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Career Guide

Professor Melinda Gist-Lorenz

ITM Career Guide

A student resource for finding a job in global business in the fashion and related industries. 

Developed by Professor Melinda Gist-Lorenz


This guide was developed for you, the student of International Trade & Marketing at FIT. Here, you will find helpful hints, plus a list of publications and websites that can help you develop an international career plan.

Career planning is more than a job hunt. First, you need to define the industry (apparel manufacturing or cosmetics, for example) and also the type of job function (such as logistics or marketing). Second, you may want to narrow your search further, according to the size of company (greater than $75 million in annual sales) or the size of the organization (an agency with at least 150 employees). Other criteria to consider include job location (New York or Tokyo), the organization's past performance and its reputation as a “good place to work”.

All this is right here! The ITM Career Guide can help you define your international career path. Get started with “Career Planning” since understanding the industries, the types of jobs and the companies and organizations is the first step in determining which type of career is right for you.

The last section on “Job Postings” will launch you into an actual job hunt via web links. Good luck!

If you have an idea of the type of industry you want to work in (such as apparel manufacturing or non-profit associations), learn as much as you can about the major companies or organizations. As with any career planning, finding a good job in international trade and marketing requires that you have current and broad knowledge of your chosen industry.
Once you have a better understanding of the industry, you can then begin to identify the types of jobs that will get your “foot in the door”.
One report estimates that you will have at least seven jobs in your career, so look at this first job as a platform to other jobs within your industry of choice. Also, most entry-level positions are designed to give you the skill set you need to be promoted within 12 to 36 months.

Spend at least 3 to 6 months to RESEARCH industries /companies/agencies/job types to narrow and target your job search.
Plan on spending another 1 to 4 months TO JOB HUNT for open positions, sending resumes, writing cover letters, interviewing, and writing thank-you letters. For first-time job hunters, it may take applying to 20 or 50 or 100 jobs before landing an interview. Be persistent! Good luck!

Career Planning: Part 1

Planning Tip #1
Know the major players and trends in your industry.

Here's what FIT's Career Center (Room B216) can do for you:

Know the major players and trends in your industry. Here's what can do for you:

· Career counselors give you one-on-one career advice.

· Job Fair in the Fall semester.

· On-Campus Recruitment in the Spring semester.

· Career Planning (3-credit course) for helping you find the right career.

· Plus, Career Days, Seminar Speakers, Workshops on resume writing,
interviewing skills, job search strategies.

· Job postings that don't require a degree (see bulletin board outside B216)

· Job postings for seniors and alumni, posted online at

See the FIT Career Service's informative RESUME GUIDE on the
website listed above for the following two links:

To develop a resume click on the link Resume Guide
To develop a cover letter click on the link Writing a Cover Letter·

Additional resources for obtaining employment are available in the Alumni Job Bank, located in room B202.

Career Planning: Part 2
Check out FIT's Career Services for
resume preparation, interviewing techniques, and MORE!

Career Planning: Getting Started

Websites on industries

The following websites have useful information and current news on international trade.
InfoMat. Includes international directory of apparel industry companies, research reports & statistics, news, global calendar, business guides, and more.
TradePort. The “Trade Maker” section provides a detailed guide to starting or expanding an import/export venture, planning, market research, buyers, leads, financing, logistics.
STAT-USA/Internet, a service of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the site for the U.S. business, economic and trade community, providing authoritative information from the Federal government. GLOBUS & NTDB -- Access this area for current and historical trade-related releases, international market research, trade opportunities, country analysis, and our trade library...the National Trade Data Bank (NTDB).
Financial Times (international business newspaper from England)
Forbes business magazine lists the top Global 2000 companies
Fortune business magazine lists the top Global 500 companies
Contains over 300,000 public and private company profiles worldwide. Reports feature in-depth analysis of sales trends, profitability, stock performance, financial position, research and development expenditures, dividends, etc.
Get the latest business news from this newswire service.
Inc. business magazine rates the top 500 companies

