Concentration: Marketing, Certificate in Sustainable Community Development
Undergraduate student Rosa Tang had a lifelong dream of a career in fashion. Now, thanks to her Beedie School of Business education, Rosa will be living her dream when she moves to London, England, to take up a new role as creative director of an ethical clothing line.
Rosa’s path to London started when she re-envisioned herself as a businesswoman rather than a clothing designer. She became involved in the SFU chapter of Young Women in Business (YWiB), an organization that provides mentorship and networking opportunities for aspiring business women.
In third year, Rosa became president of YWiB SFU, leading the organization in a new direction with events focused as much on personal growth – such as stress management and individual finances – as on professional development. She also created an advisory board of industry professionals to guide future YWiB SFU executives as the chapter matures.
Being a member of YWiB connected Rosa to like-minded young women who shared her enthusiasm for business.
“I know that one day we’re going to be calling each other from New York or Shanghai and we’ll be doing amazing things,” says Rosa. “Part of that is because of our connection to Beedie.”
Rosa also involved herself in case competitions, including SFU’s Peak Performance, Eller’s Collegiate Ethics Case Competition in Arizona, L’Oreal’s Brandstorm in Paris, and JDC West 2016 in Saskatoon.
It was during an internship with Vancity’s Community Development Foundation that Rosa found her passion for ethical and sustainable business practices. There she worked with female entrepreneurs trying to navigate the financial system, specifically regarding securing capital funding.
“I learned what it means to be an ethical and values based person and company at Vancity,” says Rosa. “I was blown away by the fact that you can do good and be sustainable, but also be profitable.”
Rosa also undertook an internship with Rethink Canada, an innovative advertising agency that pushes the boundaries of traditional advertising. Working in the company’s amplification department she was part of a team creating advertisements intended to go viral.
“It was a challenge because it wasn’t a structured environment like it was in school where you have firm deadlines,” says Rosa. “In real life it doesn’t work that way. A client might change a deadline to two days or two weeks from when they initially requested, and you just have to get through it.”
Rosa found her way back to fashion while in Paris completing a semester exchange at Beedie’s partner school, Ecole Supérieure de Commerce (ESCP Europe). While working on a project for ethical clothing line, Everlane, she was approached through social media about working on new luxury brand startup, Citizen’s Mark.
The company specializes in high-end ethically sourced clothing for professional women, specifically women’s blazers. Rosa jumped at the chance to work with a company that shared her values in clothing and in business.
“It’s really mirrored my growth as a person through business, and also as a person who is more values-based,” says Rosa. “I want to work for companies that don’t just make a profit, but try to make a positive impact in the world, and of course, are in fashion.”
As Rosa packs her bags for London she reflects on how her Beedie experience introduced her to new possibilities.
“I know that if I had just gone to fashion school it would have been a very narrow path,” she says. “I went through this whole process of not knowing where I fit, but I did say ‘yes’ so many times that I eventually could say ‘no’ because I knew what I wanted to be involved in through a process of elimination.”
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