Why did you decide to attend the Fashion Program at Ryerson?
During my childhood, I always had an interest in creating things with my hands more so than anything else, but was never really exposed to the creative industry. This naturally led me to choose business as my beginning career path, but I quickly realized that I needed to do something more creative and practical instead. The fashion industry seemed to have well encompass both the business and the creative aspect, which led me to make the move and apply for the Fashion Design program at Ryerson. It was the single most impulsive and consequential decision I have ever made.
Tell us a little bit more about what you do as a Sourcing Assistant at Joe Fresh, and the responsibilities your job entails.
My main objective as a Sourcing Assistant is to work with the vendors to ensure that the production process is streamlined and as error free as possible. This entails ensuring that our products meet the quality and aesthetic standards that the customers will appreciate. Other responsibilities include keeping close track of time to maintain delivery of goods being shipped from the factories, and securing cost of the products.
How did your academic experience at Ryerson help you with getting to where you are today? What led to your interest in pursuing your job and field?
The courses at Ryerson Fashion are crucial from start to finish. The program helps to identify the key components that make up the industry within a 4 year time frame. It personally helped me find a balance between my weakness in creative thinking and my strength in technical skills. This is reflected in my current job, where I am required to use creative & critical thinking skills to solve a problem, within the parameters & standards set by the company.
If you had to do it all over again, is there anything you would change about your time at Ryerson Fashion?
During my time at Ryerson, I was forced to leave my comfort zone and explore a variety of areas. I also had diffuclty managing the countless projects and assignments of this demanding program. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would definitely prepare for Ryerson Fashion by improving my organization and time management skills.
What does a day in the life of Woo Ram Kim look like?
My day starts with organizing emails received from our vendor partners. The emails consist of simple questions to complicated issues. I first go through all of them, and then sort them by their importance. I then print out the most urgent emails and prioritize, just so I would not get sidetracked by other less important emails. The rest of the day is dedicated mostly to providing comments on submissions that the vendor sends for approval. These are hard copy submissions containing the necessary information that make up a garment, and each of these components must be reviewed at our end before the vendors proceed with production.
What do you find are the most enjoyable and challenging parts of your job?
New challenges are a daily occurance. Problems will inevitably occur during production no matter how streamlined the process is. Regardless whether it was an unforeseen accident or a trivial error that snowballed to become disastrous, it is your responsibility to yield the best outcome. Just with any challenges, a big reward of gratitude and relief awaits once you resolve the problem.
Also the team! At the end of the day, your colleagues are your friends, family, supporters, and teachers. Forming a strong bond between your colleagues through acting with integrity, respect and openness is key when it comes to making your job more enjoyable. I have learned that it also creates a synergy effect of getting work done faster, more effectively, while building a more enthusiastic work environment.
Do you have an area of expertise or research you want to grow and learn about?
I would like to broaden my knowledge in the product development sector. Since sourcing and production and product development are closely knit together, learning more about the role would help me grow my potential in my current position and improve performance quality.
What is your favorite part about working in the Fashion industry?
You are constantly stimulated with inspirations and creative individuals in the industry, which really makes you feel lively and motivated.
What advice would you give a fashion student interested in working in sourcing?
I believe the two most fundamental assets needed to succeed as a sourcing assistant are organization and communication skills. If you are a natural with these two skills, you are already halfway there and should consider working in sourcing. Of course these skills should be backed up by a broad knowledge taught through the curriculum, so ensure you start taking accurate notes in class.