Students made valuable connections, gained knowledge and explored a field they hope to enter through the Bryant Amica Center for Career Education’s annual Explore Fashion and Business trip to New York City. The 21 students, representing a variety of majors and class years, were united by a passion for fashion and a commitment to achieving their dream careers.
“There were so many benefits to the trip,” said Kayla Knox ’19, President of Bryant’s Fashion Forum. “I have a much better understanding of the industry now and what the major companies are doing. I made so many connections and new friends. If you’re at all interested in the fashion industry you’d be crazy not to go.”
“It was a great opportunity for me as a sophomore to gain real-world experience and learn what the fashion industry is really like,” said Kaitlyn DiNapoli ’20.
Where can a major take you?
The Explore program introduces students to opportunities throughout the region. Recent itineraries have included travel to Boston, New York, and Washington D.C., to explore Dow Jones, Hasbro, The Washington Center, Liberty Mutual, and Stanley Black&Decker.
“For so many students it opens their eyes. They say to themselves, 'I can see myself having a career here,'” said Amica Center Assistant Director Patricia Miernicki, who accompanied the students on the five-day Fashion and Business trip organized in partnership with the National Retail Foundation. “Our students are prepared to take advantage of any opportunity, so our job is to help them find all of the incredible things they can do with their major.”
Networking with CEOs and CMOs
Through the trip the students attended NRF 2019, the world’s largest retail conference and expo. In addition to attending panels with executives like the CMO of Hallmark and perfume company entrepreneur Jo Malone, a career fair, and workshops on a range of industry topics, the students met personally with industry leaders. “We got to network with people like the former CEO of Neiman Marcus,” said DiNapoli. “You don’t get those sorts of opportunities every day.”
““It was an awesome experience to see the inner workings of such well-known companies and learn about all of the different career routes we can take.”
Zedekiah Maldonando ’19 spoke with a sourcing manager from H&M about ethical sourcing, a subject that’s important to her and a field she’s considering entering. “Talking with her reassured me that my education was preparing me for my career and that the people who are hiring are looking for the skills I’m learning,” she said. “She told us how important it is to be cross-functional, which is something we definitely learn at Bryant, and she seemed really impressed with how well-rounded we were.”
Visiting sites like Nordstrom and Kohl’s Design Center gave the group an inside look at prominent companies and industries. “It was an awesome experience to see the inner workings of such well-known companies and learn about all of the different career routes we can take,” said DiNapoli.
“It was really impressive getting to see everything we’re learning about at Bryant being implemented," noted Maldonado.
The students were accompanied by Associate Professor of Marketing Teresa McCarthy, Ph.D., Director of Bryant’s Global Supply Chain Program. Professor McCarthy’s extensive experience in the fashion industry make her the perfect guide for the trip, the students say. “She’s so passionate about working with students and helping them find their path,” said Knox. “It was great having someone like her, who knows the industry as well as she does, as a mentor on this trip. She was able to connect us with companies and recruiters.”
There was fun, too, including a private ice-skating session in Rockefeller Center. The students made fast friends with one another. “Talking with the juniors and seniors on the trip about their Bryant experiences and their studies and all the paths I could follow was so helpful,” said DiNapoli. “It was one of my favorite parts.”