Grad Sofia Pinales is an Assistant Buyer at Ross
Sofia Pinales was born and raised in Mason, Ohio, a suburb outside of Cincinnati, where she attended William Mason High School. She originally attended Miami University in Ohio to pursue an education degree, but quickly realized her true passion was for the fashion industry. She transferred to FIDM and earned a degree in Merchandising & Marketing and is currently a student in the B.S. degree program in Business Management. We caught up with Sofia, who is now working at Ross as an Assistant Buyer, to chat about her FIDM experience.
How did you first hear about FIDM and what made you want to attend? I heard about FIDM through a classmate and had always wanted to attend, but I was nervous about moving from Ohio to California by myself.
How did you choose to study Merchandising & Marketing? I am really good at math, as well as fashion, so I wanted to have a major that combined these two things. I have always been extremely interested in buying and marketing, too. Once I saw the entrance project, I knew it was the right fit for me.
Tell us about your experience as a Merchandising & Marketing student: I loved everything about the Merchandising & Marketing program. I had so many amazing teachers and fun classes that made me certain I was pursuing the right path for my career. The first class I loved was learning about the different fabrics; it was so challenging in a great way. I enjoyed all of my buying and Excel classes with Mimi Su — she is such an incredible teacher.
These classes made me 100 percent certain that I wanted to be a buyer. I also really liked all of my classes with Elisabeth Hinkley. Most of her classes were writing-based, which isn’t my strong suit, so she worked very hard with me to improve my writing skills and she ended up being one of my favorite teachers! Being surrounded by so many instructors who were so passionate about the fashion industry was also so great to see.
What led you to continue with a B.S. degree program in Business Management? I was truly only interested in buying after graduating with my Merchandising & Marketing degree and knew that most buyers have their B.S. I also wanted to continue at FIDM because I loved it so much and wanted to learn more about the business side of the fashion industry.
What excites you most about the industry and what do you hope to do after graduating with your second degree? I am so excited to be a buyer as this career really seems like the perfect fit for me. I have already accepted my first buying position at Ross as an Assistant Buyer. In the future, I'd love to progress to become a handbag buyer!
Attend our Online Lecture Series event, The Art & Science of Fashion Buying, on Thursday, July 15, 2021, from 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM PDT. Register for the free event here.