school and got an accounting / CPA degree and is making great money with many opportunities available.
Trust me, her parents tried to get her to have a more marketable major but she is very passionate about fashion design. She is multi talented, but all are arts related things like painting and photography. Reality may set in now.
If she has interest in in the arts beyond fashion, painting & photography, those are very limited in job opportunities. Has she consider graphic design? it offers more jobs that the others combined. My DD graduated with Graphics design degree and today works as an interface design consultant around the country, her current assignment is in near NYC. Good luck to her.

After thinking it over, I realized my advice to you GD is not helpful if she doesn't plan to go back to school. Sorry.

So, if she think her portfolio is strong enough she should go to cities like NYC, LA, Chicago and show it around and hope to land an entry job, if her portfolio isn't good enough she will learn that soon enough too and move on with her life as long as she show it around and give it a shot.

In the creative fields many people think they have a talent, unfortunately few has the talent to make it. Good luck!

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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:00 pm

I know nothing about fashion but I have observed my son (graduates in May) looking for job interviews. He went the route everyone does from the start. Use the college career center who looks for on campus interviews and helps with prep of resume and such. He started very early. He found that almost nobody replied until after the first of the year passed, then a few contacted for phone interviews. He'd applied online (where all companies say to apply) including "quick apply" at hundreds of places. Then he narrowed down and focused on companies where he could find a "person" to contact. In many cases this was the president or CEO. After 3 months with only a couple phone interviews, he now has had requests every other day for interviews. He followed up with one in the specialty that he wants to work in, did a phone interview, traveled to their site for in person and as he was leaving, was asked to think about if he wanted to work there and they'd put an offer together. He's had a couple other on site interviews since and decided he did want to work there. They put a nice offer together and he accepted. He still has requests for interviews coming in from only these companies where he completely bypassed the online applications and put fourth himself to a "person".

I would think that someone in fashion would want to do exactly this. Sell herself to the heads of places where she'd want to work. I'm sure she knows who some of these are and can research who some secondary places might be. I think timing to try to get interviews is now, rather than 2 months ago. I do think that she needs to move to wherever the best chance is to get a job. Sort of like companies in Hawaii. Nobody interviews someone without an on island address already. Waste of time. Some designer in New York who might decide that she wants to give the girl a chance might say, ok, come in 7 am tomorrow morning and we'll give you a shot. Coming from Alabama, is she prepared to hop a flight....like right now and take up that opportunity? If she's in a walk up in Queens, sure....she would be.
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by shakytwoputt » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:11 am

I am sorry I am late to post to this topic as I am a first time user but believe I have something to add here.
I am a recently retired NYC and Metro area with a CPA firm initial background who then worked as CFO including the last 25 years for a Fashion Design wholesaler distributor.

The degree is very useful as it supplies a competitive edge in her chosen field. Over the years we hired many people with this degree. I would say that the large majority of these employees went to FIT in NYC.

The first thing your granddaughter has to decide is her goal to be a designer or a merchandise manager. If she has hands on experience she should be ready to present a portfolio of her work. She should be well versed in up to date and current software including widely used photoshop and illustrator. She will get a job if she does the modern day equivalent of pounding the pavement.

I will say that to work in this industry in NYC she must be very aggressive not be sensitive and be willing to stand up for herself. In general it is a pressure packed volatile industry. Young people come from all over the world to work in this industry and find it exhilarating.

In general many people without the proper experience have commented on the thread. She can make substantially more money than what has been discussed. She may have to initially work freelance to gain experience.

Again I stress she must be thick skinned. Best of luck to her.

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carolinaman
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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by carolinaman » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:37 am

shakytwoputt wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:11 am
I am sorry I am late to post to this topic as I am a first time user but believe I have something to add here.
I am a recently retired NYC and Metro area with a CPA firm initial background who then worked as CFO including the last 25 years for a Fashion Design wholesaler distributor.

The degree is very useful as it supplies a competitive edge in her chosen field. Over the years we hired many people with this degree. I would say that the large majority of these employees went to FIT in NYC.

The first thing your granddaughter has to decide is her goal to be a designer or a merchandise manager. If she has hands on experience she should be ready to present a portfolio of her work. She should be well versed in up to date and current software including widely used photoshop and illustrator. She will get a job if she does the modern day equivalent of pounding the pavement.

I will say that to work in this industry in NYC she must be very aggressive not be sensitive and be willing to stand up for herself. In general it is a pressure packed volatile industry. Young people come from all over the world to work in this industry and find it exhilarating.

In general many people without the proper experience have commented on the thread. She can make substantially more money than what has been discussed. She may have to initially work freelance to gain experience.

Again I stress she must be thick skinned. Best of luck to her.
Great post! Thank you Shakytwoputt. This is exactly what I was looking for and from someone who knows what he is talking about.

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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by Startingover2019 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:48 pm

carolinaman wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:37 am
LifeIsGood wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:12 am
Not to be a negative Nellie here but my granddaughter did EXACTLY the same thing and finally got tired of minimum wages jobs working retail. Trying to find an opening using her fashion design training proved nearly impossible. She went back to school and got an accounting / CPA degree and is making great money with many opportunities available.
Trust me, her parents tried to get her to have a more marketable major but she is very passionate about fashion design. She is multi talented, but all are arts related things like painting and photography. Reality may set in now.
But they still paid? Sounds like they assisted her to a life of minimum wage. Unless you know the right people.

