Fearless in the Fashion Industry
With a keen eye for fashion and a passion for real-world experience, Cindy Nguyen, founder of the Pace Profashionals, is stitching together a community of successful industry hopefuls one internship and connection at a time.
For Cindy Nguyen ’16, fashion isn’t a passing trend, it’s a major statement piece in all aspects of her everyday life. With 16 internships and counting under her designer belt, the self-proclaimed “serial intern” is setting herself up for stylish success and getting one notch closer to securing her dream job as a communications lead for a luxury fashion brand.
“Interning, in my opinion, is the real world,” Nguyen says. “All of the skills that I learn here from interning are easily translated into many of the things I do outside of work—from speaking on panels to organizing a brunch with friends.”
The advertising and integrated marketing communications major, who is part of both the Lubin Business Honors Program and Pforzheimer Honors College, says Pace is the perfect fit because the University provides her with a valuable business education while encouraging her to explore the endless internships and networking opportunities available.
“Pace offers me the opportunity to use New York City as my ‘campus,’” she says.
She has interned at several of the most prestigious names in fashion, including Christian Louboutin, Fendi, Kensie Clothing, Prada, Valentino, and Yves Saint Laurent, and has experienced the editorial side of the industry at Glamour and Seventeen magazines.
Currently, she is learning about luxury marketing, strategy, and client management while serving as a fashion marketing and events intern at one of the world’s most iconic luxury brands, Chanel.
“Chanel has been the most educational and hands-on internship that I have ever had in my college career so far,” Nguyen says. “The entire fashion marketing and events team is motivated, positive, and empowering. They are very supportive and allow me to have many responsibilities just by integrating me in the team dynamics and important projects.”
Her experience at Chanel and internships in the past have empowered her to support and help others, specifically through the student club she formed at Pace and online called Profashionalss—a community of students and interns interested in learning helpful tips and tricks to launch their careers in fashion.
Students in the Profashionals community online can search job postings and even participate in a 16-week career boot camp that includes invitations to exclusive networking events, social media training, personal styling for interviews, and access to a job database.
“Profashionals continues to succeed because of the diligence and dedication that my team has to the students and in creating student success stories,” she says. “It's so humbling to see students snag coveted internships in the industry from big name magazines and fashion brands just by attending our meetings and events. I'm like their biggest fan and personal cheerleader.”
Nguyen says one of the most valuable lessons she’s learned through interning is to always put her best foot forward in any situation, both academically and professionally.
“What people say about you really matters, so make an effort to make a great impression,” Nguyen says. “It is not about how many people know about you, it is about what they know.”
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Pace's Center for Community Action and Research is teaming up with the Andrew Goodman Foundation to bring a week of events dedicated to talking about gun violence all leading up to the national March For Our Lives on Saturday, March 24.
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Cafeteria Karaoke (PLV)