FIDM Faces

JT Akers

Graduate
Merchandise Marketing
Senior Product Manager for Basketball Apparel at Adidas

FIDM Merchandise Marketing Graduate JT Akers is the Senior Product Manager for Basketball Apparel at Adidas. We recently caught up with the Portland, Oregon resident to chat about his exciting career.

What made you decide to attend FIDM?
A career change in my early 20s. FIDM provided great insight into what I wanted to originally do (open my own boutiques and be a buyer). The recruiters were great and made my decision easy. The curriculum was directly applicable to my goals. But I'll let you know when I figure out what I wanna be when I grow up.

You already had a B.A. How did your degree from FIDM help as another layer to your existing one?
My degree at FIDM provided me with instant credibility in the apparel and fashion industry. My experience at FIDM was literally applied to every position I've had since graduation.

Tell us about your current job and responsibilities at Adidas.
My team and I create all of the apparel for Adidas Global Basketball. We brief in the seasonal strategy to our design and development teams, are the product, market, consumer, and competition experts, and drive the business. We are charged with coming up with creative and viable product options to grow the business. We are accountable for anything you see on the retail floor. Its half creative/half analytical, but the driver of the category. Never a dull moment!

What advice would you give to a student at FIDM hoping to go into your field?
Pay attention in class! The instructors at FIDM are experts in the field. You won't get expertise like that anywhere else. I literally apply everything I've learned to some extent in my work. Its like they say, you get out of it what you put in. There are great people at FIDM so take full advantage of everything FIDM has to offer because when you're out you'll be glad you did. What you'll learn at FIDM is very specialized and will put you that much farther ahead than anyone you're competing against for a position in this industry. Oh yeah, and have fun! This is a fun industry -- fast paced, yet small, so network and utilize FIDM as best as possible.

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

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