Transfer Alumni Q&A: From Fashion to Human Resources

  • Andres Paternina-Pena
  • Class of 2016
Andres Paternina-Pena

Studying Marketing at LIM taught Andres lessons that served him even after he transitioned from fashion to Human Resources.

What led you to transfer to LIM?
I was attending the Community College of Rhode Island when a friend who was attending LIM told me about it. I did my research and learned LIM had what I wanted: fashion and business. I applied Early Action and soon received something that changed my life—my LIM acceptance letter.

What did you major in here?
Marketing, with a concentration in International Business. My coursework included consumer behavior, accounting, and statistics. I took courses in writing and Excel, which I recommend all students take. I use Excel on daily basis.

Please tell us about your career path.
I started in a corporate position with Banana Republic, running in-store events and increasing foot traffic into the flagship stores in Boston and New York. I went on to run Gap Inc.’s new venture in bridal as the Shop Manager for Weddington Way. I soon took another opportunity with Kenzo LVMH as a Sales Operations Coordinator. Eventually, I realized that while I loved the fashion world, I wanted to transition out of it. I reevaluated where I wanted to go with my career and decided on Human Resources. 

What's happening in your career now?
I’m a Talent Acquisition Specialist for Equinox. I source, recruit, and hire Personal Trainers and Membership Advisors on a national level. One of my proudest moments in this role was hiring 35 trainers in one month.

How did your LIM education prepare you for this role?
All the classes I took at LIM helped me both in the fashion and HR realms. LIM College provided networking events to support the idea of internal connections—all my internships at LIM were through mutual connections. The career classes also ensure that you learn how to write an effective resume.

Did you have any mentors here?
As a professor and then-Chair of the Marketing Department, Dr. Susan Baxter really engaged my interest in marketing and helped me tailor my internship search. We had monthly touch bases and she made sure I was taking the correct classes to match what I wanted to do in my career.