Portfolio fair offers career opportunities

Eastern Michigan University’s Apparels, Textiles, and Merchandising department hosted their 3rd annual portfolio fair at the Student Center Monday. The event was for juniors, seniors and graduate ATM students to showcase their work to industry professionals.

The event’s coordinator Holly Mosher, an ATM department lecturer, said the purpose of the fair is “so students can show their work to industry professionals and get feedback, internships and jobs.”
Twenty-six students participated in the fair this year, with portfolios ranging in skills and topics including interior design, visual merchandising, computer assisted design (CAD), buying and analytical skills.

Ashley Childers, EMU student currently interning at a bridal boutique, presented her portfolio as well as a dress she designed in hope of starting a career in fashion design. Her table, an eye-catching display of hot pink, turquoise and black and white damask, was confident and attention getting.

“I hope to get a stepping stone into designing,” Childers said, also stating she would someday love to run her own business.

CAD design portfolios were featured by both graduate students Kirstin Forster and BreAnne Galanek, with Forster showing sweet party-favor boxes and other items she designed using CAD. Galanek, who graduates this month, featured mainly clothes, though she says her skills cover a wide range of products.

Buying and analytical skills were widely represented at the fair, many in creative eye-catching ways. ATM major Jenni Flanagan showcased her buying skills through a table displaying photos, clothes and water bottles all featuring a custom logo so that everything appeared to belong to one brand of sportswear.

“I’m a dancer, very athletic myself,” Flanagan stated as her reason for choosing athletic gear as a way to show her ability in creating a coherent and focused product collection.

The fair was projected to attract between 20 and 30 industry professionals from both large corporations and local businesses, and Mosher is optimistic about the fair’s importance in helping students to start their careers, stating that the 2013 fair netted jobs or internships for 80 percent of the participants. With this kind of success rate, the portfolio fair is sure to stay an integral part of the ATM program.

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