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Diary of a Beauty Student at FIDM: Los Angeles Campus

It comes that time in your life when you are so close to graduate from high school or college and you don’t know what to do afterward. That happened to me in high school where I did not know what to study but it was the complete opposite situation in college. Since my sophomore year at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, I knew exactly what I wanted to do and where. I wanted to study the business side of the beauty industry and for that, there was only one place where I could combine my interest in the beauty industry with the Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and this place is called FIDM, the Fashion Institute of Merchandising and Marketing in Los Angeles, California.

When people ask me where do I study and I say the Fashion Institute of Merchandising and Marketing, they automatically assume that am a fashion designer but it is nothing like that. Although FIDM is commonly known as a fashion school, hardly anyone knows that it has a very popular beauty program where you can get an Associate’s degree and/or Bachelor’s. This major, which I am in love with, is Beauty Industry Merchandising and Marketing. Spending two quarters already at FIDM, I’ve learned a lot and have had a lot of experiences and opportunities and for that reason, I want to share it with you!

Let’s start with the basics...


What is Beauty Industry Merchandising and Marketing?

This major goes way beyond just playing with makeup. It’s a major that focuses on getting knowledge about the important components of the business side of the beauty industry. The curriculum is very intense and specific so as students, we graduate with the best knowledge and professional experience.


The beauty classes offered in the major are those that emphasize the product development of a beauty brand and/or product, promotions, branding, operational, and ethical strategies. In other words, the major prepares us, the students, to know how to build your own brand and/or product. With the education and experience that FIDM provide us, your work career can be in Beauty Brand Management as Marketing Manager/Assistant, Beauty Sales Management as Account Coordinator/Manager, Product Development as Coordinator, Manager of PD, among others positions. My dream job is to be either a Product Development Coordinator or a Social Media Coordinator for a beauty brand.


One of the best things about FIDM is that our professors work currently in the industry so they are updated with everything going on plus they are a good source to have for letters of recommendation, internships, and future jobs. There is no doubt that I have favorite classes and projects done. Some of those classes are Fundamentals of Cosmetics, Fundamentals of Fragrance, Digital Communication, Fundamentals of Body and Hair Care, and Beauty Technology. If you want to know more about each class and some of the final project, read the Beauty Schoolwork section coming next.


Beauty Classes & School Work

Since FIDM is preparing us to work professionally in the beauty industry, most of our final projects are in groups. That can be good or bad, it all depends of who are your groupmates. Luckily me, I have had good groupmates and also good grades and feedback from our projects. Here are some of them:


Fundamentals of Cosmetics

In this class, we learned the process of creating makeup products such as lipsticks, nail polishes, face and eye makeup. Also we learned the concept of product development, packaging, merchandising, among others.


Final Project: As a group of four, we needed to create 3 new products being one a must have and also create a seasonal collection. We choose Bare Minerals as our brand. The three new products were: Stick Foundation, Contour and Strobing Kit, and a Double Ended Matte Lipstick and Shimmery Lip Topper.


Seasonal Collection: Cabana in Paradise

Fundamentals of Fragrance

In this class, we learned everything about oils extraction, essences, and the artistry of mixing multiple scents as well as the fragrance and perfume history.

Final Project: We had to create a fragrance for a brand. Our group chose Zac Posen, a well known fashion designer and judge on Project Runway. Throughout the class discussions, we were learning about the three types of notes, Top, Middle, and Base, for then actually create the fragrance by mixing the oils into a small tube. I created a women’s fragrance called Muse because it was thanks to Zac Posen’s muses in his early career that he saw his true self. His muses inspire him to create elegant designs for magical women, something that he loves, to help them transcend in the world. A romance copy to describe the fragrance and it’s notes was done as well.


Internship Opportunities

One of the many FIDM help us get is internship experiences and this Fall Quarter I had the chance to be an intern for a skincare brand and a marketing firm that does social media for 3 beauty brands. Anese is an indie skincare brand based in Los Angeles. It is most recognized by their sassy names (ie. That Booty Tho Scrub). The marketing firm is called Van Gordon Group which focuses in doing the social media for LAB 2 Brushes, Eyelene Lashes, and Sensationail. Some of the internship tasks were:

  • Contribute out of the box marketing campaign ideas and assist in the implementation of ideas (photo shoots, influencer events, gifting)

  • Work closely with our marketing and influencer outreach team

  • Assist on building and creating relationships with influencers in the beauty niche

  • Assist our Photographer on photo shoots

  • Monitor ongoing social media and digital marketing trends

This internship was everything I was looking for because it made me enhance my knowledge and gain professional experience in the beauty industry. It was only for the Fall Quarter but in just three months, I learned a lot about where do I see myself working in the future for any beauty brand. As for my last quarter in January, I got another internship and this one is in the nail industry. The internship is with NCLA, an innovative, luxury nail brand that combines fashion and beauty trends in all of their products. I am not only ready to share my ideas with this brand but also still gaining more experience and new knowledge for these section of the beauty industry, the nail industry.


What’s next for me?

As a 23-year-old girl who lived all her life in Puerto Rico, moving to Los Angeles, was exciting but intimidating at the same time. What pushed me to not be afraid of moving away and to not let anything hold me back was the big desire of studying something that every morning when I wake up, there is a smile on my face because I am doing what I love. I am only one quarter away to graduate from FIDM and I will make the best out of it because having an opportunity like this does not happen every day. Right now, my goal is to graduate FIDM in March and get a job offer with any beauty brand where I can grow my personal and professional life.

If you are a beauty lover and you see yourself working on the business side of the industry, this major is the one for you. I don’t regret moving away from Puerto Rico to Los Angeles to pursue my dreams and make my home and family proud.

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LAST EDIT: 10.30.19