As a college student majoring in business, it's only safe—almost practical—to imagine that everything we're learning in school would only lead us to two paths down the road: one is to start up your own business and the other is to enter the corporate field. While it may not be the most common path to take, a big leap from learning the business systems, models, and processes to taking on a role in the fashion industry is totally possible. After all, every opportunity—especially if it is something related to your passion and interests—should never be taken for granted. And what better way is there to grow as an individual than to do the things you've never done before and totally different from what is expected of you?
There are a lot of common misconceptions about working in the fashion industry, which includes a ton of Devil Wears Prada references, but one thing that the fashion industry teaches is that it doesn't really matter what background you come from. So long as you're willing to learn and immerse yourself in this bubble, no one can stop you from making a name for yourself in the industry. Plus, all those comments about how snobbish and stuffy the people in the industry are? Not true. Just like in all the industries that you will have to choose from once you graduate college, the only thing that can actually hold you back from any opportunity is yourself.
Another no-brainer fact is that no amount of readings or books in school can ever prepare or show you what it feels like to be in the working force—especially the fashion industry. As a business student, you get used to piles and piles of readings about big, hairy goals a.k.a. BHAGs, how to make a balanced scorecard for your business, and so much more, but at the end of the day, experience is truly the best teacher. And no Book for Dummies can ever prepare you for producing a whole day shoot, trying to carry 15 paper bags during pullout day, and of course, every stylist's worst nightmare—stain galore during a shoot.
But so long as you keep an open mind and an open heart to new experiences, you can be sure that you can only get better and better as each day passes.
One common misconception about business students is that we're all stiff and serious. While it may be true in certain occasions, the fashion scene is proof that even when things are going tough, your creativity and fun side will help you pull through.
No matter how skilled and experienced you are with your chosen field, a little bit of fun and thinking outside of the box will help you leave a mark that's uniquely you in all your works and projects.
And at the end of the day, isn't that what we're supposed to be gunning for regardless of whether you're in Marketing, Operations, or Fashion?
Excellent work with a touch of your personal style a la Elle Wood's scented, pink resume.
Here's the thing, most college students are used to letting their course dictate who they're going to be in the future and unfortunately, anything they end up doing that is not related to what they're currently taking up in school is regarded as a "waste of time" or effort. On the contrary, that isn't always the case. Aside from the fact that there are a lot of people who are pursuing careers that are nowhere near the course that they took up in college, taking up an internship that's nowhere near your course helps you broaden your horizons and shows you a world that you never would have imagined.
It teaches you to be brave and explore undiscovered territories, but most importantly, it shows you a side of yourself that you never would have known if you weren't fearless enough to go outside of the box. So, when you're feeling torn between your passions and what you're studying in school, instead of letting these opposites clash, take them and allow it to merge because you’d be surprise to know that they might not be so different after all.
And yes, passion, knowledge, information, and interests can coexist in one space, too.