B.S. Textile Technology, concentration in Technical Textiles, 2014
Manager – Product Integrity, Fabric & Materials at Carter’s
Meredith McKague is a young alumna of the Wilson College of Textiles who is currently working with one of the leaders in children’s clothing located in Atlanta, GA. She graduated in 2014 with a B.S. in Textile Technology with a concentration in Technical Textiles.
During her time at NC State, she was involved in Greek life, scored an internship at Spanx and worked in the Wilson College of Textiles labs. We were fortunate enough to get to know Meredith, as she shared some of her favorite stories and how they have shaped her career.
Why did you choose NC State/Wilson College of Textiles?
A recruiter from Wilson College of Textiles came to my high school chemistry class and lit cotton on fire. Seriously, that was it for me! I didn’t apply to any other colleges or programs–I competed for (and was awarded) a North Carolina Textile Foundation Scholarship. I like to think of textiles as the most tangible form of science that people (literally) touch every day; I couldn’t picture myself studying anything else. Fun fact: Dr. Hinks gave me my first tour of the College before he was the dean.
What activities were you involved in as a student at NC State?
I was a University Scholar and a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority, where I held multiple leadership positions within the chapter. Before my junior year, I studied abroad at Kingston University near London for a summer, writing about textiles in sports at Wembley Stadium and about conservation at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
What are some of your fondest memories of being at NC State/Wilson College of Textiles?
Working in the labs was amazing–now that I’m in the industry, I realize that most people on the corporate side don’t get the opportunity to see, let alone work on, the machinery that’s available to students at Wilson College of Textiles. I also loved that our campus was separated from Main Campus and so it felt like its own little world where I could escape.
Who influenced you most during your time at the Wilson College of Textiles?
My classmates! By the time junior and senior years roll around, you’re with the same small group of people just about all day, every day. And whether they knew it at the time or not, they pushed me to do well in class and succeed academically.
How did your education at the Wilson College of Textiles prepare you for what you are doing today?
It prepared me in EVERY way! In my role with Carter’s, I work to ensure our products are safe and durable for our customers. I love coming up with extremely specific changes that may seem small but they impact product performance in a huge way. Without the details I learned in my classes, I wouldn’t be able to quickly and effectively communicate with our mill partners the kind of adjustments that need to be made at any stage of production.
Are there things that you know now that you wished you had known as a student that we can share with our current and future students?
Your network building starts now! Your classmates will become your colleagues in a few years so start making relationships. Also, the habits you have in college will stick with you. Time management, socializing, mental and physical health, everything. Make a few good choices while you’re in school and you’ll be on the right track.
In what ways are you currently involved with the Wilson College of Textiles/NC State?
I’m a yearly donor and I serve as a Wilson College of Textiles regional representative for the Atlanta area.
Describe your career path.
I interned with Spanx in Atlanta before my senior year and after I graduated, they brought me back on as a Fabric & Color Specialist. From there, Chico’s FAS recruited me to join their color team and I worked there for all three of their brands: Chico’s, White House Black Market, and Soma in both Color and Raw Materials departments. While I was there, I earned my Associateship to the Textile Institute and became a Chartered Textile Technologist. After Chico’s, I went to ICO Uniforms in Miami as their Fabric Manager, where I learned about the product lifecycle from a small business perspective. Now I’m back in Atlanta with Carter’s, happy to be on a corporate team and working on large scale projects.