Berkeley Today Stories

Berkeley College alumna Melissa DiRubba

Berkeley College Graduate Finds Dream Career through Fusion of Fashion and Business



Berkeley College alumna Melissa DiRubba


Berkeley College graduate Melissa DiRubba says her passion has always been fashion, though she did not have the artistic talent to be a designer. She thought she could enter the fashion industry by pursuing a degree in general business, but wasn’t happy with that path either.

The resident of Putnam Valley, NY, said she discovered the perfect combination when she enrolled in the Fashion Merchandising and Management program at Berkeley College.

“I’ve always loved fashion, but my strengths come more from the business side,” she said. “When I learned that there was a program that had both, it was a home run for me.”

Ms. DiRubba, 22, earned a B.B.A. in Fashion Merchandising and Management in June 2015. During her time at Berkeley College, she served an internship with EX OVO, a jewelry company in Harlem, NY, where she worked on product development. In September 2015, she was hired as a full-time Merchandising Assistant with NYGÅRD, an apparel manufacturer in New York City’s Garment District.

“I would love to be in buying, and this company is teaching me everything I need to know,” she said. “I’m loving what I’m doing.”

Ms. DiRubba credits Nancianne Esposito, Professor, Fashion, Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business®, with helping her on her journey. She said Ms. Esposito gave her career advice on and off campus, and even forwarded her resume to potential employers in the fashion industry.

Ms. Esposito said one of her greatest joys as a professor is when she sees a student apply what they have learned in the classroom to their career.

“Melissa DiRubba was a dedicated student who balanced school and work, and always had something interesting to add to the class discussion,” Ms. Esposito said. “I knew she would succeed beyond graduation, and I look forward to having her return to campus as an alumni speaker to inspire future graduates.”

Ms. DiRubba said her definition of success is setting goals and being able to achieve them. She counts her degree and her new job among those achievements.

“Another one of my goals was to love what I do,” she said. “When you’re enjoying what you’re learning, it just makes you so much more successful.”