How FIDM Launched My Career

February 23, 2016

By Reina Tan, Visual Communications Graduate 

I entered FIDM as a leap of faith and a completely unplanned move. I had no intentions of studying fashion or even pursuing a degree related to fashion. Through the fate of a life-changing conversation with a FIDM Admissions Advisor, and her encouraging and thought-provoking words, I began to entertain a childhood dream that would slowly come to life. I came to FIDM with a background in psychology and a specialty in working alongside the homeless and special needs community. 

Through my short career at Forever 21, that job gave me exposure as a Visual Merchandiser. Even though I had vast knowledge on human interaction and behavior, I only knew the tip of the iceberg in the visual field. I struggled quite a bit during my year at FIDM with constant medical issues and a huge lack of confidence, but throughout this time I also found great friends and professors that spoke life and affirmed my creative abilities.

As I was starting my last quarter at FIDM, I had a phenomenal instructor, Mando Robles. He taught two of my four classes, and is a huge reason I am where I am now. He taught my Portfolio class, and two of his assignments are the key to me securing my current job position. First, we had to find open job positions that we would be interested and qualified to apply, and second, we had to interview someone who we would aspire to be in five to 10 years. 

That's when I discovered the company Judith Von Hopf, and opened up the door for me to meet Sean Sager, my current boss and mentor, who also happens to be the Vice President of Creative & Sales at Judith Von Hopf. Through FIDM connections, I had the privilege to interview him and further affirmed my desire to work for such a company.
Instructor Robles not only planted this seed for my success, but also helped me believe in myself that I can and will be successful. On my last day of school, Sean came to FIDM and sat in our Portfolio class, giving me a chance to showcase my work. In less than 24 hours, I secured an interview with the company, and in less than a month after graduation, I started a full time position as a Creative Assistant at Judith Von Hopf learning the ins and outs of the visual field. 

I get to work alongside an amazing team of people who has taught me so much in my short time here. Furthermore, I get to utilize my skills from FIDM courses in Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign as well as my skills in material and construction creating and designing custom props and fixtures for retailers nationwide. Most recently, I have also had the privilege to participate in the design and operation process of Global Shop. Thank you FIDM for getting me where I am now, and I feel very blessed to begin my career in such a wonderful company as Judith Von Hopf.

Categories: Alumni News, Careers