There are those who sit back and wait for opportunities to knock on their door; and then there are those who go out there and make opportunities happen by seizing them. Jose Quinones, a former Style Guru from DePaul, is definitely in the latter category. From the moment Jose started as a Style Guru, I could tell he was a hard worker, driven and passionate about fashion. After two years with CollegeFashionista and several other fashion internships, Jose searched out the perfect job that married all his wonderful talents. Now as an Assistant Buyer for Neiman Marcus, Jose shares with us his story and how he found his way to this coveted role.
I’ve long graduated college and stepped foot into the ‘real world’ since my last interaction with CollegeFashionista. Two years worth of dedication and passion led me to realize that when you truly enjoy something, you feel like you’re only having fun. It would be quite the understatement to say that I didn’t grow as a person while interning with the site, but I did—and that maturity came from the passion that I saw from all other Style Gurus and from Amy.
Since leaving the site, I knew that I needed to delve into other aspects of the fashion industry to see what road I would begin taking once I graduated. I was able to make networking connections around Chicago and land two dream internships with both Chanel and Jil Sander in their respective boutiques. I had gone from fashion writing to fashion living and both brands really showed me what it took to be successful at the retail level.
It was Jil Sander, though, that led me to the realization that something in retail would be quite ideal for me—at the corporate level. I began to send tons of cold emails, resumes and cover letters, but nothing seemed to be showing up. I knew that companies didn’t want someone fresh out of college without experience, so I narrowed my search to development programs, figuring it would help me become more well-rounded. Eventually, I was able to put my experience to work and land a coveted position with Neiman Marcus as an Assistant Buyer.
They say to “never say never,” but I never thought I would end up living in Dallas, Texas, when New York City was my lifelong dream. Yet, the experience has been nothing short of exciting, demanding and enriching. From handling vendors to keeping track of orders and negotiating prices, the job never has a boring day. I am grateful that I was able to explore my choices, starting off with CollegeFashionista. The experience from CollegeFashionista has only been building up to now, where I will continue to develop my skills and fine-tune those I have mastered.
I know deep down inside that my heart belongs in New York—and that is somewhere I will end up soon. This grand opportunity will work as a stepping stone for what I ultimately envision myself being: a game-changer.