ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Picking a University!

January 24, 2013
I always knew I wanted to be a fashion designer but when it came to picking a college, I knew that my workload couldn't only consist of drawing/sewing classes to get me on the right career path.. a lesson I learned early on from my mother a fellow entrepreneur ;)) Thanks mommy :)
That's me rocking my romper in the early days lol!

At the University of Wisconsin- Madison, I triple-majored in Design/Merchandising/Business. They had an amazing fashion design program, so combined with business and merchandising courses, I felt I had a solid foundation to begin building my brand, Boy Meets Girl®. 

In this blog post from last year, I referenced the classes I took. While in this post I am highlighting three important tips to help with this process along with a few examples of schools I've heard amazing things about from some friends and colleagues:

1. Go outside of your comfort zone and do your research! Look at schools that may explore different types of design than you’re used to. Or if there is a designer that inspires you, see if there are any universities/programs they may be affiliated with.

- University of Wisconsin- Madison (my alma mater)
    - Students learn traditional (sometimes ancient) techniques such as weaving, drawing, or printing and dying. They also use the latest digital technology as a central part of the creative process.

Left me, Right my models rocking my designs

    - Also you will see above photo I was involved in our fashion show program under the design program and not only had products I designed in the show learning how to cast and fit models but I was also in charge of the multimedia experience one year of the show. At that time it was before twitter/facebook/etc so incorporating live streaming components was new. I think learning many facets of what goes into a production of a show is key to success.
- Central Saint Martins (London, England): 
    - known to have great professors and even feature their student runway shows online
    - Notable alumni include Stella McCartney, John Galliano, Alexander McQueenall leaders in the fashion world!

-The American School in London
    - was affiliated with my Alma-Mater UofW and believe still is and FIT when I attended my junior year abroad.
    - incredible trend forecasting classes along with fashion show classes where I got to be part of helping designers during London Fashion Week.
    - Also strong internship program. I worked for the amazing Zandra Rhodes!

2. Look for a school located in a city that you could potentially have other opportunities outside of school. Interning or volunteering to get exposure to different roles within the fashion industry. This will help you build up a valuable list of contacts that will come in handy for future job hunting.

- New York City: FIT (lots of our Boy Meets Girl® interns come from here), Parsons

- Los Angeles: FIDM- Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising

- Chicago: Columbia College
- Miami: Miami Art &  Design School
- London: Royal College of Art, where Zandra Rhodes is an Alum! One of my favorite experiences was working under her while studying in London. I learned so much!
-University of Wisconsin- while it might not be in a big city like NYC or Chicago it gave me the ability to find my career path through its incredible programs. So location is not always the key decision maker.

3. Look at what each school can offer YOU. Most schools, even the smaller ones have placed students in major fashion houses, commercial labels, and other fashion businesses. There are lots of small schools and big schools with great fashion programs so it important to see which environment will help you grow! 

4. Are you looking for a small environment or a big environment. For me I was looking for a school that not only focused on fashion but had a big football team. I wanted a school with spirit and camaraderie.  I believe to each is own on this answer.

I hope this was helpful advice! Always feel free to ask me questions related to understanding entrepreneurship in college!! Happy to share my experiences :))



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