By Sarah Stone

Wilson College students returned to Centennial Campus this fall with new skills, new experiences and more defined career trajectories thanks to their summer internships. Three students even started their semester with job offers already secured from their internships.

Undergraduate, master’s and Ph.D. students interned for employers ranging from well-known brands like Adidas (read more) and Tesla (read more), to startups, to local doctor’s offices. They worked from inside their homes as well as on-location  — from Raleigh to Maine to California.

Below, dozens of Wilson College students shared their internship experiences. Each one is categorized by the student’s degree.

Fashion and Textile Design Internships

Fashion and Textile Management Internships

Polymer and Color Chemistry Internships

Textile Engineering Internships

Textile Technology Internships

Master’s Students’ Internships

Ph.D. Students’ Internships

If you’re a current student interested in pursuing an internship, make sure to visit the Center for Academic, Career and Student Services (ACSS).

Fashion and Textile Design

Anne Graf

B.S. FTD, 2022
Knitwear Intern, NIMBLY
Ventura, California

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

As Nimbly’s intern, I did a lot of everything. I programmed, ran and troubleshot programs on the Shima Seiki Mach2XS WholeGarment Knitting Machine. I performed various finishing techniques on garments and photographed samples for our customers. I measured garments to ensure they hit spec, and communicated with overseas yarn vendors to source sustainable performance yarns.

One of my big projects involved creating a knitted swatch library by programming different knit structures (everything from the basic single jersey and ribs to more complicated pointelle and cabled patterns), knitting the swatches on the knitting machine and determining which machine settings are required for optimal knitting of the specific knit structures. I worked on sourcing various yarns to knit the different swatches so that we could provide an extensive library of options to our customers.

I was also able to design, program, prototype and knit a sweater on the Mach2XS machine (shown in this photo). I created a new knit structure specifically for this sweater.

What did you learn about yourself and what professional skills did you develop?

I was able to polish off my skills with Illustrator and the Apex programming software (that’s what is used to program the knitting machines). I was also exposed to a startup office environment for the first time, which was an informative experience. I was able to try out a lot of new things that would likely be useful in any future textile job, like sourcing yarn and communicating with overseas vendors.

What was your favorite part of your time as an intern?

I LOVED programming the machine. Being able to go from colored squares on a computer screen to a fully fashioned sweater that’s basically done is CRAZY! I definitely want to continue programming these machines.

Brianne Haas

B.S. FTD, 2022
Computer Aided Design (CAD) Intern, Abercrombie & Fitch Co (Hollister Guys CAD)
Columbus, Ohio

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

My day-to-day responsibilities were to do trend research by looking at competitive brands and aspirational brands, while also looking at the newest runway shows. Creative development was another large part of my day-to-day responsibilities. Cleaning up designs and scanning in samples was another part of my day-to-day work.

There were two projects that all the interns had to do. The first was a 24 hour cross functional intern case study where we worked with the other merchandising, sourcing, finance and design interns to create a capsule collection for back to school for a specific brand. The other project was an individual one where we created a collection for the brand and gender we were working on for the season we had been working on all summer and presented it to leaders in the company.

What did you learn about yourself and what professional skills did you develop?

I had never designed for a male customer before so that was one thing I learned how to do and gained a lot of professional skills such as cross functional collaboration.

What was your favorite part of your time as an intern?

I enjoyed working with my team and other merchants and designers on the Hollister guys brand.

Daryn Wilkerson

B.S. FTD, 2023
Timberland, America (Merchandising, Men’s and Children’s Footwear)
Remote

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

I had three projects that ran throughout my whole internship. I worked on those everyday. I held focus groups, did research on launch culture in men’s footwear and did research on Timberland’s top accounts.

What did you learn about yourself and what professional skills did you develop?

I learned that I actually can handle ambiguity in my projects. I used to think that I worked better with clear steps and instructions. However, I had a lot of freedom with my projects, and I created better projects because of it. Throughout the internship, I learned how to create aesthetically pleasing and effective presentations. I also learned how to step back from your projects and look at it from the consumer perspective, not your own.

Was there anything during your internship that surprised you? For example, realizations about the industry or lessons you learned.

I didn’t realize how much marketing is involved in every step of the fashion industry now.

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Fashion and Textile Management

SaraGrace Altabet

B.S. FTM, 2021
Sephora Makeup Buying Intern, Kohl’s
Remote

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

Our day-to-day tasks varied, but overall my job was to support and shadow the allocation analyst on the Sephora makeup buying team. A few projects I worked on independently included best sellers presentations, a competitive shopping presentation and putting together a pricing template for our Sephora at Kohl’s store teams to use in order to apply markups or markdowns. I also attended open to guy Meetings, market meetings and vendor meetings with companies such as Tarte Cosmetics, NARS, Benefit and IT Cosmetics.

My team’s goal over the summer was to get the correct products from our vendors to the first six opening Sephora at Kohl’s stores by launch day. We needed to make sure replenishment was set up for the coming months and that the correct number of stock-keeping units for each product were sent to the correct store.

What was your favorite part of your time as an intern?

My favorite part of my time as an intern was the relationships I made over the summer. I formed friendships with my other interns and even visited Kohl’s headquarters in Wisconsin with a few of them! I also met many amazing professionals who gave me valuable advice on my career path.

How do you think your time at the Wilson College helped prepare you for your internship?

My courses gave me a very strong foundational understanding of a retail company and the global supply chain. FTM 420, Retail Buying, specifically set me up very well as I was able to understand the concepts and math that were a part of our daily processes.

