Fashion School: Oneonta State College
Future Fashion Professional: Sara Johnson
Major: Fashion Merchandising
Graduation Year: May, 2013
Hometown: Albany, NY
When I was a senior in high school I often wondered, “What am I going to major in when I get to college?” I thought long and hard and took tons of those tests that are supposed to tell you what you should do in college; of course I ended up getting the usual answers doctor, teacher, and actor and so on. I eventually ended up settling on fashion merchandising after doing some more research on careers in the fashion industry.
While I have always been interested in fashion, I hadn’t thought about working in the industry until my senior year. After I figured out what I wanted to do I began looking for a college with a fashion program.
Location! Location! Location
Living in New York State I focused on colleges that were located close to where I lived. I applied to FIT, LIM, Marist College, Lasell College in Massachusetts, and Oneonta State College.
I ended up choosing Oneonta State College because they have a great fashion program which would allow me to spend three years at Oneonta, and one year in New York City at FIT.
I became increasingly interested in their programs and sent in my deposit shortly after I received my acceptance letter.
A Freshmen Fashion Student
When I first arrived at school, I was very excited to decorate my room and finally get my classes started.
Among three general education courses, I was signed up for two fashion classes: Quality Analysis of Apparel Products and Aspects of Dress.
In the first class, Quality Analysis, we learned about the production process of clothing and accessories. We learned about good quality versus bad quality and every aspect of production down to stitching, button holes, and even the quality of home wares. My professor was very outgoing, but was a tad hard to understand because he was not from the United States. In the end I learned a lot from the class (though it was a lot of hard work).
My other class, Aspects of Dress, was an overview of the history of dress. We started from the beginning of time going over different time periods and cultures to discuss why people wear what they wear. This class, unlike the other, was very easy but quite helpful because it was great to learn about different cultural aspects of dress and adornment. My favorite part of the class was learning about the clothing and adornments in African and Asian countries. I only took two fashion classes my freshman year at Oneonta but I look forward to taking many more classes in my upcoming years.
Joining the School’s Student Fashion Society
Another large part of the fashion community at Oneonta is Student Fashion Society. As a freshman I tried to get as involved as possible to make new friends and find my place as a fashion student. The fashion society is made up of executive board members and general members. It is one of the largest clubs on campus and all sorts of fashionistas come to the meetings to get involved.
I helped the club by joining a few committees such as the PR committee and the set design committee. Being a part of these small groups gave me the chance to help make important decisions for the club.
The clubs largest event is the annual spring fashion show. This year I was the model coordinator which meant that I helped organize the show and keep the models together and in order. I also modeled myself for two different designers. The show was so much fun and I am really looking forward to next year’s production.
Next year I will be an e-board member for the club. My position will be the Set Design position meaning that I will put together all aspects of the fashion show. I am excited to finally get a leadership position because being able to delegate and get the job done is definitely one of my strengths. I will also be able to list this position on my resume when it comes time to get an internship or job.
While I would definitely recommend Oneonta for any high school student who is interested in fashion but who also wants to live on a nice rural campus. I do think there are a few negatives to attending Oneonta.
The location is definitely a downfall for me because I am always looking for things to do and places to go and Oneonta is such a small town that there isn’t much to do. I grew up near
Albany, NY and there are always things to do and places to go. Though the campus is very pretty and a nice place to be I wouldn’t recommend it for someone who likes to be around the hustle and bustle of the city.
Another downfall for me is that some of the fashion students don’t seem to want to work in the fashion industry as bad as I want to. Some students aren’t as serious about having a highly praised and fun career as I am. But, I guess you get students who are like that on all campuses.
As for the fashion program, the curriculum really is wonderful. There are ways to get involved and you can work towards spending your final year at FIT, or your final two years at AIU in London.
Goals & Aspirations
My goal is to attend FIT for my senior year and graduate from there with a Fashion Merchandising degree. After I graduate I would like to either get a job as a buyer or go to graduate school at FIT. I want to learn as much as I can so that I can have a very successful career.
My ultimate dream job would to be a fashion stylist. I think it would be amazing to work for Elle or Vogue as a stylist for editorials and photo shoots; but at the same time I have always wanted to be a buyer for Macy’s, Nordstrom, or Sak’s Fifth Avenue.
In addition, I have always aspired to be a model. I have modeled in two shows in Oneonta; the one I spoke of above on campus, and another for a friend at a small art gallery in town. I have also modeled in two shows since I have been home from school for the summer. Being in these few shows has showed me how much fun being a model can be. Though I am on the shorter side, being a model would be a lot of fun.
Either way, I have only completed my freshman year at Oneonta State. I still have the next three years ahead of me to finalize my decision as to what I want to do when I graduate.
Feel free to visit my blog Isabella’s Fashion at http://isabellasfashion.blogspot.com to email me any questions you may have about Oneonta State and its Fashion Program.