You started with Pink Tartan as an intern in the summer of 2013, how did you find this opportunity?
My mother knew someone who worked at the head office. She recommended that I reach out and talk to them to get more insight into the industry. When I met with them, we discussed my interests, which included graphic design, trend forecasting, and journalism. At the time they were looking for an intern to help their visual communications director and told me to come in again for an interview. I meet with the head of visual communications and she gave me a few assignments to complete to see if I had the skills, design sensibilities, and understanding of the brand to meet the requirements for the position. My three years in the fashion communication program and the courses I had taken over the years provided me with a great foundation to complete the assignments and I got the job!
What experience do you think best qualified you for the job?
I think that the experiences that I gained throughout my time at Ryerson really prepared me for the job. You need to meet deadlines quickly, and efficiency is really important. Unexpected things are bound to come up and mess with your schedule, so you learn quickly to plan for more time than you need, and to be prepared to meet tight deadlines. I also think that taking typography in my 3rd year allowed me to really develop the skills in understanding layout, type, balance, and hierarchy that benefited me immensely.
Now that you’ve been hired full-time how have your tasks and responsibilities changed since you started?
I have a lot more responsibility than I did as an intern. After my boss left, I have taken over many of the responsibilities that she was in charge of. It was definitely a jump going from intern to full time employee. You are a lot more accountable for the work you produce. It is a lot of hard work, but so far I am really enjoying what I am doing.
You had 2 years of University experience in Media, Information and Technology before you came to Ryerson Fashion. Was there any reason you decided to pursue that first? What drove you to make the switch?
To be honest I was more or less pressured by advisers and family to go into the Media, Information and Technology (MIT) program. At the time MIT only accepted 88 people per year so like Ryerson Fashion, it was not easy to get into. I also felt a pressure to leave Toronto and have an experience living outside the city. I thought media was a good choice as I was interested in journalism, advertising, and magazine publishing. The program and the culture of Western and London however was not what I expected and I decided it was not the right fit and I took a year off to figure out what I wanted to do. I ended up interning in the fashion department at Chatelaine Magazine for 8 months and it really inspired me to apply to the program.
It’s funny when I looked back at my old elementary school yearbook I said that I wanted a career fashion. Somewhere along the way I forgot that. In high school the concept of a career in fashion was not even on my radar. I think that in some ways I needed to get a bit lost to finally find my way back to a career path that I hope will challenge and motivate me to stay true to my self and my goals.