INTERNATIONAL Jobs in the Private Sector
Private Sector job titles:
·Assistant Manager-Marketing or Product Development at a cosmetics company
·Import/Export coordinator for an apparel company
·Analyst for an international human resources management company
·Production Planner for a Logistics or Sourcing company
·Account Manager for a Customs Broker

Domestically-stationed personnel
Export Salesperson: Seeks out prospective clients and concludes deals.
Export Zone or Regional Manager: Supervises overseas sales team.
Export Assistant: Manages correspondence with foreign contacts.
International Broker: Intermediary between buyers and sellers.
Commercial sales agent for foreign manufacturer: Represents foreign manufacturers in domestic market.
Distributor for foreign manufacturer: Sells and often services in domestic market the products of foreign manufacturers.

Personnel stationed abroad
Foreign Branch Manager: Manages a foreign office of the firm.

Functional categories
Export Product Manager: Responsible for a particular product line.
International Marketing Manager: Develops export marketing strategy.
Buyer: Seeks sourcing, supply from foreign exporters or markets.

Administrative categories
Traffic manager/Export coordinator: Coordinates between the firm, sales personnel and foreign representatives, clients, and shipping services.

Transport and logistics
Logistics manager: Responsible for storage, transport of export products.
Freight forwarder: consults exporters/importers on the most appropriate and cost-effective means for shipping products internationally.
Shipping agent: Represents the interests of the carrier. Markets and sells the carrier's services, negotiates transport contracts, etc.
Customs agent: oversees the passage through customs.

Financial categories
International treasurer: Manages international funds transfers. Develops policies for currency risk management.
Export credit manager: Evaluates credit risks associated with particular clients, countries (political risk), and currencies.
Insurance broker - Analyzes exporter/importer's risk exposure in international transactions, negotiates and concludes insurance policies.
Credit insurer - Provides the exporter with coverage of foreign credit risk via a specialised credit insurance policy.

Typical INTERNATIONAL Jobs in the Public Sectors
Government jobs:
·International Trade Specialist for the U.S. Dept. of Commerce

Tip: Look for “analyst”, “associate”, “coordinator” positions at
·Federal, State and Local Agencies promoting trade;
·U.S. Customs;
·International Multi-Government Organizations (World Bank, IMF, UNCTAD, etc.)

NGOs (Non-Government Organizations) & Non-Profit jobs:
·International Communications Coordinator for the Carnegie Foundation

Tip: Look for “analyst”, “associate”, “coordinator” positions at
·Global Research & Policy Institutions;
·International Outreach (i.e. Amnesty International, Red Cross);
·Industry Associations (Cotton, Inc.);
·foreign trade councils (Hong Kong Trade Development Council)
As the international representative of your organization, speaking a foreign language will be an asset when explaining your products or services to foreign markets.

Define Your IDEAL job

Reference Books
Find these books at the Reference Desk in the FIT Library.
The following list is a selection of reference books on careers in international trade and marketing.

Define Your IDEAL job

Stone, Elaine. Exporting and Importing Fashion: A Global Perspective. (1994)

Euromonitor. World Cosmetics and Toiletries Marketing Directory (1999)

Adams, Rob. Start Your Own Import/Export Business: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Success. (2003)

Kocher, Eric and Nina Segal. International Jobs: Where They Are, How to Get Them (1999)

Krannich, Ronald L. and Caryl Rae Krannich. International Jobs Directory. (1999)

Krannich, Ronald L. and Caryl Rae Krannich. The Directory of Websites for International Jobs. (2002)

Lauber, Daniel and Craig Rice. International Job Finder: Where the Jobs Are Worldwide. (2002)

The Directory of Jobs and Careers Abroad. (1997)

Work Worldwide: International Career Strategies for the Adventurous Job Seeker. (2002)

Krannich, Ronald L. and Wendy S. Enelow. Best Resumes and CVs for International Jobs: Your Passport to the Global Job Market (2002)

Resumes for College Students and Recent Graduates (1998)

Resumes for the First-Time Job Hunter (1995)

Remember FIT's Career Center's online Resume Guide:

Understanding Job Descriptions
Employers and recruiters speak their own language when it comes to describing jobs. To help YOU understand what THEY are looking for in a job candidate, check out these tips below. Here is a sample job description from a global cosmetics company seeking an international marketing associate.

