Beverly Aisenbrey (right) pictured with Rutgers professor Tavy Ronen (center) and professor Grace Lepone of Australia's Macquarie University.

Fellowship created for Rutgers graduate pursuing Master in Business of Fashion

When the idea for a Business of Fashion program was proposed at Rutgers Business School nearly six years ago, Beverly Aisenbrey, a Rutgers MBA alumna serving on the dean’s board of advisors, remembers taking an immediate interest in the presentation.

During her 33-year-long career as an executive compensation consultant, Aisenbrey worked with a number of fashion companies, so she had a tangential understanding of the industry. Listening to the details about the new program, she wondered if it could achieve its goal of appealing to both business-minded students and creative ones.

“I was intrigued,” she said.

Aisenbrey, who completed her MBA in 1982, became one of the most ardent champions of the Master of Science in Business of Fashion Program. She joined the executive board of the Center for Business of Fashion, a research and industry-related center that provides input into the program curricula. She has also used her connections and influence to bring impressive industry leaders onto the board.

Now, she is supporting the program in a new way by creating a $100,000 fellowship for eligible Rutgers alumni who are admitted to the Master of Science in Business of Fashion Program.

“The fact that I’ve been so close to the program and helped to build it energizes me,” Aisenbrey said. “Any advantage I can give the program, I want to do it.”

The Beverly Aisenbrey Business of Fashion Merit Fellowship will award $25,000 to one part-time or full-time graduate student coming into the program. Applicants must be graduates of Rutgers University, including Rutgers Business School.

Preference will be given to undergraduate students who have been or are currently in the Business of Fashion Program. The program is offered as a concentration to undergraduates at Rutgers Business School.

Candidates will be chosen on the basis of academic merit and their ability to demonstrate leadership qualities, specifically in the area of leadership for women through participation in conferences or clubs for gender equity or women empowerment.

The fellowship will be offered for a period of four years, each time awarded to a different student.

“The fact that I’ve been so close to the program and helped to build it energizes me,” Beverly Aisenbrey said. “Any advantage I can give the program, I want to do it.”

After completing her MBA, Aisenbrey spent her career at the executive compensation consulting firm Frederic W. Cook. She retired in 2016 as a managing director.

Since her retirement, Aisenbrey has been dedicated to supporting Rutgers Business School and Rutgers University – she attended Douglass College as an undergraduate. She has generously supported programs such as Women BUILD (Business Undergraduates in Leadership Development) that empower young women and backed projects, such as the film Equity, that portray strong women in the business world.

In the Business of Fashion, Aisenbrey sees a unique program – “a gem,” as she described it.

Tavy Ronen, a Rutgers Business School finance professor and the director of the Business of Fashion program and the Center for Business of Fashion, said the new fellowship will allow someone from Rutgers to become an influential force in the industry just as Aisenbrey was in her own field.  

“What’s so fantastic is that Beverly, who had this incredible success in business, is creating a fellowship to help someone become a leader in business for a new generation.”

 “That’s what’s so moving to us,” she added. “Our first fellowship has such profound meaning.”

Beverly Aisenbrey
Beverly Aisenbrey

The Master of Science in Business of Fashion Program is the first-of-its-kind, encompassing all areas of the business school taught by traditional, scholarly professors and rounded out by accomplished industry professionals. The program has been described as an enhanced, but shortened MBA because it offers the same robust business fundamentals tailored to the needs of the fashion industry.

Based on the strength of the Business of Fashion program and Master of Science in Business of Fashion curriculum and enhanced by the research focus, the Center for Business of Fashion has forged important alliances with key industry players and several major universities, international and domestic.

The Master of Science in Business of Fashion also has special fast-track programs developed with the FIT Baker School of Technology for both FIT faculty and students interested in gaining a specialized rigorous business education geared to the fashion industry.

In just a short time, students who completed the master's program have taken jobs in finance, logistics, manager and designer roles at companies such as Gucci, DKNY, Tarte Cosmetics and Stylus Apparel Group. Students who have come into the company with entrepreneurial dreams have applied their knowledge to create apparel start-ups while others have leveraged the program’s cache for job promotions at their current companies.

To apply for the fellowship and learn more about the application deadline.

- Susan Todd





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