Student Success: Kade Butler, Nike

Kade works in sportswear and wanted to learn more about footwear to move up in his career. He enrolled in Sneaker Essentials to better understand how the business works. He talks about his student success with Yellowbrick.

The biggest takeaway I have is how many different jobs there are within the industry. There’s truly something out there for everyone.

ON CHOOSING SNEAKER ESSENTIALS —

I’ve only heard good things about the Fashion Institute of Technology. It might’ve honestly been the deciding factor. I enrolled in this online course so I could continue to follow my passion and move up within the sneaker industry. The course covers a variety of topics. They are all essential to the footwear industry and it definitely had an impact. 

 

ON BEING A YELLOWBRICK STUDENT —

My favorite assignment was talking about my grail sneakers. My favorite course was Brand Strategy and Marketing — I loved hearing from Jeron Smith (Chief Marketing Officer, SC30 Inc.).

 

STUDENT SUCCESS IN REAL-LIFE APPLICATION —

The biggest takeaway I have is how many different jobs there are within the industry. There’s truly something out there for everyone. The online course covers every portion of the industry. It sharpened the knowledge that I already had through my work experience.

 

ON THE PAST & WHAT’S NEXT —i

The online course has given me more overall knowledge of the industry. t’s come up in a couple of recent job interviews. I even fell back on my experience with the Sneaker Essentials course in the interview process for my new job with the merchandising team at Nike Headquarters!

Student Success: Victoria Marie Hoppe

Victoria is a Miami-based street culture connoisseur who enrolled in Sneaker Essentials because she wanted to pair her love of fashion with industry knowledge. Here, she discusses her student success and how the Sneaker Essentials online course has influenced her.

Gaining a better understanding of everything that goes into creating a single shoe makes you respect the process so much more from top to bottom.

ON CHOOSING SNEAKER ESSENTIALS —

I wanted to better myself as a person learning about something I love. I was really growing into my sense of style and interest in sneakers when I found this online course. It felt like a great opportunity to learn a little more and better myself. It was important to me to know that the program was backed by an accredited college. The backing of a school like the Fashion Institute of Technology made me feel like it would be thorough enough to be worth the time and money.

ON BEING A YELLOWBRICK STUDENT —

I really loved learning about sneaker design and manufacturing. Gaining a better understanding of everything that goes into creating a single shoe makes you respect the process so much more from top to bottom. The partnership mattered to me also since Complex is a major cultural media outlet that’s very relevant to me and many others.

STUDENT SUCCESS IN REAL-LIFE APPLICATION —

It’s given me more confidence to pursue paths within the industry that interest me, and a better understanding of how many different paths there are. It can be overwhelming to know how many talented people there are within this field. A course like this makes me feel like I can compete for that job or hold up in that interview. 

ON THE PAST & WHAT’S NEXT —

I did pick up a part-time job at Nike before the pandemic, and I think this gave me the confidence to do so. Prior to the course, I was afraid of how taking a retail job would look after college. I realized that there’s no fast track to get to where you want to be. I learned a lot during the time I was there and loved the environment. It was really special to me to get to be around something I enjoy daily. I also have another job as the Marketing Director for Miami’s Best Graffiti Guide, the top street art tour company in Wynwood, Miami’s Art District. It’s engaging and keeps me well connected to street art and culture.

To follow Victoria’s journey beyond Yellowbrick, follow her on Instagram @vickyhoppe.

Student Success: Shelby Spurlin, Le Tote

Shelby is a true fashion enthusiast and student of the industry. As part of her student success, she is a two-time Yellowbrick graduate (Fashion Industry Essentials and Fashion Business Essentials). As a lifelong learner, she is currently working towards her Master’s degree in Fashion Management at Parsons. When she isn’t studying, she runs a Youtube page where she reviews fashion and beauty products. 

The Fashion Branding course assignment was the most valuable and fun. I never imagined creating my own brand before taking this course, but it really pushed me to think about having my own brand and how I would want it to look.

ON CHOOSING FASHION BUSINESS ESSENTIALS —

I enrolled in the Fashion Industry Essential online course so I could get an understanding of the Fashion industry from different perspectives. I really just wanted to know more and know where to start in a sense. Later, I took the Fashion Business Essentials online class to learn what goes into building a brand from start to finish. I will be studying for my Master’s degree at Parsons School of Fashion, so being able to hear from instructors that I will actually meet was super helpful for me. WWD is recognizable and having that as part of the online course just made me want to participate even more.

