Published on September 27, 2021 by Morgan Black
Annabella Shima, a marketing and entrepreneurship major with a professional sales concentration, has a career in international business on her radar. During summer 2021, the Tampa, Florida, native completed the Vogue Intensive Summer Program at the Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design in London.
The four-week program provides a comprehensive introduction to the fashion industry and allows participants the chance to connect with professionals who could possibly provide internships or full or part-time work down the road.
During the program, Shima worked on various editorial projects based on Condé Nast’s fashion publications, specifically British Vogue. The bulk of her time was spent creating a proposal for the October 2021 issue of the magazine including generating editorial concepts and producing visuals for multiple photoshoots, as well as designing her own Vogue cover.
Complementary to this hands-on experience, she and other program participants engaged in workshops and events with professionals, specifically those with expertise in journalism, creative direction, trend forecasting and magazine styling. Industry executives she heard from include the former art director of Vogue India, the author of the Fashion Stylist’s Handbook, the senior fashion writer at The Guardian, and the fashion curator at London’s infamous Victoria & Albert Museum. Condé Nast employees who interacted with the participants included the head of marketing for Condé Nast Britain and the vice president of luxury and global commercial partnerships for Condé Nast, as well as social media, digital marketing and account executives.
Her peers in the program consisted of global students of all educational backgrounds such as digital culture, international fashion marketing, fashion management, graphic media design, and law. The program’s “masthead events” provided a chance for participants to network with its graduates, many of which are only a few years removed from the experience, who shared what they’re doing now. A few alumni she met include the social editorial producer for Vogue Global Network and the executive assistant to the editor-in-chief of Glamour magazine, just to name a few.
“It was amazing to make connections with a wide range of international industry experts and Condé Nast professionals, who provided great career advice while allowing me to get my foot in the door of the fashion industry,” Shima said.
Shima is passionate about consumer behavior and trend research, which she plans to incorporate into a future career in luxury brand marketing. To pursue this career path, she feels her Samford business education pairs well with the creative aesthetics of high fashion and believes that understanding how a business runs has been and will be very valuable to her success in the industry.
“Because of my business communication and sales classes, I feel like I had really good sales and presentation skills during the course of the program,” she said. “My business knowledge will set me apart because I understand ‘will this work’ or ‘will this meet a certain budget’ or ‘will this attract a consumer.’ This experience was such a good starting point for me to really break into the industry and to understand all the different opportunities that exist.”
Her experience this summer was not her first exposure to international business. During summer 2019, she took Strategic Decision-making in U.K. Organizations, a class developed and led by Barbara Cartledge, senior assistant dean in Brock School of Business, to expose students to a variety of business types in the U.K. This fall, Shima has returned to London where she is residing in Samford’s Daniel House and interning at Grove Communication, a boutique public relations agency which specializes in fashion accessories and luxury goods.
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.