For Ritu Jadwani, fashion runs in the family. Born and raised in India, she was always aware of the role locally manufactured textiles played in her culture. Her mother designed wedding dresses for a living while her father owned textile mills. With age and a natural knack for volunteering came the intensifying urge not just to sustain textiles but to generate employment for passionate, ambitious women like herself.
Despite already establishing Namaste NYC — an ethical fair trade fashion label — Jadwani knew a quality qualification from the US could prime her for far more. Research led her to discover the Thomas Jefferson University School of Business’s unique capability to open doors through professional career-advancing, multidisciplinary degrees.
One stood out right away. “I decided to pursue an MS in Global Fashion Enterprise at Jefferson School of Business because I was specifically looking for a program at the intersection of fashion and business,” she explains. “Jefferson is one of the very few universities in the country to offer just that.”
Her decision proved fruitful. Expert guidance, comprehensive modules and experiential opportunities were introduced right off the bat — ask Jadwani which she found the most transformative and she might list a couple more Jefferson hallmarks instead.
She credits accomplished professors with real world experiences for helping hher tailor the MS in Global Fashion Enterprise in accordance with her professional aspirations. They introduced her to aspects of the industry she never knew existed. These insights were incredibly useful when Jadwani was ready to experience real-world Nexus Learning, a signature Jefferson offering that immerses students directly in the industry through hands-on learning, site visits, sponsored projects, and networking events.
“As a graduate student, I was actively engaged in activities outside the classroom,” Jadwani enthuses. She’s participated and presented at conferences hosted by The Clinton Foundation and the United Nations in New York City; visited companies like Data Color and QVC; explored the Fashion Group International to learn more about the local fashion industry and support upcoming designers; and conducted a Sustainable Business Model workshop for the local community.
“The workshops hosted by the Career Service Center, study trips to New York City from the Fashion Department and the Great Hostel Give Back trip were just a few activities that helped shape my personal and professional growth while I was at Jefferson,” she says.
Outcomes like these are typical of students who choose Jefferson as a launchpad to success, however, Jadwani never expected to develop the confidence one would need to take the doctoral route — which is exactly what she is doing today as a PhD student at the University of Nebraska. Simultaneously, she’s been able to grow Namaste NYC exponentially.
“At Jefferson, I learned about business plans and customer preference, sustainable textile and marketing strategies. All of these helped me launch our first retail store in Ahmedabad,” Jadwani explains. “Jefferson helped me reshape my fashion business to be able to cater to the local and global customer.”
While Jadwani chose to bring her knowledge back to India, a Jefferson education is well capable of helping learners live “the American dream” as well. Iryna Voytyuk’s story is proof. Born and raised in Ukraine, she migrated to the US 12 years ago in light of the Great Recession. Managing a retail store in Philadelphia helped her realize her passion for the financial aspects of a business.
“I decided to continue my education by pursuing an MBA,” she says. “Furthermore, innovation is an important component of being successful, so Jefferson’s program was the most appealing to me at that time.”
Shortly after beginning Jefferson’s Innovation MBA (iMBA), Voytyuk landed a coveted full-time role at Vanguard, which is one of the biggest mutual fund managers in the world. She credits her finance professors for helping her breeze through the application and assessment processes.
Her meteoric rise can be attributed to the iMBA’s unique features, such as streamlined foundation courses, allowing students from any background to get up-to-speed over a single semester. Students have the option to take the unique International Innovation Trip, a component of a course taught abroad at a varying location; and access to top internships through industry connections. Her iMBA peers played a crucial role in developing her confidence as well. Today, Voytyuk is thriving.
“In general, I am responsible for bank fees that Vanguard pays globally (about US$30 million a month). I am analyzing trends, identifying outliers and reporting my findings to senior management,” she explains.
Anything is possible for Jefferson business graduates. Whether you’re looking to reach doctoral success, start the next big thing, or climb the corporate ladder, one of these programs can show you how.