Location: NY
Status: Full Time, Employee
Job Category: Marketing
Relevant Work Experience: 1 to 2 Years
Career Level: Experienced (Non-Manager)
Education Level: Bachelor's Degree

Job Description:
- Assist in all marketing capacities related to the Face Segment and Eye Segments.
- Create and maintain all profiles in E Profile, E-IMIS, IMIS and tracking development through Pert Schedule.
- Regularly maintain Laundry Lists/ US Calendars for accuracy and informational content for all program details related to Face and Eye.
- Work on Create Creative briefs, attend turnover meetings with Creative and follow up on any questions/suggestions on What's New and Brochure executions.
- Assist in the development of promotional products from inception to completion- Work with Global, Design, Engineers, Product Costing, Product Development
- Assist in creating collateral pieces and work with Manager and appropriate groups to implement them.
- Run and maintain Reporting Systems (Datamart, Web Reports, IMIS) to track brand and shade rankings, sales history).
- Regular attendance and key point person for Color Operational Meetings.
- Research Competitive products and stay abreast of the competitive landscape, updating group on new product launches within Face and Eye segments.
- Assist in data gathering to support Manager for any analyses needed for strategy development.
- Review and update the on-line product reference guide.

- Bachelor's Degree
- 1-2 years relevant experience in Marketing or other industry with applicable skill set
- Strong organizational skills
- Strong computer skills
- Detail oriented
- Strong analytical skills
- Multi-tasker

(Below are explanations of terms listed in the above job description)
“NY” means you would work in the New York office. “Full Time” means regular employee (not a temp/not hourly). “1 to 2 yrs” is sometimes only an ideal, but not required. Apply even if you don't have 1-2 years experience.

“Face, Eye” are the product categories you work on, excludes “Fragrance, Lips, Nails”. Say what you know about the latest successful liquid foundation or mascara launches.

“Profiles, Program Details, Briefs” are organization tasks you'll learn on the job. Highlight your organizational skills.

“Assist in…” means a group project where you are a “helper”. Emphasize your “teamwork” abilities.

“Maintain Systems” means keeping data charts up-to-date and accurate. Emphasize Excel, PowerPoint proficiency.

“Applicable skill set” means ability to work in a team setting, having organizational and computer skills.

“Strong skills” means ability to do the job on Day One, with minimal training or supervision.

“Multi-tasker” means this job requires someone who can work on many projects at the same time.

Websites: job postings
Here are a few links to websites devoted to job postings. Think of these sites as a bulletin board where employers, employment agencies and recruiters let the world know about a job opening. Keep in mind that when you send your resume to apply online to a job, hundreds of other job-hunters are doing the same. That's why it's so important to have a professional, accurate, polished resume and cover letter. Good luck! 
Explore the 15,548 Federal jobs in the USAJOBS database. Create and store a resume for applying to Federal jobs.
Sample job posting: International Trade Specialist in Washington, D.C., International Trade Administration, Information Products and Product Coordination, Office of Global Trade Programs.
Search jobs. Network. Get career advice. 
(for students seeking entry-level jobs)
Search jobs. Network. Get career advice.
Search jobs. Network. Get career advice. 
Features “international job opportunities for professionals, expatriates and adventure seekers.” Plus, career advice.
Women's Wear Daily newspaper has a Help Wanted section in the Classifieds. Features jobs in apparel and the related industries. Jobs are posted by companies and by search firms.
Cosmetics Executive Women is a trade organization to promote the beauty, cosmetics and fragrance industry. The CEW website includes job postings, but you must first become a CEW member and pay the annual membership dues. 
FIT Career Services online job posting for seniors and alumni.


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