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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by MaryO » Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:07 pm

Startingover2019 wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:48 pm
carolinaman wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:37 am
LifeIsGood wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:12 am
Not to be a negative Nellie here but my granddaughter did EXACTLY the same thing and finally got tired of minimum wages jobs working retail. Trying to find an opening using her fashion design training proved nearly impossible. She went back to school and got an accounting / CPA degree and is making great money with many opportunities available.
Trust me, her parents tried to get her to have a more marketable major but she is very passionate about fashion design. She is multi talented, but all are arts related things like painting and photography. Reality may set in now.
But they still paid? Sounds like they assisted her to a life of minimum wage. Unless you know the right people.
Did you even read this thread? A 25 year veteran CFO of a Fashion Design Wholesale Distributor just posted that the degree is valuable.

The granddaughter is creative, has other skills and interests that are related to the fashion field, and has only been out of school a couple months. What is the point of mocking the school choice she and her family made? The fashion industry is highly competitive, but the fact that it exists and draws thousands of eager new grads each year proves that it can be very lucrative, or at the very least, a career that will satisfy her need to create.

She's currently making more than minimum wage as a salesperson in retail fashion, by the way. (I know for a fact that she could make 6 figures selling high end clothing if she decides to move away from the fashion design path.) As with any artsy degree, it can be applied in many related ways. Fashion design background can be used tangentially in the industry in many ways. Retail, marketing/publicity, fashion journalism, social media, etc. If she feels after a while that the field is simply too competitive, or not bringing her joy, she will always have a degree. And she'll never have a nagging regret that she didn't give her dream a good, solid effort. The degree will give her a step up in the next phase in her career search. Whether that means starting a training program in another field or additional schooling.....she'll figure it out. And she'll have learned to hustle. To present herself well. And to plug away at challenges.

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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by FireProof » Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:40 pm

I would say no situation in life is so bad as to recommend an accounting degree!

And my wife had no interest in or training in fashion, yet now it has worked out that many of her largest and best-paying clients are in fashion, simply because there are a lot of massive, profitable companies wholly or partially in the fashion business.

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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by Nyc10036 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:25 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:34 pm
I would be interested to know what percentage of those in the fashion design industry have degrees in the field. I would bet that it is very low.
I have been following tennis the past year.

Serena Williams who did go to fashion design school --- not sure which --- is designing clothing as is Naomi Osaka two-times Grand Slam champion.
Both had a show at the recent Fashion Week in NYC.


.

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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by ScubaHogg » Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:05 pm

Did she know any other students a couple years ahead of her in the same major? If so, I’d reach out to them. One way or another they will shed some light on what her immediate future could look like and likely will have more cred with her than parents, other more “experienced” adults.

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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by Hamberders » Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:47 pm

Portland, Oregon, has become the capital of the U.S. for shoes and athletic wear. Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Columbia, Keen, Mizuno, Bogs, Danner, and other companies have a significant presence in the area. I get the sense that there are a lot of apparel designer jobs there.

The University of Oregon runs a sports product management program in Portland.

The cost of living in Portland has increased significantly in the past eight years, but, of course, it's way below that of NYC and SF. I don't think it would be difficult to move to Portland prior to landing a job in the preferred industry, and then attempt to work one's way in.

Suggested readings:

https://www.si.com/edge/2015/02/23/port ... oe-capital

https://theculturetrip.com/north-americ ... e-capital/

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Re: New Grad with fashion design degree looking for job in that field

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:00 pm

carolinaman wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:39 am
getthatmarshmallow wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:10 pm
Different thought: why tell her to go back to school? Especially just to get married??

She has a job in a field adjacent to her degree. It isn't exactly what she wanted but a lot of new grads are good at figuring out what their dream is but not how to get there. How do fashion designers get hired? What's the career ladder look like? Where do people wind up?

Are they usually plucked out of nowhere in NC? (My guess is no.) The first thing she needs to figure out is what that path looks like. Where is her school's alumni network the strongest? (Atlanta, maybe?). What is she good at? Design? A good eye? If she's selling high end women's clothing, can she use her design knowledge to move into being a buyer? Go corporate? Can she write?

Because look, she's just out of school. She can go back and get an accounting degree, sure. If she's good at math. If she has money for more school right now. What's concerning is that she's six weeks out of school and thinking or being told that because she hasn't made it big already she should just go back to school. I mean, I'm sure someone will be happy to take her tuition but maybe she should try working the job she has while she figures out her next steps and where she wants to go?
Great post! I think it is too early to push career change for her. She needs some time to pursue her dream, but she needs to be aware of the challenges to be successful in fashion design. Her parents recognized this from the beginning but she is very headstrong and determined. She is very talented. She could probably make a living as a photographer. She was photographer for her HS newspaper her junior year and became co-editor her senior year. Their school newspaper was more like a small town newspaper (HS had 4,000 students) and was recognized as the best in the South and one of the best in US.

I think she could be really good as a graphics designer, given her computer skills and artistic design ability. I have encouraged her to consider that in the past but so far no go. She could probably earn a minor in graphics design with a little more school.

But it is her career and she is the one that will have to decide what she is going to do.
I've got a slightly better idea - create a list of target companies, look up the directory of the areas in fashion design she is targeting, find those people on LinkedIn if they are there or subordinates who work for them 1 or 2 levels below, cold call them or cold call them using LinkedIn invite to connect with a message indicating interest in the company, field, designer, ask for advice. Probably 9 out of 10 will not respond, maybe you get 1 who will. Look up Auburn Fashion majors working in major cities in the field, ask to connect. It's a shame a school like Auburn can offer such a major and be of little to no help - it sounds almost criminal. Can your granddaughter consult with the professors who taught these courses? What is their advice? Give it 2-3 years, if it's not working out in her major it may be time to switch careers or fields. Fashion in NYC is tough, it's tough for fashion grads from NYC and the industry pays entry level workers wages that don't support the cost of living in the 5 boroughs or surrounding areas, I think many are either living at home with the parents or with multiple roommates and in debt or working multiple jobs just to survive.
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