Alumni Interview – Jun Chen
Parsons Paris – The New School, MA Fashion Studies, Class of 2022
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Tell us about your time at Parsons Paris!
I particularly enjoyed the course Curating Fashion taught by curator Laurent Cotta. We exhibited our project ‘Objects in Trouble’ in collaboration with Palais Galliera – Musée de la Ville de Paris at the American Center for Art and Culture. During my first year, I worked as a Program Assistant for Parsons Paris and assisted MA Fashion Studies Program Director, Marco Pecorari. During this period, I gained experience in social media management, event planning, communication, as well as time management. During my second year, I accomplished a 6 months full-time internship at a trend forecast company in Paris.
Since graduating, what has been your professional path?
After Graduation I started my internship at a Paris based brand called Virón. After the four month internship, the company offered me a full time position as sales manager. I found the job post via fashionjobs.com. Valuable lessons I learnt from this?
- Be proactive looking for jobs
- Be motivated and hardworking once you’re hired (with or without knowing that they will offer you a full-time job after the internship)
- Be flexible with your tasks!
- Know what you expect from the job and what you can bring to the company (why they would hire you)
- And most importantly, enjoy what you do and people you’re working with!
So, what are you doing today?
I am working as sales manager at Virón, focusing on wholesale and business to business partnership. I am currently working on the SS23 collection and AW23 showroom and popup planning.
What advice do you have for current Parsons Paris students? What do you wish someone told you while you were enrolled? What do you know now that could’ve been beneficial to you then?
I have been told many times that if you don’t speak French, it’s going to be very hard to find a job in France. Of course I agree that speaking French is a plus! However, I am now working in a French brand but English is the main language used in the office. To conclude, don’t think that speaking fluent French is a must and don’t stop yourself from seeking opportunities in Paris.
Also, since starting work, I have helped in the hiring process. I’ve learnt that a strong CV is extremely important for creating a first impression. We spent a maximum of 5 seconds looking at a CV! So it has to be clear and stand out.
I would advise not to apply to just any job. Apply to the ones you are actually interested in and think that you can learn from and bring value to the company. You will have higher chance of making an authentic impression and getting a response.
Lastly, for those who plan to stay in Paris – the earlier you start planning, the higher the chances are that you will find something right away after graduating!