Our favorite part of CollegeFashionista is the community that develops between Style Gurus, both new and old. That’s why we launched the CollegeFashionista Mentorship Program last spring, tapping our CollegeFashionista alumni to act as mentors to some of our rockstar Style Gurus. And while we all know that networking is not always the most natural activity, we saw the relationships between alumni and Style Guru flourish – both personally and professionally.
As part of CollegeFashionista’s commitment to empowering our readers and Style Gurus, we are excited to announce that we are continuing the CollegeFashionista Mentorship Program into the new semester. So whether it’s meeting the girl with your dream job, like Megan and Yasmeen, or bonding over One Direction phases, like Ally and Kali, we can’t wait to see the connections that develop this semester.
To share their advice with all of you, we got to know this semester’s mentors and mentees. Check out what our mentees are most excited to learn and what advice our mentees would give to their college-selves.
FALL 2016 CLASS:
Mentor: Maura Brannigan
Senior Editor, Fashionista.com
Advice to her college-self: Don’t hold back. Don’t let anything intimidate you. Try it all. Say yes to everything. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or need to step back, then absolutely allow yourself to be selfish with your time — but give yourself the opportunity to learn more than you ever thought possible. You never know who or what is going to impact you most.
Mentee: Alexis Kelly
Junior, Central Michigan University
What she’s excited about: I’m excited that the mentorship program gives me the opportunity to chat with someone who has worked professionally in the fashion industry. Although I love my classes, there is only so much you can learn from them. Having advice from these girl bosses is not only inspiring, but valuable!
Mentor: Ariana Marsh
Fashion News Associate, Teen Vogue
Advice to her college-self: Make sure you educate yourself about all aspects of the industry, even those you think you’ll never need to know about for your specific desired career. Read up on fashion history, learn which designers are at at the helm of each of the major houses, look into what’s happening business-wise with brands and the market overall, stay on top of the industry’s social trends. Everything is connected. The more informed you are, the more informed your work will be.
Mentee: Melissa Epifano
Junior, University of Oregon
What she’s excited about: Being from the west coast, it’s really tough to find connections in fashion journalism. So the mentorship program is a really exciting way for me to connect with someone who’s passionate like me, and who’s willing to help me grow.
Fashion & Beauty Editor, Bustle.com
Advice to her college-self: The less time you spend comparing yourself to everyone else, the more successful you’ll be.
Mentee: Ally Zacek
Junior, DePaul University
What she’s excited about: I’m excited to talk with someone who can really help answer any and all questions I have. Olivia’s career path is one I would like to emulate, so to get advice and the chance to pick her brain is really amazing!
Mentor: Melissa Levin
COO & Editorial Director, CollegeFashionista
Advice to her college-self: Set goals, not expectations. Creating expectations of where you think you should be is actually rather limiting. Goals allow you to be fluid in the pursuit of your dreams.
Mentee: Elizabeth Morales
Senior, DePauw University
What she’s excited about: I can’t wait to hear an insider’s perspective on the industry and to get advice from someone who is doing editorial work (as well as being an all-around amazing individual) because that is something that I hope to go into after school.
Mentor: Syma Raza
Public Relations Coordinator, American Eagle Outfitters + AERIE
Advice to her college-self: Always have a creative outlet — in college you’re slammed with projects, but try to make time for yourself. This is a special time in your life where you have downtime to find your passion!
Mentee: Sierra Cortner
Senior, Emory University
What she’s excited about: CollegeFashionista‘s mentorship program offers an air of transparency to the business of fashion that is difficult to obtain on Emory’s predominantly pre-med campus. I hope to learn as much from Sayma about fashion PR in New York in order to prepare for graduation in (gasp!) less than a year.
Mentor: Ellie Whiteford
Senior Public Relations Manager
Mentee: Peyton Lee
Senior, York College of Pennsylvania
What she’s excited about: I can’t wait to hear my mentor’s current goals and projects for her company to get a taste of the assignments I would be working on in my future career. As a Public Relations Major, learning about how her company creates content gives me a lot to look forward to after graduation!
Mentor: Kali Concepcion
Art Manager, CollegeFashionista
Advice to her college-self: Even though I wasn’t in college that long ago, I would simply say to be more interested. Since being out of school I’ve found that one of my favorite things to do is learn — whether it’s a personal interest or a random subject I naturally forgot about immediately after the test. Now that learning isn’t being pushed by the daily grind of a curriculum, everything somehow feels like it applies to my life more and I want to know about it all. Keep your textbooks!
Mentee: Ally Scandolo
Senior, University of Toronto
What she’s excited about: As a student in the liberal arts program, I haven’t had the experience of getting to know someone in the fashion industry yet. I’m really excited to get to know the full details of what working as an Art Manager entails and getting to know Kali more!
Mentor: Yasmeen Gharnit
Freelance Writer, Editor and Social Media Strategist
Advice to her college-self: Stay chill. Make sure you really take time to figure out what you want and how to get there. Oh, and make sure to balance out binge-watching with personal projects. It’s important for your mental sanity to foster your creativity in whatever way possible, trust me, your future self.
Mentee: Megan Sharp
Senior, Pace University
What she’s excited about: After one meeting with my mentor, I already feel like I’ve gotten so much useful advice. I want to build myself personally and professionally through this program.
Mentor: Erin Fahan
Advice to her college-self: Find someone that you see as a career role model. Learn about their struggles and successes. It helps to know where you want to end up and find someone who’s already taken the journey.
Mentee: Kelsey Cadenas
Junior, Savannah College of Art and Design
What she’s excited about: I am super excited to pick Erin’s brain and learn from her experiences within the fashion industry. The one-on-one personalized attention is so rare and I’m looking forward to taking advantage of it!