Joe Coscia (GSB ’14) and Aimee Fields (GSB ’14), however, are proving that you don’t have to know anyone.
This summer, Joe and Aimee will be buying interns in the executive training program at Lord & Taylor, a historic star in the constellation of high-end New York department stores.
Neither knew anyone at Lord & Taylor before starting the internship search. They started from scratch. Joe met the company’s campus representative at a career panel held last fall by Fordham’s Fashion for Philanthropy. Aimee first met a Lord & Taylor recruiter at a Fordham career fair.
Both students emerged as prime candidates by making their own inroads.
“I had met the recruiter at the Rose Hill career fair; then I met her again at a Lord & Taylor information session at Rose Hill, and one more time at a Lincoln Center career fair,” Aimee recalls. “I continued to e-mail her, and I kept going to Fordham career events where Lord & Taylor would be present.”
“My persistence paid off.”
It sure did. As business students focused on marketing, Aimee and Joe stand to learn a lot from the Lord & Taylor program. It isn’t just work: It includes seminars that convene all 25 interns, and a final project that draws together everything they’ve learned. That is in addition to their work responsibilities, which include helping senior buyers to choose items to sell, tracking product requests, following trends and preparing for presentations.
That’s the kind of work these students want to be doing.
“I would like to be a buyer for a department store or boutique in men’s clothing,” Joe said. “I enjoy the business. I like looking at the different products and the different opportunities, and I like the “newness” of the industry. Every six months there’s new product to get excited about.”
Aimee sees herself “working in the fashion industry in some type of marketing, either buying or selling, or in traditional marketing, like advertising and events.”
Having made their way in to Lord & Taylor, now Aimee and Joe have the opportunity to build their personal networks.
“I want to meet contacts who can advance my knowledge of the fashion industry, provide meaningful mentorship and advice, and help me network in the job search,” Joe said.
Aimee encourages her classmates to push for the kinds of positions they want, even if they aren’t privileged to start with vast networks.
“People should know that they could get an internship at a large company even if they do not know someone on the inside,” she said. “Just be polite and professional, but be persistent.”