Jackie works at Unger Fabrik as an Assistant Designer. Jackie says the AMM program gave her a good overview of the industry, though she has also learned a lot working on the job. She was able to explore the careers and different aspects of the industry through several internships while in the program.
Her advice is:
“Enjoy your time being a student and take advantage of all the opportunities offered to you. NETWORKING is HUGE! When it comes down to it, the people you know and meet can take you far and networking really helps finding a job where you want to be. Try to get as many internships as possible before you graduate. They can be a real eye opener. Also, make sure you love this industry, it's tough with many deadlines, pressure, and stress.”
Allie is working in an entry level position as a product development executive at HauteLook in Los Angeles. Allie finds it a challenging role. “You have to love what you do in order to perform well.” She says.
Allie's advice to prospective students is to “keep your options open and soak in as much knowledge as you can while you're in school. Understanding all aspects of the fashion industry will help you out in the long run.” She believes that communication skills and networking are especially important.
Allie found that the AMM program, especially the professional development track, enabled her to explore careers while in school.
Allie notes “I am content with where I am right now but I have yet to fulfill my dream job working for a fashion magazine.”
Courtney works for Quiksilver as a Production Coordinator for Roxy Girl & Teenie Wahine.
“The AMM program offers a great understanding of how the fashion industry works. It provides the perfect perspective on how each segment in the industry works together to have one outcome. AMM helped me grow with terminology, in my ability to work in a team, with managers, and becoming a liaison between retailers and vendors.
Through my major, I was able to explore the career path I wanted. With all the different courses I took, I am lucky enough to be doing exactly what I studied now!
I would advise a prospective student entering Cal Poly Pomona to be ready to work hard and to grasp all of what the professors have to say. I had some trulywonderful teachers that helped me gain a lot of insight and knowledge. I would just say to keep your head on straight and don't let distractions stray you away from what you want out of life. Work hard for what you know will make you happy, not just what makes the most money.
In addition, try and be as creative as you can be! Be ready to take on internships, be outspoken, and be proactive. Team-work and communication are very important... so study hard! :) Also, make as many connections as possible; this industry is all about networking!
If I could do things over again, I would choose the same path. This fashion industry is very intense and a bit overwhelming at first, but if you keep pushing yourself, and if you love what you do, you will thrive! Though, if I did have the chance to go back, I would take more marketing and international business classes to broaden my knowledge.
The corporate world might not always be the right choice for me, and one day I may choose to teach fashion instead. Who knows? But for now I am in the exact place that I am supposed to be, and I love it!”
Stefanie is working as a Merchandise Assistant at St John Knits in Irvine. She says “the AMM program gave me hands on experience and enabled me to learn in detail about the Industry. Through the program I was able to attend the MAGIC tradeshow and learn about the wholesale business.”
In the senior capstone experience…
“I was able to create my own line and present an idea to a company, manage a business through the Building 45 store and Agriscapes, and gain leadership skills through my involvement with the Apparel Merchandising and Management Association. (AMMA Club)
I use the knowledge and experiences I gained through the AMM program in my current position. The classes I took allowed me to become more knowledgeable in the wholesale division. I work with line sheets, data, and garment product knowledge on a daily basis.
I would advise all students to become involved at Cal Poly, whether it is in the AMMA club or another on or off campus organization. Be passionate about your interests and take on a leadership role if possible. Take your career seriously. Strive to be professional at all times and establish connections and relationships with industry leaders you meet as well as professors. They can be the best mentors and help you establish your career in the future.
I majored in Apparel Merchandising and Management with Fashion Retail option. I am interested in the business aspect of the Industry and the classes I took have helped me throughout my current position. Although I majored in the retail option, I was still required to take some production classes and these production classes have also allowed me to have a better understanding on lead times and the duration it takes for a garment to be produced. Overall, I am content with the path I have chosen. I am passionate about the work I do and the profession I am in.”
Anna is a Production Assistant/Brand Manager at Two of Us, a manufacturer of retail private label products in New York.
Anna finds that the education she gained through her degree helps her everyday. Although she completed the Fashion Retail Option, the extensive technical knowledge she obtained within the program enabled her to ‘change lanes' and work on the production side.
Anna's advice to current and prospective students is to:
“never miss an opportunity to learn and to network. It will pay dividends later. Go to museum exhibits on fashion. Keep taking classes and workshops and read all or as many fashion publications as you can, such as Women's Wear Daily and California Apparel News. Stay in touch with the current fashion climate. You never stop learning! You always need to be able to hold your own about what is current in a conversation with people in the industry.”
Her advice to graduates entering in the field is to network, be patient and work hard. “You are going to have to prove yourself before you get to do the really cool stuff.”