(This story has been changed to correct a typo)
Schuylerville’s Alexandra Drohobycky hadn’t visited any colleges before her mother brought her along to an alumni dinner for Fashion Institute of Technology.
Conversely, South Glens Falls’ Alyssa Palmer applied only to FIT.
Whatever paths they took, the student-athletes are quite happy they ended up in Manhattan at one of the nation’s most unique and hands-on colleges.
Drohobycky and Palmer are both members of the women’s volleyball team, which is just one of the cool things on a city campus that has interesting things at every turn.
The school’s undergraduate programs range from such fields as graphic design to toy design and cosmetics and fragrance marketing.
Palmer, a senior, is getting her bachelor’s degree in advertising and marketing communications, which is part of the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology. She started at the college by getting her associate’s in fashion business management.
“Most of our classes are extremely hands-on because all of our professors work in the field,” Palmer explained.
Drohobycky, a sophomore, is majoring in production management: fashion and related industries.
“What that means,” Drohobycky said, “is like the start to finish of a garment, from the design to the manufacture and costing — everything up to being on the floor of the store.”
Drohobycky said her mother, who designs children’s pajamas, was an influence on her coming to FIT.
“I’d say so. We’d go to the mall and she’d always look at the stores and see what was coming out,” Drohobycky said.
Both Palmer and Drohobycky haven’t had a continuous path from their high school volleyball days until now, but both enjoyed playing for the Tigers, who finished 18-8.
When Palmer toured the campus, her guide mentioned she played volleyball. That gave Palmer a chance to talk to her about the possibility. Palmer played her freshman year, but then broke a finger the night before opening match of her sophomore year.
“So I took a redshirt year, but I kept the scorebook, traveled with the team, and it gave me some extra time with my teammates and get to really know them better.”
Drohobycky was in an automobile accident after graduation and she spent her freshman year recovering. But she tried out for the team this year and made it.
“It was really difficult at first because I don’t like anything to hold me back, but I had a great support system along the way,” Drohobycky said of her recovery. “It’s been a lot of fun. I’m really happy to participate. We have a lot of fun on and off the court.”
Drohobycky played in 23 matches. She had 11 points, 10 service aces and 28 digs. Palmer played in 20 matches and had 27.5 points, 24 kills and three blocks.
There is always an adjustment to college schedules, but FIT classes typically meet just once a week, but for three to four hours.
“I have my classes Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, so Thursday and Friday I can use for homework, meet with professors, volleyball and other projects,” Palmer said.
Palmer has an internship with a public relations firm in the spring semester, which she’s hopeful will segue into a full-time job.
And in a bit of irony, Drohobycky has become the vice president of the club that puts on the alumnae/i dinner that she once went to.