ON BEING A YELLOWBRICK STUDENT —

I really liked hearing from Dara Williams. She seemed to have so much insight into the industry and how to market yourself, and Bjorn Bengtsson always had great words of wisdom and advice. The Fashion Branding course assignment was the most valuable and fun. I never imagined creating my own brand before taking this course, but it really pushed me to think about having my own brand and how I would want it to look. The final project — making the portfolio — was really interesting as well because it let me showcase who I am.

STUDENT SUCCESS IN REAL-LIFE APPLICATION —

The course really stresses understanding who YOU are and putting that into your work. I also learned how important transparency with customers is — huge in today’s world!

ON THE PAST & WHAT’S NEXT —

I work at Le Tote right now. I never thought about building a brand but after taking this course and having to create a brand as an assignment, I might actually look into creating my own line at some point in my career!

For reviews on new beauty and fashion products, head to Shelby’s YouTube page. Follow her on Instagram @simplyshellaby to keep up with her as she takes on the fashion world.

Student Success: Rachelle Etienne-Robinson, Substantial Art & Music

Rachelle was looking for an opportunity to gain more insight into the film and TV industry. She signed up for Film & TV Essentials because she wanted a self-paced program that would accommodate her busy schedule as a successful businesswoman. As part of her student success, her learnings contributed to content for her portfolio.

Being able to work with highly qualified instructors, learn terminology and technology exceeded my expectations.

ON CHOOSING FILM AND TV ESSENTIALS —

I wanted to gain knowledge and prepare for a career in the film and TV industry. I knew that New York University was affiliated with the program. So, that legitimized the online course. Of course, having a certificate from NYU highly influenced my decision.

ON BEING A YELLOWBRICK STUDENT —

I enjoyed working on all of the assignments and learning from all of the courses and instructors. In truth, every assignment and instructor was beneficial. 

STUDENT SUCCESS IN REAL-LIFE APPLICATION —

The course has prepared me to work in the film and TV industry by providing me with certification from a reputable institution. Being able to work with highly qualified instructors, learn terminology and technology exceeded my expectations. Specifically, I appreciated learning about the history of film and about technique. I also enjoyed learning about marketing and film festivals.

ON THE PAST & WHAT’S NEXT —

My experience in the Film & TV Industry Essentials program has provided me with the tools and resources needed. I feel I can navigate the industry. The online course provided me with an opportunity to create content to add to my portfolio. I am currently seeking production assistant positions and at the same time, looking to work on independent projects.

To follow Rachelle’s journey beyond Yellowbrick, follow her on Instagram @chezchelle.

Student Success: Sophie Sumner, Actress

Sophie is a model and an aspiring actress from Oxford, England. She took the Film & TV Essentials online course because she wanted a deeper understanding of film production to become a better performer. Sophie chatted with Yellowbrick about her student success and what’s next for her.

The course gave me the confidence that I really can do this.

ON CHOOSING FILM & TV ESSENTIALS —

I actually never went to college. I went straight into modeling, straight into the entertainment industry. But I didn’t second guess taking the course, I signed straight up. I knew the companies —Tisch, Rolling Stone, and I’d heard of Yellowbrick before. Sometimes you can get quite lost in looking at online courses, but this one really stood out. As soon as I played the first segment, it looked like they’d just filmed it! It was so modern. It was nice, short segments — things you can really get your teeth sunk into.

ON BEING A YELLOWBRICK STUDENT —

There is a gentleman who teaches quite a few of the modules, David K Irving. He is a legend, I love the way that he gives you real advice; just straight down the line and real. He said one of my favorite things right in the beginning. He’s like, “you want to be a filmmaker? Pick up a camera” and it’s the easiest, simplest advice. He makes this kind of complicated world of film very simple, brings it all together, and makes it accessible for everyone. I think that’s so important. Sometimes film can feel like it’s a million miles out of our reach,

There’s another professor, Janet Grillo, who is really in touch with things young. I wasn’t expecting it to be so kind of fresh and current, it’s really up-to-date and a current course. Judd Apatow pops in there, which is really fun. He gives some great advice about scriptwriting.

I loved the assignments. One of them is you have to come up with a music video and storyboard it. I enjoyed it so much. I spent days and I drew out all my storyboards by hand and even colored it in with glitter paint which was totally unnecessary. Just by doing the assignment on the storyboarding, I was able to understand, “that’s an easy first step. That’s how you start. That’s how you show your camera angles.” It’s been so good for building up my self-esteem.

