Parsons Paris

Talk with Alumni

Each year, the Career Services department organises info sessions with Alumni, once or twice per semester.

The goal for current students:

  1. listen to their testimonials

2. get some tips

3. build their network between Parsons Paris students and Alumni community.

During the online Q&A session on November 3rd, we invited 6 alumni: Eliana from AMT, Laura from SDM, Danielle, Amanda and Daryl from Fashion Design, Sharon and Molly from Fashion Studies. Everyone was on Zoom and finishing their working day (or commuting from work to home).

They shared advice and feelings.

General advice

“Always be kind and polite.” said Daryl B. “And don’t write to people only to ask favors!” added Laura Z. Sharon added “Say yes to every opportunity. Everything you do leads you to who you are now. Seek help if you need to.” Molly added “Instagram can be a good tool to find people and small agencies.”

How do you explain your diploma to professionals?

Art Media Technology This program gives you a tool that few other degrees can give you: freedom. Never say “AMT” because people won’t understand, but Art Media Technology. It offers you a cultural background and some technical skills that allow you to take a lot of different paths.

Fashion Design It’s a lot of work, but put time to make things as good as you want them to be. And have a good documentation of your work! If you love what you do, you’ll always have fun.

Strategic Design and Management: A program that is about strategy of design and design of strategy. It can also be described as a business of fashion.

How to deal with the pandemic:

This is a difficult time for everybody. You shouldn’t be extra hard on yourself. It’s a tough situation for everyone. Move away negative thoughts, accept the situation and keep smiling.” Alumni have different ways to handle the COVID-19 context. For example, Sharon advised “Make yourself a routine and get dressed. Divide personal and office time. Get ready as if you were going out. Keep in contact with your friends if you feel lonely.”, Daryl said “I had my classmates on zoom during the whole day, so that I didn’t feel alone. Especially during senior year, the people you study with are your support team.” Danielle who worked from home mentioned “Limit the studio space in your small apartment, so visually, you have your working space and your private space.”. Use free time to learn more about what you are studying. This lockdown doesn’t have to stop a passion or a project you have. You just have to find a new way to do it. Take the situation day by day.

How to connect school projects at Parsons Paris and the professional world:

All the Alumni agreed that Education+Experiences is the good combinaison for your success. They had solid school projects with the industry and art field during their degree, explaining that at the end of the day, being aware or not, helped them dealing with post-student life. “Build your confidence, said Daryl B., “trust yourself, because at the end of the day, what you are doing is your work” “Parsons Paris is a school of Design, follow your passion!” said Eliana. “The School enables you to build solid skills, share them with people.”

“Luck. Hard work leads to luck”, said Molly. More specifically they talked about how to not freak out after graduation: “Sometimes not knowing what to do after graduation is completely fine.”

What about FRENCH?

Alumni insisted on French skill : “You can still find internships without learning French, but learning it makes it easier. If you plan to live in Paris, it is important to learn French to become more part of the culture.”

How did they find their internship?

Networking. Networking is the key, especially during this confinement. Networking is really connecting people to other people. “I always found my internship thanks to my network!” said Laura Z.

Daryl added “Apply as much as you can, even things that are outside your major…I know it is frustrating when you apply to many offers and never receive replies. And don’t take it personally if you don’t get an internship. You are not alone on the job market. Competition is tough in Paris. So make the difference.”

How to manage a bad internship?

If you have a bad internship, that is not bad, it makes you understand what you do not want. It makes you understand what you want from a job. It is important to not just understand what you can do for them, but also what they can do for you. It is a learning experience.

What about Resume and Portfolio etc.?

Attend all the workshops with Career Services to build your resume, to know how to send an application, to understand the French etiquette etc.. Attend all the career events, even if you’re not interested in the brand, because they are still opportunities and they help you build connections.

Make sure your portfolio is on point. Attend the portfolio development class with Monica. Document the process as well as the final work. Prioritise studio classes to have many pieces for your portfolio.

How did you get the long-term contract?

This question was asked to Danielle who is American. She graduated from Parsons Paris in 2015 in Fashion Design and is currently working for Zadig & Voltaire, as a Women’s wear designer. During her degree, she understood that she wanted to stay in Paris. She was able to get her permanent visa here. She advises students to apply to a lot to jobs via LinkedIn. “75% of the people do not respond, but that’s fine, some will.” That’s how she got her job. “Do not only apply, but watch also who visited your profile. And don’t be afraid to contact them directly!”

What about the Visa process?

Be persistent, and also try to figure out how to get your visa. Plan your process and don’t give up. You can stay here on a visa, but it is less easy to go from job to job. For this reason, Danielle after 5 years living in Paris applied for naturalization. So she now has dual citizenship. Until you can’t apply for a permanent visa, it is better to apply to bigger companies that have less problems renewing your visa.

Our Alumni also shared their contacts with our students to keep in touch even after the event!

Merci beaucoup! And a special Thanks to Giulia Tacchi who designed this amazing poster!

Learn more about the other events as well!

Meet and Greet: Chloe

Meet and Greet: Louis Vuitton

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