Today, Eleanor Tsang, the #GirlBoss of MUS Fashion Business Uncovered Conference has shared her time to do an interview with Her Campus McGill. Through Ella, Her Campus McGill has managed to get the inside scoop on one of Desautels’ most anticipated conferences, so continue reading to find out more!
Averie Hah from Her Campus McGill (HC McGill): Hi Ella! Thanks for doing an interview with Her Campus McGill. Could you introduce yourself to our readers?
Eleanor Tsang (ET): My name is Eleanor Tsang, but people call me Ella. I’m a U3 student from Vancouver, majoring in General Management with a triple-concentration in International Business, Marketing, and Information Systems.
HC McGill: What are some things that you are involved in outside of school?
ET: I’m the Co-Executive Director of Fashion Business Uncovered conference (FBU); VP Marketing of McGill Students’ Data Analytics and Technology Association; VP Design of Desautels’ Women in Business. I’m also working as a peer advisor at Desautels Career Services.
HC McGill: Tell us a little bit about FBU. What is it about and who is it for?
ET: FBU started out with the goal of educating business students on “the other side of fashion” and how the fashion industry is not just about glamor. Normally, when students think of the fashion industry, they only think about modeling and designs, and overlook the fact that there’s a lot of operations, finance, and other business parts involved that are not plain pretty. What FBU wants to do is show such aspects of fashion business that people don’t recognize.
While “uncovering” the other side fashion business, we also aim to expose the different career opportunities that exist in this industry. Oftentimes, you see students discouraged to go into the field because they think ‘I’m not good at drawing’, or ‘I don’t know how to design,’ but those are not the only requirements for being involved. FBU wants to show the different possibilities and job opportunities that exist in the whole landscape of fashion business and encourage students to take part.
For example, FBU has tried to host speakers in a variety of aspects of fashion. While we’ve had speakers from Montreal communities, we’ve had the honor of hosting the CFO of Chanel in our first year. Last year specifically, we worked with companies like Dynamite, Cory Vines, L’Oreal, Beyond the Rack, Mackage, Aldo, LouLou magazine, and EY. We’ve had people from both fashion/apparel side of the industry and also publishing and PR. We try to be reflective of all aspects of fashion.
HC McGill: What is your role as the Executive Director?
ET: My role is to coordinate and oversee the works of all the other directors. We have weekly meetings and in accordance with Marianne, my co-executive director, I make sure that everyone is doing what they’re responsible for in that particular week and help everyone be in check with our schedule and goals. Marianne and I ensure that the conference looks like how we planned for it to look this year.
Aside from that, Marianne and I are mostly in charge of managing the relationship with our main sponsor, Groupe Dynamite – we meet with them regularly and regarding our sponsorship agreement.
HC McGill: Then as the Executive Director, you must have a certain outlook for this year’s conference specifically. What’s something different about this year’s FBU?
ET: In previous years, we focused on uncovering the business of fashion. This year specifically is about the globalization of fashion industry and how globalization is changing the landscape of the fashion business. Speakers will be addressing how globalization is coming into play with business areas like innovation, international wholesale and e-commerce, and how they are adapting to the new landscape.
HC McGill: What are some of the things that you have done or that the club has done that you are the most proud of?
ET: I would say the growth of FBU over the years. Overall perception and the legitimacy of our club have solidified over the years and we’re able to define who we are more clearly. I’m proud of our ability to show students that there are opportunities beyond the visible aspect of fashion (design/modeling). It’s also very rewarding to hear that students can end up with an internship opportunity after coming to the conference.
HC McGill: On the other hand, what are some of the difficulties you have to face?
ET: Definitely the budget constraints. Ensuring that we secure enough sponsors to support the conference and keep up with a certain level of quality is the main challenge we face. As for difficulties within the team, it gets hard to agree on the design aspect of the conference, like how we want FBU to look. For example, the visual appearance of our conference, coordinating all the design aspects such as our themes and key points in our visual appeal are all small things that everyone has to agree on, which can be challenging sometimes.
HC McGill: You are involved in so many different things, and seem to juggle everything with perfection. Do you have tips on keeping motivated and managing your time?
ET: First, being organized is key. People have different ways of organizing but for me, writing post-its and updating my agenda keeps me in check with all of my responsibilities.
Writing down my goals helps me keep motivated as well. For different responsibilities or goals, I’ll set concrete dates for when they need to be achieved by. Physically writing these down and seeing my goals keep me motivated, and checking these off in the end gives me the greatest feeling of accomplishment.
HC McGill: As a graduating student, do you have any tips for the next graduating class?
ET: Take more chances and take more risks. University goes by really quickly so whenever you have any opportunities that may seem crazy, just take them. That’s one thing that I wish I could have done more of.
Also, start thinking early about what you want to do, what you’re passionate about, and what makes you excited. That realization is the key stepping stone of planning your next step in life after graduation. By always researching what I wanted to do after graduation, I was able to look beyond my university career and pinpoint the steps I need to take during my years of college to get to that point. Outlining these small steps for yourself will make it easier for you achieve them and make great personal accomplishments that will eventually take you to where you want to be in life.
HC McGill: What are your plans and goals for after you graduate?
ET: For me, I am very passionate about digital marketing and e-commerce so I want work in such interactive division of a company, within the fashion or beauty industry.
Aside from that, I’m launching my own online interactive community and content hub called Bowls & Goals – it’ll be a place where I can inspire millennial women to find happiness through healthy living, and where people can share content with each other to help each other grow as women.
An organization I’m passionate about is I Am That Girl; its mission is to help girls of all ages transform self-doubt to self-love. In our society, there’s this unattainable idea of perfection and a lot of the times, girls can feel like they’re not good enough and will never be. For such girls, this organization aims to create a place both online and off-line where they can share their uniqueness and help them grow as more self-confident women. This is definitely something I wish I had access to as a young girl, so I want to take part and establish a chapter in Vancouver or Montreal as their presence in Canada isn’t very big.
HC McGill: Lastly, anything you want to share with the readers?
ET: FBU conference is on February 12th, and it’s going be the best version of FBU so far so buy your tickets! They’re available online or in Bronfman when we are tabling.
Photos provided by the intereviewee.