Genevieve Davis, Senior Product Manager for 3 Dee International, graduated with a Merchandise Product Development degree from FIDM six years ago and returned to her alma mater today to grade students on their brand midterm in the MPDV 2850 Brand Portfolio Development class.
The footwear developer reviewed and graded the students' portfolios, and conducted one-on-one mock interviews with half of the students in the class. Next week, FIDM Grad Chris Tsuyuki from WGSN will do the same for the second half of the class.
Before Genevieve started reviewing portfolios and conducting mock interviews, she chatted with the small class of sixteen students about her path to success as a footwear product developer. She explained that she started her career at Rock and Republic when representatives from the fashion company took notice of her work at Portfolio Day on campus. They liked what they saw so they contacted her and hired her as a pre-production assistant. After Rock and Republic, Genevieve landed a job at a footwear company.
The FIDM Grad is now the Senior Product Manager of 3 Dee International, traveling to China four times a year for two week at a time, London two times a year for market research and trend spotting, and New York three times a year. She has designed shoes for clients including American Rag, Dune London, Steve Madden, Madden Girl, Adam Tucker, E.S. Originals, Sugar, Betsey Johnson, and Forever 21.
Genevieve now has three people who report directly to her. When asked what sets a portfolio apart from the rest, she said it's about presenting clean, neat work. She suggested making the images pop, and use shadows and gradients where appropriate. As far as new hires, she looks for job candidates who are motivated, driven, and hungry to make something happen.
She assured the students the Merchandise Product Development is a great major. "I use what I learned at FIDM every day of my life."
Genevieve Davis conducting a mock interview with a PD student