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Kiera smiles into the camera. She has long braids parted in the middle and wears a black top and gold necklace.

NRF Foundation Student Challenge Winner Kiera Berry Secures Paid Internship at Kohl's in NYC

Apparel Technical Design Student Kiera Berry will be spending her summer in New York, interning with Kohl’s Corporate Design team. She landed the position after being encouraged to apply by one of the recruiters she met while in NYC for the NRF Foundation Student Challenge. Kiera and her classmates Avery Van Der Linden, Kristin Hall, and Shannon Curly placed third in the Challenge and were awarded $2500 each.

Growing up in Miami, Kiera attended Design and Architecture Senior High School before heading to the Miami Fashion Institute at Miami Dade College. While earning her Associate’s degree in Fashion Design, she discovered a real passion for the apparel development process. “I was challenged to critically think and problem solve when bringing ideas to life, without disrupting the initial concept. My professor realized how much I enjoyed taking this course and they thought I’d have a great future in technical design. I agreed, and that's what drove me to apply to transfer to FIDM and study Apparel Technical Design.” Kiera moved to Los Angeles in October 2021 to pursue her Bachelor’s degree, which she’ll finish this year. We checked in with her to learn more.

Please tell us about your upcoming internship! What will you be working on? I’ll be interning with Kohl’s Corporate Design Team this summer in NYC, for 10 weeks! As a design intern, I’ll be working in all areas of product creation for Kohl’s Simply Vera Vera Wang private-label brand.

How did you get the internship? While in NYC for the NRF Student Challenge, I attended the NRF Foundation Career Fair and connected with one of the recruiters for Kohl’s 2023 Corporate Internship Program. She encouraged me to apply for their Design Team Intern position. For my interview, I had to create a mini-collection for one of their private-label brands and pitch my presentation to two of their senior designers. 

What was it like to present your final pitch at the NRF Foundation Student Challenge? I was pretty nervous, but confident in the work that my teammates and I produced. We devoted so much time and effort to our pitch for over 6 months, so we were thrilled to finally have the opportunity to share our pitch with the panelist of judges. Shannon, Kristin, and Avery were amazing teammates, and they made my entire experience a fun, unforgettable one!

What are your career goals? My career goal is to be a designer, hopefully for my own brand in the future! For now, I just want to gain as much working industry experience as possible.

Why did you choose FIDM? I decided on FIDM because they were one of the only institutes that would provide me with the best knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the fashion industry.

How did you decide on your major? I chose Apparel Technical Design because I wanted to gain industry knowledge and skills in apparel manufacturing and production.

Anything else you’d like to share? I would encourage any student to make the most of their FIDM experience by setting goals, exploring new interests, getting involved in extracurriculars, networking, and most importantly, planning for their future. Although I’m sad my FIDM student journey is coming to an end, I’m excited about my future and believe that everything I’ve learned at FIDM has prepared me for my future career.

Follow Kiera’s journey on Instagram @kieraberryyy.

Categories:  Apparel Technical Design Transfer Student