College graduation is a day we’ve all been anticipating. For the majority of our young lives, all we’ve ever known is school. But what happens after we move our tassels to the left side? Life After Graduation, written by Blush Magazine’s Web Director and fellow graduating senior, Kaitlyn Foley, follows FIT alumni who can tell us just that. The road is unclear for many, and the road will often change for many more, but what will always remain the same is that we will be okay.
Dianna Mazzone, Fashion Institute of Technology graduate and Blush Magazine’s founder, graduated in December of 2014 with her bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications.
Throughout her four years at FIT, journalism and magazine writing was always a dream of Mazzone’s. “When I first came to FIT, I was interested in journalism and magazines specifically, but I thought the fashion side was where I wanted to be.” Mazzone says.
First-year students at FIT tend to be some of the most ambitious students out there. With big dreams and anticipations for the future, students can sometimes be closed off to other interests. Hyper-focusing on making our dreams come true can quickly turn into tunnel vision, which can be a roadblock to other careers that might be what we are meant to do.
“Through my fashion internships, I started to realize that there was also this whole world of beauty within magazines. I sort of fell in love with that, and haven’t looked back since.” Mazzone is currently working as the Senior Beauty Editor at Allure Magazine and Co-Host of The Science Of Beauty Podcast. However, Mazzone’s opportunities did not come without hard work and dedication to her education in the journalism field.
Throughout her four years at FIT, Mazzone held eight different internships within the fashion and beauty industries of journalism. She founded the magazine journalism club, our beloved Blush Magazine, and worked hard to graduate a semester early. Mazzone finished her degree in December 2014, which she says “was one of the smartest things I did because it put me ahead of all those folks who were graduating in May.”
Though Mazzone admits it was a lot easier to earn internship credits in her time at FIT, her work experience in college was what propelled her into such rewarding positions after graduation.
As many of us graduating seniors know, looking for jobs can be tricky. We can’t start too early, because we will not be available full-time until June. We can’t start too late because we will be behind those who started early. As Mazzone says “It’s kind of like looking for an apartment in New York City, right? You can only do so much until you’re ready to sign on that dotted line. You can only do so much until you’re available five days a week, and out of school.”
“Maybe two or three months ahead [of graduation], I started reaching out to folks who were in my network, people who I had interned for. Less active applications and more sending feelers out. I was kindly reminding folks that I will be available soon.” Mazzone was gathering where she should apply before actually filling out those applications.
LinkedIn is one of our best resources as college students today. Having this professional social media account, students can build a network and post when they are searching for new jobs. In preparation for graduation, reach out to your network, and feel out if those who have connected with you are hiring for entry level roles.
“It was closer to a month before I graduated that I was truly on the job boards, really putting my resume out there and applying for jobs that were actually listed”. According to Mazzone, applying for jobs is all about timing and connections.
Don’t be shy. Employers know that students are looking for jobs, it’s expected. So apply, reach out, DM, email, do what you can to get your name in their inbox. If you need some help, here are some tips on how to reach out to potential employers.
Finding a job right out of school is difficult, and we all feel the pressure to overcome those difficulties. It’s okay if you’re still exploring your options come June, July, or even September. As Mazzone advises, “I do encourage people who are able to, to take a beat, reassess. Maybe you want to do an internship. Use that time to explore. It still is a time of exploration, those early years after you’re out of school.”
Dianna Mazzone started at Instyle in December of 2014. She was there for about five years but recently moved to Allure in 2020. In the midst of a budding pandemic, Mazzone was in the office for two weeks before world conditions made her work from home. She now is in a position that she calls “the Super Bowl of beauty”. However in coming years, she will always aim to grow. Perhaps she will tap into her entrepreneurial interests that inspired Blush Magazine.
When asked what advice she’d give graduating students, Mazzone replied, “My favorite quote is ‘Luck is what happens when when preparation meets opportunity.‘ Was I lucky to have landed that job after graduation? Yes, definitely. But I also did the work on the front end and so when that opportunity arose, I was ready for it”.
Enjoying our time at FIT is important, and encouraged. However being productive throughout those four years can help us be our most successful selves. Take the time to explore other interests and get some experience in your field. The future you will be thankful, just as Dianna Mazzone is.
Despite the pressures we feel, graduation is not a deadline. Some will be fortunate enough to land a job in their dream industry beginning June 1st. That doesn’t mean it will be the same for all of us. The roads we will follow will have hundreds of bumps and turns along the way, but by staying as ambitious as we were in our first-year at FIT, we will thrive.