Last week, Her Campus McGill had the chance to interview the co-founders (both pictured at the bottom right of the picture) and directors of Desautel's Fashion Business Uncovered conference. If you're interested in a career in fashion this is definietely a conference for you! Or, if you're just interested in hearing women CEOs talk about their careers, find out what more this conference can offer in our interview below.
Alexandra Faure for Her Campus McGill (HC McGill): Can you explain what your conference is about to our readers?
Jenny Bradley and Lili Lafrance (JB and LL): The conference aims at presenting and revealing the various career opportunities within the fashion industry to students. As management students, the only job opportunities we hear about with regards to fashion are marketing-related, but the fashion industry is much broader than that. Our goal is to show students that there are many other opportunities available to them in areas such as sales, merchandising, e-commerce, finance, accounting, international expansion and more.
HC McGill: I know this is your second conference, how did the idea for the first one come up?
JB and LL: Two years ago, the Soutar Career Centre of the Faculty of Management, in collaboration with a few students, held a Fashion Symposium where the President of Michael Kors Canada and a few other speakers from the industry came and discussed their path to a fashion career. As a consequence of this successful event, we came together and had the idea to host a day-long conference about the business of fashion to communicate to students the various career paths available within the fashion industry.
HC McGill: What other speakers can people look forward to?
JB and LL: We will be announcing our speakers shortly on our Facebook page. They will cover topics ranging from e-commerce to human resources and everything in between. We tried to maximize our reach by having very diversified speakers that will be of special interest to a large number of students.
HC McGill: What are the best pieces of advice you’ve heard from the speakers?
JB and LL: It is really hard to pick one, there are so many to choose from! The most repeated advice was to choose a career that will make you happy. There are too many people that are passionate about fashion but are too afraid to take the plunge. It’s a very intimidating and competitive industry but what almost every speaker has said was that if you’re certain you love it, you will work hard at it, then there’s no reason to hold back.
HC McGill: On April 3rd, 2014 SSMU awarded you Committee of the Year. Congratulations! Tell us more about that (how you won the award, has it helped you in gaining more recognition on and off campus, what have you done since winning that award?)
JB and LL: We worked really hard last year, given that it was the first year of the conference. Starting from scratch was very difficult and we didn’t know what kind of response we would get. We worked a whole year before the conference, and we had many sleepless nights. The amazing feedback we received from the participants made it all worthwhile. The award was the cherry on top! We were a small committee and we were very lucky to find each other. As the co-chairs this year, we worked extremely hard to find individuals that would provide the same the energy that we had in last year’s committee and assure a successful second edition!
HC McGill: What do you hope attendees get out of the conferences?
JB and LL: We hope to answer their questions, and provide them with the information needed to better understand the opportunities available to them in the industry. We want them to leave inspired and motivated to pursue a career in the fashion industry.
HC McGill: How can individuals attend?
JB and LL: They can sign-up online at www.fashionbusinessuncovered.com or they can pass by the Bronfman Lobby any Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday from 10AM to 4PM until the conference.
Photos obtained from: Facebook page