FIDM Student: Courtney Hochstetler

Students give an inside look at their college experience

Courtney Hochstetler

Merchandising & Marketing

Tell us a little about yourself.
The expectations of me are high, both from a personal standpoint as well as from those around me. My high expectations developed early on based on how I was raised. I grew up in Salem, Oregon, where I was taught the best of morals by my loving parents, John and Sheila, and two awesome older brothers, Brett and Chad. They have been my greatest supporters and have helped me reach my goals and dreams.

My hobbies include adventuring with friends, spending time with family, traveling, decorating, thrifting, and painting (taking the old and making it new). I spend most of my time working and enjoy going to church. My inspirations for fashion come from Audrey Hepburn. She is timeless, classy, as well as a humanitarian. She dedicated her life to disadvantaged communities around the world. A special thanks goes to Dakarai Kongela, who taught me that every dream is important, and to go after this one.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far?
Everything began for me at an early age. I got involved in USATF Junior Olympics, where I attended 10 national championships for youth cross country and track and field. I was also involved in the Willamette Girl Choir, which I participated in for six years. These experiences, through both disappointment and success, prepared me for the many life experiences ahead, both the blissful times and the trials and tribulations. Recently, I accomplished a half marathon and look forward to competing in many more!

What made FIDM right for you?
FIDM is a great school for those who are dedicated and love the world of fashion! At an early age, I realized my knack for being creative and adventurous. I scrapbooked, took pictures of anything and everything, and dressed up Barbies in various outfits for different occasions and events that I planned for them. But since then, I have grown in my sense of style and enjoy styling in my daily life, in my career setting, and for those amazing friends and family of mine.

Working in retail, I have learned the business aspect of fashion, and what makes a company ultimately successful. FIDM can help me attain my career goals by enhancing my education from where I left off at George Fox University. It will give me the connections necessary to work with top retail companies. I believe that focusing on my area of interest will help me discover how to obtain my goals, and prepare me for my future career.

Describe your entrance project.
I created a store and a demographic for the customer that would shop in my store. I started by making a list of my inspirations, which included everything that is of value to me. My store is focused on an urban style that accommodates to the young professional individuals. I focused on an average young business woman in Portland and her lifestyle. I named the store “Urban Beat & Co.” where the clothing is urban, upbeat, and trendy.

I then put five well coordinated outfits together based on the single business woman, and her needs, and the demographic. I put together evening wear, casual wear, athletic wear, sleep wear, and career wear. Each piece in the look was from a different designer and brand; a few brands that I used were Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. The prices for each item were related to the middle-high class individual. This project was all based on my passion for the need, originality, color, and innovative upbeat creations.

What are your career goals?
Upon graduating from FIDM, I plan to graduate from George Fox University with a bachelors degree, and then to start off as a buyer for a major company. This appeals to me because I am a driven and organized individual who loves tailoring the ever-changing styles to fit my preferences and tastes in order to make them my own. My heart is in this career because I can be of service to others while doing something I love.

My ultimate goal is to work my way up in the fashion world to be a manager, and to eventually be able to open my own retail store and donate part of the proceeds to America’s inner cities. I firmly believe the Merchandise Marketing program will be a perfect fit and will open doors I can’t even imagine. This is just the beginning of a life already becoming fulfilled!

What do you expect to learn at FIDM?
I expect to learn all about the business of fashion. I am excited to learn the marketing of merchandise, retail buying, application of technology, leadership skills, and team management skills. These skills will give me the ability to analyze information and management of merchandise in such a diverse industry. The part I am most looking forward to is the traveling, and the cultural aspect. I look forward to advancing my career in the industry and learning from professors who have so much experience in the industry!

Please Note: The information contained herein was confirmed at the time of original publication.

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