New Business of Fashion program offers business fundamentals to students pursuing careers in the arts, fashion-related industries

Monday, November 3, 2014

Rutgers Business School is launching a Business of Fashion concentration that offers students at Rutgers University-Newark essential business courses tailored to the fashion and arts industries.

The core curriculum will include classes in finance and branding for fashion and other creative pursuits as well as a course introducing students to supply chain management as it relates to the fashion and arts industries.

Tavy Ronen, a finance professor who galvanized campus-wide support for Business of Fashion and will serve as program director, said Rutgers will prepare students for jobs in the world’s largest fashion houses just as it produces talented workers and executives for the finance and pharmaceutical industries.   

Professor Tavy RonEn: "There's clearly a need to bridge the gap between the creative and the business."

The Business of Fashion program will also give Rutgers the ability to forge stronger ties with fashion designers, luxury goods makers, the fragrance industry and the arts community.   

"There’s a fashion industry that’s huge in dollars and just a short distance from Newark,” Ronen said. "It’s a perfect thing to build to draw new students and to create internship opportunities."

Ronen, whose family business is connected to the fashion world, has some keen insights into the need the industry has for workers who are creative but also have knowledge and skills in key business areas, including logistics and finance.

"There’s clearly a need to bridge the gap between the creative and the business," she said. "In the arts and fashion industries, having a little business knowledge, will make our students look special."

The courses are also designed to appeal to entrepreneurial students pursuing fashion-related or arts-related business ideas. Other course offerings will include entrepreneurship for fashion and other creative pursuits, leadership for fashion and other creative pursuits as well as a second-level supply chain management course.

Rutgers Business School will offer a concentration in Business of Fashion to its undergraduate students in Newark. And in a unique collaboration with the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University-Newark, undergraduate students will be given an opportunity to pursue a minor in Business of Fashion by taking classes at the business school.

Rutgers Business School's proximity to New York City's Fashion District will enhance internship opportunities for students.

Cesia Olortegui, a senior who is studying supply chain, marketing and Chinese, said she was excited to hear about the introduction of Business of Fashion and intends to add it as a concentration.

"I think it’s a great opportunity,” she said. "It will differentiate me from the crowd.”

Urvi Tiwari, a senior who is studying accounting and finance, also intends to take enough courses in the new program to have a concentration in Business of Fashion.

"At the beginning of freshman year, I promised myself I wasn’t going to be the stereotypical accounting student," Tiwari said. While she decided to study business, Tiwari said the fashion industry has always interested her.

After interning at KPMG, Tiwari said she realized it could be possible to combine fashion and accounting by working for a firm with fashion industry clients.

"It’s something I have to explore,” she said of the new Business of Fashion program. "There is a huge variety of opportunity to work with fashion industry clients."

-Susan Todd

TAGS: Entrepreneurship Finance Supply Chain Management Tavy Ronen Undergraduate Newark