STUDENT SUCCESS IN REAL-LIFE APPLICATION —

Since starting this course, things really took off. The course gave me the confidence that I really can do this. So I put myself forward a lot more and went for more auditions. I signed up for Actor’s Access and put myself on there. I just really went for it and I booked an indie film called Killington. While doing the online course, I did my first indie film. It was just incredible to be able to take a step out of myself and really appreciate everybody else’s job and how much hard work goes into making a film. We had two first-time directors and they’re both so passionate and so hard-working, and it was incredible to see their work and understand what they had to do to make it work. 

ON THE PAST & WHAT’S NEXT —

I love how you can learn all these different departments. Going into the post-production for Killngton, it’s exciting that I’m going to be following this journey along. I feel very much more in the process and I feel way more confident and secure as an actor — knowing what everyone’s doing, knowing what’s going on around me, and hopefully, that led to better performance, 

You can come away from this course with that feeling of “I can do this,” and I think that’s so important. For so many people, it is just confidence. I think worrying that film is such a crazy industry that many wouldn’t have access to, it’s not true. We can do it.

To keep up with Sophie beyond Yellowbrick, follow her on Instagram @sophiesumner8.

Student Success: Kieran Coyle, The Sole Supplier

As a long-time sneakerhead based in London, Kieran wanted to turn his passion for talking about sneakers into a career. So, he enrolled in Sneaker Essentials to kickstart his journey. Yellowbrick spoke with Kieran about student success and what he’s up to now.

I was assured that I would be receiving a quality course in not only its structure but also the instructors.

ON CHOOSING SNEAKER ESSENTIALS —

I had been into sneakers for 25 years, but I wanted to learn about the various segments of the industry. Seeing the list of the content that would be covered in the online course, I knew it was going to supply me with knowledge on a range of areas.

Seeing that Sneaker Essentials were working in conjunction with the Fashion Institute of Technology added a level of credibility. I was assured that I would be receiving a quality course in not only its structure but also the instructors. With Complex being well-known and well-respected in the sneaker industry for providing quality content, it ensured the content that we would receive throughout the course would be quality as well.

ON BEING A YELLOWBRICK STUDENT —

The Sneaker School work throughout the course was valuable. Creating the Top 9 list made you research and narrow down your grails. It also forced you to use things like Photoshop, Canva, and more to create your content for social posting. Creating your own sneaker made you think about functionality, design, color, and marketing.

STUDENT SUCCESS IN REAL-LIFE APPLICATION —

With the aid of the Sneaker School Group on Facebook, I was able to see the spectrum of people trying to break into the industry, their different skills and interests. That helps you understand where you could fit within the industry, and at what level your actual sneaker knowledge is. It also was really helpful hearing directly from those in the industry about how they got to where they are.

ON THE PAST & WHAT’S NEXT —

I’m now a Content Writer for The Sole Supplier in the U.K. I started an Instagram account writing and posting about sneakers, and then used that as a springboard to apply for roles at The Sole Supplier. I’m currently working on multiple articles per month for The Sole Supplier website and looking forward to providing more varied content in the future.

To keep up with Kieran beyond Yellowbrick, follow him on Instagram @allthatsneaks.

Student Success: Macy Blankenship

Macy’s love of music and her involvement in the local scene fueled her interest in learning about the business side of music. She enrolled in Music Industry Essentials to take the next step in her career. Macy spoke with Yellowbrick about student success and her next steps.

Learning the foundations of the industry is essential. No matter how much you may know about the present circumstances of the music industry, knowing about those who came before and paved the way for the modern industry is key in being able to predict future trends.

ON CHOOSING MUSIC ESSENTIALS —

I have been passionate about the music industry. I have wanted to break into it to help artists for many years now. When I found out about this online course, I knew that I would be able to benefit from the knowledge of those who have gone before me and have so much more experience than I do. This course held value. I wanted to invest in the education that it could provide for me and my future.

NYU is a name I know and trust. Therefore, it definitely increased my confidence in the course. I have been paying attention to Billboard for as long as I can remember. So, having the chance to take a course with their name attached to it seemed like a no-brainer to me!

ON BEING A YELLOWBRICK STUDENT —

I greatly enjoyed learning from Marc Plotkin and hearing the most efficient ways to market music. Marketing and advertising for events and releases is the area I focus on most in the industry. There were so many things I learned from him that I had never heard before. The concepts may seem like common sense, but I had never had anyone explain it to me in that way before.

STUDENT SUCCESS IN REAL-LIFE APPLICATION —

Learning the foundations of the industry is essential. No matter how much you may know about the present circumstances of the music industry, knowing about those who came before and paved the way for the modern industry is key in being able to predict future trends.

