By Megan Stitt, Fashion and Textile Management Major, Wilson College of Textiles, NC State

Megan Stitt scholarship winnerThe Wilson College of Textiles presents us as students with so many wonderful opportunities, we just have to learn to seize them. I almost didn’t enter the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund http://www.ymafsf.org/  competition because of all the hard work it posed throughout the semester, but I am so glad that I did. The New York trip that we scholars took last week was one of the best experiences of my life.

It began with a very early morning: a pick up time of 4 a.m. We piled into one car and headed to the airport. Our flight touched down in New York City and we went straight to our first company tour, M. Martin http://mmartin.com/. Jen Noyes, one of the co-founders, took the time to show us around their beautiful showroom of modern, comfortable sportswear. We then toured the offices of Material ConneXion http://www.materialconnexion.com/ , the largest subscription based materials library in the world. Kohl’s  https://www.kohlscorporation.com/ then offered about 40 scholars a VIP tour of their New York offices where they toured us through all their various brand rooms. Kent Hester organized a lovely dinner for the alumni of the Wilson College of Textiles who now work in New York City. It was a pleasure to get to know some of the alumni there as they all have such interesting careers and advice.

Tuesday started with a conference with the YMA to talk about internships, alumni networking and scholar details in general. We were given time to dress for the gala before rehearsal started at 3 p.m. If there is one thing I regret about this trip it was attempting to wear strappy heels from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. The reception started at 5 p.m. for scholars and the board of the YMA, with everyone else arriving at 6 p.m., and dinner starting at 7 p.m. There were so many powerful people there to network and talk with, I chatted with a few presidents and CEOs which is certainly not something I get to do every day. When dinner came, the scholars got to have our moment in the limelight walking across the stage. We waved and flashed our Wolfpack signs as 1,600 people clapped for us. The honorees, Tim Baxter, Ronny Wurtzburger, and Jessica Simpson, were then presented with their awards over a delicious and extravagant meal.

On our final day in New York, the YMA held an internship fair for their scholars. Many of their member companies were in attendance including Macy’s, Michael Kors, Global Brands Group, Bloomingdale’s and others. Everyone was so excited to be there, scholars and recruiters alike. Afterwards we headed to lunch at Saks Fifth Avenue with Wilson College of Textiles Lecturer Lisa Boyles and her sister, Cara, who works there. We toured EDPA, a textile company whose office is in the Empire State building, before running to SoHo for some quick shopping.

Overall, the New York trip was a complete whirlwind of amazing experiences. It’s so hard to fit the experience into just a few paragraphs as each experience was better than the last. We had so much fun and absorbed so much information about all the different companies and organizations that met with us. I am so happy that the Wilson College of Textiles is able to present us with such wonderful opportunities.  I hope that in the future even more of us will get to experience New York through the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund.