Emily Rose Walch
Degree: Fashion Textile Management ‘13 (Brand Management and Marketing concentration)
Hometown: Villa Grove, Illinois
Current City: Seattle, Washington
Profession: Product Creation Process Manager – REI Corporate Headquarters
Council Position: Communications Committee
How did the Wilson College of Textiles prepare you for your career?
My role is nearly 100% dependent on my cross functional partners. The Wilson College of Textiles emphasis on group work really gave me the foundation I needed to successfully operate within teams with very different needs. My fiber and fabric classes gave me a great base that allows me to communicate more effectively with my Product Development, Material and Design teams. While I don’t handle these operations directly, I’m able to create better timelines for those partners because of my educational background.
The Wilson College of Textiles was also able to provide me with an amazing student exchange opportunity at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. This experience has been applicable to every moment of my career as I’m regularly working with Asia-based manufacturing facilities.
What does it mean to be a member of the Dean’s Young Alumni Leadership Council?
The Dean’s Young Alumni Council is a great opportunity for me to get reconnected with recent graduates and to encourage other young alumni to do the same. We have such a strong alumni base across the Wilson College of Textiles who have taken many different paths with their degree in Textiles. It’s an incredible network for us all to utilize. Our goal is to bring that network together and promote engagement across the NCTF, students and the industry. As part of the Council, I’ve had the opportunity to host an event in my local area (Seattle) and meet Textiles grads who are doing everything from buying in major department stores to technology marketing in video gaming. Events like these prove you can truly do anything with a degree from the Wilson College of Textiles.
What do you see in the future for the Wilson College of Textiles?
As a Seattle resident, technology is always top of mind when I think about the future. The Wilson College of Textiles’ future will be in innovation. Innovation can be in the form of curriculum that teaches topics like social media marketing, 3D body scanning, pattern making and printing, or the advancements in supply planning that allow retailers to optimize their inventory. Innovation can be direct research to develop new fibers, new polymers finishes and new ways of breaking down the materials in our supply chain to better recycle them. All of these is what will give Wilson College of Textiles students the competitive advantage in the marketplace. The speed of technology will continue to push us to be leaders in innovation.