Once Zelmanowicz decided to leave medical school, she sought a design program that combined fashion with business, one that was innovative yet real-world. She found the BBA Strategic Design and Management program at Parsons Paris, which offered what she was seeking. Zelmanowicz was especially intrigued by the opportunity to receive an American education in Europe’s fashion capital. “For me, it’s the best of both worlds,” she explains.
The first year at Parsons Paris challenges students to explore both theory and hands-on making. Zelmanowicz relished this academic diversity, especially in courses involving creative business case studies and problem solving for brands she hoped to work with in the future. Zelmanowicz points to several classes taught by BBA Strategic Design and Management associate director Maurits Montañez as having particularly shaped her thinking and professional approach. “He helped me see that it’s important to have a brand but also a vision—an entrepreneurial mindset when you’re working,” she says.
While still a student, Zelmanowicz completed four fashion internships, including a sales assistant internship at Chanel. She went on to work as an assistant product manager for Montblanc Parfums, a digital marketing assistant project manager at Givenchy, and an assistant retail marketer at Dior. “Parsons prepared me, so I didn’t have any difficulty moving between retail and product marketing,” she says. “To be specific, I was able to convey creative vision and mix it with strategy.”
Working with such major established brands, Zelmanowicz noticed that sometimes even the largest companies operate like start-ups. She realized that to be successful, one has to be agile. “For me, it was about learning to identify a problem, find a quick solution, and articulate a plan. The training I had at Parsons, which was very case oriented, reflected what was actually happening in companies.”
For her next career step, Zelmanowicz is pursuing advanced studies in marketing and management. She was also recently selected to be a mentee in the prestigious [email protected] educational program, where she continues to develop her creative and strategic thinking.