Former Fashion Club President, Chigoziri Ikeme graduated last month from FIDM with her degree in Merchandise Product Development and just got accepted into the prestigious one-year IMPD program. She credits her Brand Portfolio class with Ms. Hahn for helping her land her paid internship at Nasty Gal Inc. in fabric research and development.
Tell us a little about yourself: I'm a recent MPD grad and a recently accepted IMPD student who has a slight obsession with textiles and thrift shopping. I've been involved in the fashion industry since I was 16 and I'm happy to have discovered my passion for fabrics and product development while at FIDM
When did you find out that you got accepted into IMPD? It was on the evening of March 4th, I opened up my acceptance letter and immediately tears of joy streamed down my face and I was screaming with excitement. I'm extremely grateful to FIDM and the IMPD selection committee for choosing me to part of this prestigious program. I know that this venture will be a great stepping stone towards pursuing my dream career. The program begins this summer and I can't wait to find out which brand we'll be collaborating with.
What do you hope to learn in IMPD? I hope to learn more about all the different aspects that go into creating garments especially in the area of fabric sourcing and development. I also hope to make valuable connections with my colleagues and the industry partners we work with.
Tell us about your paid internship at Nasty Gal: I saw the internship opportunity posted on Nasty Gal's website and I knew I needed to apply. The next day after submitting my application, I had a mock interview for my Brand Portfolio class and my teacher, Ms. Hahn, brought in a Nasty Gal recruiter as the interviewer. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. The recruiter was very impressed with me and my portfolio and that same week I had a formal interview at their headquarters and a week later I was hired as their Fabric R&D intern.
What are your responsibilities? As the fabric intern I assist the fabric team with putting together fabric spec sheets, souring fabrics, and creating fabric boards for the design team. I just started but already I've learned that fabric plays an important role in Nasty Gal's designs and they strive to create high quality on trend garments.
Any advice for someone who is just starting at FIDM? Network, network, network! As a student, this word is engrained in our heads because it's so important. Don't just network with fellow students but also with your teachers. My teachers helped a lot in telling me about various job opportunities that I wouldn't have known about otherwise and they're flowing with knowledge that will help you in your life and career.
What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal right now is to be the best fabric intern Nasty Gal ever had and also to learn all that I can from the IMPD program in order to ensure that I have the career I want when I graduate.
Anything else you’d like to share? As a recent FIDM grad I can say that I learned the most from the classes that challenged me the most. I used to dread my textile classes and now I'm in love with the fabric industry. Always have an open mind and don't be afraid to take risks.