5 Tips for Students Interested in Fashion Merchandising

Are you thinking about doing something in the fashion industry? Did you know that you don't have to go to New York or California to get a fashion education? The University of Georgia has a Fashion Merchandising Program that can give you just what you need to be successful. However, just going to class does not ensure that you will be the next big fashion mogul. These 5 tips can help you become more successful post-graduation!

1. Get Exposed to the Fashion Industry Early On

All first-year students are required to take a one-credit first-year Odyssey seminar that is supposed to be a nice break for students as the FYOS is very different from general education classes. You can use this as an opportunity to get exposed to the fashion industry. Starting early helps you see if this is something you want to do in the future. The head of the Textiles Department, G. Bhat, teaches a fun and interesting seminar titled “Magic of Textiles,” which shows a different area of the fashion industry: textile and fabric development.

2. Take Advantage of Resources

The fashion industry is highly competitive and to be successful you must want it and be willing to work for it. Ask questions in class and try to get all the information you possibly can. Fashion merchandising classes at UGA teach you skills that will be used in the future. The University also provides information for various scholarships such as the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund, which offers scholarships ranging from $5,000-$35,000. The case studies submitted for the scholarship are reviewed by 200 industry professionals, which can lead to an internship, mentorship or job opportunities. The opportunities can be your gateway to the fashion industry.

3. Do Research on the Different Parts of the Fashion Industry

Contrary to popular belief, the fashion industry is not all about design. I know... mind blown! The design part of the industry is tough to get into but don’t take it the wrong way. If you are great at fashion design, go for it! If fashion design is not your strong suit or you want a less competitive option, do research on the different aspects of the industry. Products do start out in design, but then the products go through textile development, product development, sourcing, marketing, sales, buying, styling, logistics and many other areas. You will find the area that is perfect for you, just do some research to figure out how to specifically get involved.

4. Network! Network! Network!

In this industry it’s not just what you know, it’s also WHO you know. You can start making connections in the classroom. Guest speakers from the industry are amazing people to network with because they can offer great advice. Professors often have many connections with industry leaders and can be the link you need to meet them. Check out your professors' LinkedIn accounts and connect with them. Lastly, network with fellow classmates as chances are you will interact with them in the future and having a good relationship with them can be extremely beneficial.

5. Think about Minoring or Double Majoring to Build Skills

Multiple skills are always a plus on resumes. People that are successful in the industry are usually great at multiple things, which makes them more well-rounded and therefore more marketable. Getting into college was more than just test scores; most schools accepted people who were smart, involved in extracurricular activities and did community service. The same holistic idea applies to the industry. The retail part of the fashion industry runs as a business. Consider majoring in business and minoring in fashion merchandising. If you want to work at a fashion magazine, such as Vogue, consider majoring in Journalism and minoring in Fashion Merchandising. The Fashion Merchandising major is a little vague as it exposes you to a lot of different areas of the industry but adding another academic program can help you focus on an area.

Hopefully, these tips help you figure out exactly what part of the industry you want to be in and help you get there! We wish you the very best in your journey in the fashion industry!