The course prepared me by allowing me to immerse myself in projects that I wouldn’t normally do. I was able to learn new platforms and software, learn about other aspects of the industry, and get to see things from the artist’s side. I believe hearing and knowing the artist is essential to creating their success. The online course showed me how to properly get their message across.

ON THE PAST & WHAT’S NEXT —

I have been able to give advice to a few musician friends, and I am offering freelance services for publicity and marketing.

To follow Macy’s journey beyond Yellowbrick, follow her on Instagram @macy_blank.

Student Success: Gene Feliz, Musician

The music industry is complex and hard to navigate as an aspiring artist. Gene knew he had to learn the inner workings of the business to take his career to another level. The Bronx-based musician enrolled in the Music Industry Essentials online course to grow as an artist. His student success includes evolving himself to a bonafide brand.

This program has also helped me strengthen my marketing with new tools that will come in handy throughout my career.

ON CHOOSING MUSIC INDUSTRY ESSENTIALS —

I took this online course to improve in the areas of branding, image, and marketing. As a music artist, I believe being fundamentally sound in all aspects of the music business and industry is essential. However, I noticed I needed to be more adept in my fundamentals as I began to immerse myself in the business of making music entirely. 

 

ON BEING A YELLOWBRICK STUDENT —

All of the assignments came together as one cohesive project. From the dream performance assignment to the song creation to the dream studio and marketing strategy, each facet really felt like I was making an album. I now understand how it all works hand in hand in terms of creativity and focus.

 

STUDENT SUCCESS IN REAL-LIFE APPLICATION —

The biggest takeaway from this online course has been solidifying my artist persona and further defining myself as a brand. This program has also helped me strengthen my marketing with new tools that will come in handy throughout my career.

 

ON THE PAST & WHAT’S NEXT —

The course has taught me the many avenues to pursue in the industry. There is much more to music than just wanting to be famous. Taking your work seriously while doing what you love can get you as far as you want to go. 

 

You can listen to Gene’s music on SoundCloud and keep up with him on Instagram @geneusmusic.

Student Success: Reid Conlon, Hyatt Chelsea

Reid enrolled in the Hospitality and Tourism Essentials online course to give him a head start on graduate school. He reflects on the course and his student success.

I learned to analyze trends in the industry, market to different groups, and create my own business plan.

ON CHOOSING HOSPITALITY & TOURISM ESSENTIALS —

I enrolled in this online course to prepare myself for the travel industry profession. I am actually going to grad school at New York University to earn my Masters in Travel and Tourism Management. So, I knew the program would be professional and educational.

ON BEING A YELLOWBRICK STUDENT —

All of the Vacation Planning Assignments were great practices for helping consumers plan a great vacation.

STUDENT ACCESS IN REAL-LIFE APPLICATION —

I learned to analyze trends in the industry, market to different groups, and create my own business plan. The world of travel and hospitality is always changing. However, the industry is able to adapt to new trends and will evolve with new creative ideas.

ON THE PAST & WHAT’S NEXT —

My student success looks like beginning to work at the Hyatt Chelsea in New York City. I will apply what I have learned in this course.

To keep up with Reid in his travels, follow him on Instagram @reidconlon.

Student Success: Gianna Uzzo

Since she was a child, Gianna’s obsession with beauty was apparent. After graduating from college with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, she still wanted to pursue her passion and enrolled in Beauty Industry Essentials. Gianna spoke with Yellowbrick about her student success and her future plans.

ON CHOOSING BEAUTY INDUSTRY ESSENTIALS —

​​Ever since I was young, I loved looking through Allure. I always was inspired by the beauty content in these magazines. I enrolled in the Beauty Industry Essentials online course so I could have a better understanding of the processes that go into creating products. The online course was unique because I have a deep passion for the beauty industry. 

ON BEING A YELLOWBRICK STUDENT —

Introduction to Fragrances was a very informative course. It taught me that there are many different fragrance notes such as citrus and spice notes. In addition, there is a lot that goes into the process of developing scents.

ON REAL-LIFE APPLICATION —

I gave this online course a chance because I am very interested in the business side of the industry. It prepared me by showing me the different fields you can work in and showing me that I have to work really hard in this industry because it is constantly growing.

ON THE PAST & WHAT’S NEXT —

I work at Amazon now. However, in the future, I hope to work in beauty marketing for either Revlon or Estee Lauder.

For more on Gianna and to keep up with her student success beyond Yellowbrick, follow her on @giannaeuzzo or on LinkedIn.