Mariya Davis graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Studies and a Business Minor in 2023.
Growing up, Mariya always had a love and interest in fashion, but was unsure about what she wanted to pursue in college.
“To be honest, I kind of fell into it. I didn’t want to go to college at first because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do yet,” said Davis. “My parents were the ones that pushed me to go to school and pick something. We looked into different programs like Business and Product Design, but I felt like I needed something that was in between.”
When it came time to select a college and a major, she pursued her passion at Montclair State University. During her undergraduate time in the fashion program, she had three internships.
“It’s super important to intern while in college,” said Davis. “For one, many jobs would like you to have professional work experience, so having that is definitely beneficial to your career post-grad. Also, by getting hands-on experience, you’re learning your strengths and what you like.”
Landing one internship, let alone three, is a huge accomplishment. Mariya’s one piece of advice for securing these positions is research.
“To find the internships that I had, I looked through LinkedIn and Google Jobs almost every day. I also sent emails detailing a bit about myself to whoever was in the hiring office,” said Davis.
Currently, Mariya is working as a visual merchandiser with Ambassador Retail.
“My company helps clients like Le’Spec, Show Me Your Mumu, and Robert Graham with their visual merchandising to help increase their sales,” said Davis. “This is done by going into stores that carry these brands such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus and remerchandising the layout of the products in a way that is visually appealing.”
Her favorite thing about her current position is looking at the final display and seeing her hard work come together.
“I like coming in and having the creative ability to merchandise the product how I want and getting it all organized,” said Davis. “Seeing how visually appealing it looks afterward is a rewarding experience because I did it myself, and that’s what makes it really special for me.”
Mariya believes learning different fashion perspectives at Montclair State University made her career ready.
“I would say that Montclair helped me to understand branding from a fashion perspective,” said Davis.
Her future plans include finding a full-time job in merchandising, brand management, or styling.
Mariya has a few pieces of advice for current students. Firstly, find an internship early and know what you like.
“Start an internship as early as you can! Most of these jobs want you to have at least 3 years of experience, so try to get as much experience as you can,” said Davis. “Think about your strengths and things that you like. This will help you to pick your internships and work with more intent.”
Her second recommendation is to network!
“Network, network, network! Go to as many Fashion Week events as you can and talk to everyone,” said Davis. “Most of the events are posted for free online, so try to attend those, and if you aren’t able to attend, try to gain work experience during that week, which can also be found online.”
Most importantly, always take care of yourself and understand that everything happens for a reason.
“Take care of yourself. It can be overwhelming trying to figure everything out and seeing others on social media doing what you want to do,” said Davis. “Just know that everything happens for a reason, and it will all work out! When you feel those moments of insecurity, stress, or anxiety, it’s important to take a step back and make sure you’re taking care of yourself in the process.”
Written by Sophia Ruggiero