On March 17th, all fifth avenue stores had to close due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, that was also the day when my contract with MaxMara as a visual merchandiser ended abruptly. I came to New York City around two years ago to pursue my Master’s in Global Fashion Management at FIT, with the hopes of landing a full-time job with a major fashion house. Before I could even fully celebrate my graduation earlier this year, I had to pack my belongings and head back home to Taiwan in a matter of two weeks. From that day on until the end of March, I cried every single day because I knew that I would have to start my life all over again. Even worse, I knew that finding a job in Taiwan with a decent salary would not be possible where people are overworked and underpaid here.
After a gruesome two weeks feeling uncertain about my future and feeling depressed about having to go back, I decided to take control of my fate. During this time, I started learning video editing tools and began to work on my platform called, “Bai Yu.” I wanted to share my knowledge of the fashion industry and my personal experiences as an international student, so I began to work on presenting this content digitally via YouTube and other social media networks. I also knew that I would want to partner with other digital creators so that it could be a mutually beneficial partnership. This past September, I held my first ever panel discussion on teamwork with other talented individuals which got sold out within days. Besides Bai Yu, I am also a professor and now preparing courses to teach supply chain fashion management here in Taiwan. All my students are professionals from other industries so it will be challenging to ensure they follow along. To help prepare, I am using my access to FIT databases and even my old notes to help me prepare content for my classes. As challenging this year has been, I am glad to say that it has been a full circle journey being able to apply my learnings to my various endeavors.
As frightened as I was about coming back to Taiwan and not being able to find a job, I have found that I am busier now more than ever! I am constantly trying to find time to work on my website, to create videos on YouTube, to prepare for the classes I teach, or to manage my social media networks. I would say that I am not 100% satisfied with myself yet but I wake up every day so that I can accomplish my list of goals. I choose to wear multiple hats so that I can never experience losing my job like I did on March 17th.