Stories

Using a Master’s Degree to Propel a Fashion Career

  • Kailie Ruffino-Montoya
  • MPS '21
Kailie Ruffino-Montoya

Hometown: Houston, Texas
Degree Program: Fashion Marketing, MPS

After earning a bachelor’s degree from LIM, Kailie quickly enrolled in the College’s online master’s degree program in Fashion Marketing, a decision that has helped her excel in her role as an Assistant Buyer at Macy's.

What was your experience as an undergrad like?
I was fortunate to experience LIM’s campus and go to college in New York City, a very different experience than a majority of my friends and coworkers. This college shaped me into the career woman I am today. One of my favorite things about LIM was its internship requirements, which helped me choose what part of fashion I wanted to go into.

Why did you decide to enroll in one of LIM’s master’s degree programs?
I knew I wanted to go back to LIM for my master’s in order to not only advance my education, but to see what else this college has to offer. I chose LIM again because of the professors and mentors I had. As an undergrad, I made a lot of professional connections with and through my professors and always felt they looked out for me.

What do you do in your position at Macy’s? Is your master’s program helping you develop in this role?
I’m an Assistant Buyer, in the men’s active department. I started my career at Macy’s two years ago as a merchandise assistant and worked my way up, with the goal to become a department buyer.

As a buyer you do way more than just buy clothes. I’m collaborating with marketing to set promotional strategies. I’m managing the overall operational and administrative responsibilities of the business (price changes, order entry, ad sign-off, etc.). I create content for our products, like names and descriptions, and do SEO. LIM allowed me to advance quickly at Macy’s by teaching me about these fundamentals of buying as an undergrad.

What is being in an online program like?
My online experience has been very easy and organized. Since I work full-time—sometimes 10+ hours a day—my favorite thing about the online program is being able to log on anytime, do my work, and take my time. I have access to my professors and classmates through our discussion boards.

What advice would you give to someone considering applying to an online master’s program at LIM?
I believe that furthering your education is so beneficial, and I can promise it is not overlooked by companies. LIM has made this program very easy for someone who works full-time, and I truly believe that LIM has my best interests at heart when it comes to my career and education.