Jena Leibowitz, 17, is starting her senior year at Wayne Valley High School and she already has a great sense of what goes on in the fashion design industry. In fact, she has some hands-on experience in the field, thanks to an innovative program run by Berkeley College, which has campuses in Woodbridge, Paramus and West Paterson.
Jena's internship was a unique, one-week program that cost $399 and put her on the front lines of the fashion industry. "Every morning we got up early and commuted into New York City, where we met with design professionals, toured the back offices, and got a chance to analyze some fashions in a Broadway play," she says. "It was an eye-opening experience."
Jena and about 20 other 16-to-24-year-old students from New York and New Jersey spoke with designers, buyers, salespeople and others at fashion houses like Armani and Magaschoni Apparel Group. She says it was a "realistic glimpse" of the fashion industry.
"The program offered insights and opened my view of who works in fashion design," says Jena. "I always thought it was an industry made up of six-foot, blonde models. Now I see the hard work that goes into it, and I know I can do it too."