Alumni Spotlight: Joanna Kopic ('12)

Joanna Kopic
Intro Title
At LIM, Joanna learned how to multitask and manage her time. She also had valuable internship opportunities with brands such as Donna Karan and Michael Kors, prior to embarking on a career in the jewelry industry.

Why did you choose LIM?
I had a passion for the fashion industry, with an emphasis on the business aspects. Searching for colleges, I learned LIM requires three internships of its four-year students. Having the opportunity to intern with multiple companies captivated me. I was also interested in classes like Product Development, Business Law, Global Management, Consumer Behavior, and more. I knew LIM would give me a well-rounded education in the industry, while providing hands-on experience that would aid my future career.

What’s happening in your career now?
I’m the Director of Shop Operations at the jewelry company David Yurman. I started as a temp on a project that was supposed to keep me for a week. Eight years later, I’m a director in my department, leading a team of jewelers, setters, and polishers.

Please tell us a little about your career path?
At 17, I entered LIM for Fashion Merchandising. At that point, I was interested in writing and also entertained the idea of working as a Buyer, or even in PR. As I began my college journey, I interned in PR, licensing, and wholesale, while simultaneously working in the retail industry. Two months after graduating, the opportunity to temp at Yurman arose. I never considered a career in jewelry, but this was a product I'd admired for many years. I devoted time to learning and understanding the Yurman’s vision and aesthetic.

How did your time at LIM prepare you for your career?
LIM taught me how to balance multiple responsibilities, thrive in a fast-paced environment, take ownership of my work, and manage my time. My last year of college, I was interning full time, taking multiple courses, creating a brand beginning to end for my senior presentation, and working retail. I had to master how to manage my time in the most efficient ways possible, while giving each of my responsibilities 100% effort. 

Interning for companies such as Donna Karan, Michael Kors, and Showroom Delfina gave me professional opportunities that sometimes showed me what was not a fit for me. But that was really important, because not every student is given the opportunity to explore multiple areas of an industry prior to committing to a career.

What were your relationships with your professors like?
I was blessed to have wonderful professors at LIM, who took the time to give me extensive feedback while sharing their insights and experiences from the industry. My instructors had years of expertise in their fields, and each of their careers led them down different paths.

Did you transition to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic? How did that go?
Given the nature of my department, and the need to see and feel the product, working remotely entailed a lot of texting, videos, and constant communication. Luckily, I have a strong relationship and great communication with my team. 

What advice would you give someone considering a career in your field?
Regardless of your level, work hard, stay focused, self-motivate, and build strong partnerships with your coworkers.