2016 YMA/FSF Gala Connects Students with Industry Leaders
My name is Indira Bott and I am a current senior at LIM College. I am honored to also be a recent recipient of the 2016 YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund Award. As an international student, I have limited eligibility for scholarships and grants, which is why I was thrilled to learn about this opportunity at LIM.
The $5K award is available for all full-time sophomore, junior, and senior students of member schools with an overall G.P.A of 3.0 or above. Select students complete an insightful case-study distributed by the YMA/FSF.
My experience applying for the scholarship was challenging and required a lot of motivation, but the hard work definitely paid off! The first-round essay focused on innovative retailing and was submitted during an introductory presentation in the Townhouse. We learned that beyond the incredible $5K grant, scholars would have the benefit of attending the Annual YMA Geoffrey Beene Scholarship Dinner, internship fair, and a chance to engage in various networking opportunities.
The road to success was no easy task. The intensive business case-study on Birchbox Company was created to showcase participant’s ideas for an innovative expansion strategy for the company. The course included a month of hard work, meetings with our mentor, and endless nights of writing. After completing the case study, I was ecstatic to be among the 6 LIM students selected for the 2016 FSF scholarship award.
Along with my fellow LIM scholars, I was invited to the prestigious scholarship dinner at the Marriott Hotel in Times Square on the 12th of January. The 3-day event started off with an informative conference featuring an alumni panel, an introduction to the mentorship program, industry speakers, and tips from the talent acquisition teams of Ralph Lauren and Global Brands Group. Among those in attendance were the President of Nautica, Caren Murray, and Designer Joseph Abboud, who both shared their inspiring stories with the scholars from member schools nationwide. Later in the day, the long-anticipated Gala kicked off with a lively cocktail hour where scholars were able to mingle and network with over 800 fashion retail and wholesale executives, the YMA Board of Directors, other scholars, and YMA alumni. A wonderful 3-course meal was served at the formal dinner and entertaining speeches by keynote honorees followed the meal. Among the renowned speakers were fashion entrepreneur Jessica Simpson, CMO of Macy’s Tim Baxter, and President of Peerless Clothing Ronny Wurtzburger. The following day, scholars were able to attend an Internship Fair with opportunities in over 20 distinguished companies such as Ann Taylor, Bloomingdales, Michael Kors, and Kenneth Cole. Needless to say, the networking that weekend alone was worth the stress of completing the case. I went home with a stack of business cards, plenty of new friends, and an eventful experience to remember!
Congratulations to my fellow scholars, Suzanne Balestier, Morgan Cook, Erin Cornell, Nicole Jezerski, and Julie Lenhard on the great accomplishment!
I'd like to extend special thanks, and I speak for all of the scholars, upon offering a huge thank you to Professor Marla Greene for the passion and dedication you have provided as a mentor, and Professor Burstein for the tremendous support throughout the application process. Also, a personal thank you to Dr. Jacqueline LeBlanc for encouraging me to apply for this scholarship and inspiring me to take part in all that LIM has to offer. It was a wonderful journey and I am grateful to have shared it with such a passionate and supportive group of students and faculty.
With the scholarship opportunity recently becoming available to eligible students, I hope my experience serves as encouragement to write the first-round essay. Remember to be imaginative, insightful, and brave with your words and ideas. Good luck!