An Ode to New York
Models: Allison Miller, Sofia Randazzo, Brady Pitcher and Sophie Dehn
By Brady Pitcher
Ahhh New York City. Since being named one of the fashion capitals of the world, New York holds a plethora of the top fashion schools, brands, and ateliers in the world that anyone interested in fashion would die to see. Recently, a group of students from CMU including some of our VERGE staff went on a trip to the city that never sleeps to attend the NRF Student Program. The Student Program put on by the National Retail Federation allows students studying fashion, finance and more to come together for a convention to connect and learn more about opportunities in their industries. In the short span of three days, students had the opportunity to listen to professionals about their experiences in the field, got to connect with these mentors on a more personal level, and attended a job fair where they could land themselves an internship with companies such as Target, Nordstrom, and Steve Madden. The trip which usually happens in early January is a wonderful experience for those looking for internships or want to connect to more people in their fields. To learn more about the trip and hear the attendees’ experiences, we interviewed some of our staff to find out their thoughts on the trip:
Why did you decide to attend the NRF Trip?
“I decided to attend the NRF trip to mainly network and get my name out there. Not only did it was a great starting point to potentially find an internship, but the trip would also be a unique and exciting experience. I also just really wanted to go to New York City. I have gone once with my family, and I thought it would be super fun to go with my close friends! There were a lot of benefits of attending the trip! First was to learn how to network and properly prepare for job hunting. The job fair was likely a lot of students first time trying to land an internship or job. It was for me, so the thought of talking to a million recruiters was very nerve wracking for me, but after attending the trip I know how to talk to professionals with ease and how to properly present myself.”
In your own words, how would you describe the NRF convention and the weekend overall?
“I feel very lucky to have had this experience. The NRF Student Program was a great opportunity and I appreciate how as a fashion student at CMU I have the ability to attend events like this one. While not every single moment during the weekend was magical like I thought it might be, the networking opportunities found at the conference were extremely beneficial in creating connections to further my career. As it was my first time in New York City, every situation was meaningful. Overall, if I had to choose one word to describe the NRF conference and the trip as a whole it would be memorable.”
What is the biggest piece of advice you learned on the trip?
“Never take an opportunity for granted. Regardless of what the opportunity is, there is always room for growth. Many times, we try to tell ourselves there’s only one right way to get to our end goal, which isn’t true. Our path gets diverted, and when it does, we sometimes see that in a negative light. If your path does change from its original route, stick it out and see the light in it. You never know what you may learn.”
Would you recommend the NRF trip to others who are considering the event?
“Yes! I would recommend the NRF to trip to any and anyone that has the opportunity to take part in this event. There are few events like this where you can put your name out there and make a real-life connection with people from brands and mentors who have been in the business for years. The convention allowed me to listen to professionals like Steve Madden himself. Not only were the opportunities to connect face to face with brands unmatched, the time spent with your peers in New York is amazing bonding time.”
Besides the convention, did you get to explore/see any other places in New York?
“Yes! The group I hung out with definitely made the most of our time, and we did so much exploring! I had an interview in Hoboken, so I got to explore New Jersey a bit, as well as SOHO in the same day. We went to Chinatown for dinner one night and spent a whole day in Brooklyn shopping and eating! Carmella and I went to Chelsea and visited a flea market, and Sophie, Brady, Anna and I explored the Upper West Side, we visited the MET & did some vintage shopping! It was so nice to explore all over Manhattan and Brooklyn, and even a bit in NJ, despite our short time frame, we took advantage of our time!”
To learn more about the National Retail Federation and the Student Program convention in New York City, check out https://nrffoundation.org.