Alumni Spotlight

Linda Park ’12
Studio Production Assistant
Nasty Gal

Majors: Art History, French

Minor: Business Administration

Activities: I was the photo editor at the Quaker Campus. It allowed me to continue doing something creative while also learning how to lead a group of peers.

What first attracted you to Whittier College? I went to a large high school with a graduating class of more than 700 seniors, so I wanted an education in a more intimate setting. My older sister is an alumna of Whittier, so I knew I could have that experience and more.

Why did you choose to study French culture? I was always interested in art and fashion, so continuing to study French was a natural progression.

Describe your experience at Whittier College. What was your favorite class? I would like to think I had a very balanced experience. For example, I studied business administration on top of French and art history. Art of Impressionism was one of my more challenging courses as an art history major. That same semester, I was studying 19th century French literature, so the two courses coincidentally corresponded. That happened a lot actually - my French and art history courses tended to seam together perfectly.

Describe your internship with the art gallery in France. What did you do? I interned at a newly-opened gallery called Galerie Marie Cini in the Marais arts district of Paris. I worked closely with the owner designing lookbooks and translating promotional materials from French to English. It was challenging to translate some of the abstract literature. At the time, the gallery had a show at the Louvre exhibition space. Working with such an important institution will always be one of my most treasured memories.

How did Whittier help prepare you for your semester abroad?  My advisor professor Chirol was always encouraging students to study abroad. Since I was pursuing a double major and minor, Chirol and I basically planned my entire course schedule during my first year. Of course, there were changes in between, but I think having someone so supportive helped me realize that I should take advantage of everything Whittier offers.

What was your first job after Whittier? I interned at a fashion house based in Los Angeles called Rodarte, which was a dream come true because I've admired the designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy for years. It was my first foray into fashion and I was able work on some amazing projects like a production of 'Don Giovanni' at the LA Philharmonic with Frank Gehry and attend New York Fashion Week.

What are you currently up to? I currently work in studio production at Nasty Gal in Los Angeles; it's a growing online fashion retailer with an inspiring leader Sophia Amoruso and a following of pretty awesome girls.

How has your Whittier education benefited you professionally? One of my most life-changing opportunities at Whittier was the Professional Opportunities Grant, which involved career-planning and professional growth programs. Linda Ross [director of the Center for Career Planning and Internships] not only taught me how to make a profound cover letter and resume, but I also learned to be professionally focused during my college career. Like a lot of creative industries, fashion is pretty cut throat and the opportunities in Los Angeles are limited compared to those in New York. Everyone has a special set of skills and the career department, as well as my professors, offered a lot of mentoring to help find those skills. All you have to do is ask and they're happy guide you!

What advice would you give to students interested in studying French culture?  Take a chance to enrich your education while you can. Whittier allows you the freedom to have a multi-disciplinary education. Double or even triple major!

Similarly, what advice would you give to future French Cultural Studies students when they graduate? Start interning while you're still in school! It's a luxury to work for free or nearly free, but it will pay in the long run. Also, keep some of those French notes. These language skills are lost too quickly!

Finish this sentence: I am a Poet for Life because…I’m a Poet who knows how to use her fighting words!

-Are you a graduate of the French Cultural Studies program and want to share your story? Contact the Office of Communications at therock@whittier.edu.

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