Virginia Carter

B.S. FTM, 2024
White of Raleigh
Raleigh, North Carolina

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

I was working with clients to find their dream dress, engaging with guests, going through the dresses to make sure that everything was in good shape and helping with day-to-day operations. I worked specifically on building White of Raleigh’s social media influence on Tik Tok and creating content for Instagram.

How did this experience impact your college plan/career trajectory? Do you still want to pursue the same types of jobs?

My goal in the future is to work in the luxury fashion industry, so I thought that the bridal industry would be a good first step. I still definitely want to go into the luxury fashion industry, but I think that this experience was really eye opening into the world of expensive purchases.

Was there anything during your internship that surprised you? For example, realizations about the industry or lessons you learned.

Surprisingly, I learned that I do not want to work in the bridal industry. I loved my internship, but I realized this isn’t the industry for me.

Megan Durst

B.S. FTM, 2021
Buying/Merchandising Intern, TJX Companies Inc. (MarMaxx Juniors Dresses, Sweaters and Outerwear Division)
Remote for California Buying Office

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

I assisted buyers within the juniors department on everyday tasks and attended all meeting and vendor appointments. I was able to complete competitive shopping trips and trend analysis projects to aid in helping plan the department’s 2022 strategy.

What was your favorite part of your time as an intern?

My favorite part was completing trend boards for various vendors and being able to shadow buyers outside of my department.

Was there anything during your internship that surprised you? For example, realizations about the industry or lessons you learned.

It was interesting to see how the pandemic is affecting the entire supply chain and what that means for retail companies and vendors moving forward.

Carson Dymock

B.S. FTM, 2022
Merchandise Control Intern, TJX Companies Inc. (TJ Maxx Distribution Center)
Charlotte, North Carolina

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

I completed a project that had me analyze the aspects of Advanced Shipping Notice (ASN) usage across the warehouse, create training materials to improve ASN usage in the start-to-finish areas of the distribution center, and then present the training program to the general warehouse associates. My training program was then implemented into the general warehouse associates’ everyday tasklist. In my down time, the Merchandise Control Intern position required me to support the planning and allocation initiative in the distribution center by being the liaison between offices.

How do you think your time at Wilson College helped prepare you for your internship?

The Wilson College helped prepare me for this role through the management and supply chain courses I had taken prior to my experience with TJX. I also had great mentorship from the faculty and staff that has helped prepare me for this position by teaching me professionalism, successful networking and how to develop a strong work ethic.

Was there anything during your internship that surprised you? For example, realizations about the industry or lessons you learned.

Working in a distribution center made me see retail from a much different perspective. I previously did not realize how much planning, sourcing, communication and direction it takes to get one piece of merchandise out onto a TJ Maxx floor.

Meredith Gaskill

B.S. FTM, 2024
Marketing, Merchandising and Customer Experience Intern, ASHLEYLauren
Saco, Maine

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

day-to-day, I handled a lot of different responsibilities such as packing orders for various stores around the world, unpacking shipments from factories and putting dresses into inventory, merchandising the showroom, and helping to design and create a theme for their showroom at AmericasMart in Atlanta. I worked on integrating marketing plans before their Atlanta market in order to excite buyers and ensure their attendance in our showroom during the August show!

What was your favorite part of your time as an intern?

My favorite part of my time as an intern was definitely traveling with the ASHLEYlauren team to AmericasMart in Atlanta. Throughout my time at market, I was able to work in the showroom assisting buyers with their various purchases of the newest line of dresses. This was so exciting to me because it is what I see myself doing in the future.

How did this experience impact your college plan/career trajectory? Do you still want to pursue the same types of jobs?

After this internship, I am 110% confident that this is the career path I want to pursue. Working in this industry allowed me to see firsthand the kinds of things I would do, the people I would be around and the projects I would be working on, and I can confidently say I absolutely would love a career that is similar to my internship.

Amanda Giroux

B.S. Fashion and Textile Management, 2022
Localmize
Remote

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

I created blog content for clients and social media marketing for a local restaurant.

What did you learn about yourself and what professional skills did you develop?

I learned what I like in a professional setting and how to communicate better. I learned how to use WordPress and a few other helpful marketing softwares.

What was your favorite part of your time as an intern?

I got free food from the local restaurant that I marketed for a few times.

Avery Matthews

B.S. FTM, 2021
Product Development Intern, Interloop
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

My day-to-day responsibilities were to handle samples and measure and analyze them to make sure they fit specific specs and fits. Another day-to-day activity I did was creating tech packs for different products. A special project I worked on was product wear testing for new socks that were in development.

What was your favorite part of your time as an intern?

My favorite part of my internship experience was being able to see and have a part in developing products that I’ll see in retail stores next year.

Was there anything during your internship that surprised you? For example, realizations about the industry or lessons you learned.

I was surprised by how important my classes In textile technology learning about processing and fiber knowledge were in a position that was more business oriented.

Taylor Orzel

B.S. FTM, 2022
Merchandising Intern, Belk
Charlotte, North Carolina/Remote

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

My day-to-day responsibilities as a merchandising intern in the home department at Belk included analyzing weekly sales reports, researching competitor products, placing orders, setting up new styles and sitting in on team meetings. One special project I worked on was coming up with new kitchen electric products to pitch to one of Belk’s private kitchen brands. My buyer (manager) let me then present these products ideas to the vendor representatives at our in-person vendor meeting at the end of the summer. The vendor representatives loved a couple of my ideas and said they were going to look into making them which was really cool!

How did this experience impact your college plan/career trajectory? Do you still want to pursue the same types of jobs?

I always wanted to learn what being a buyer was like and my internship gave me just that. Since completing my internship, I realized that I do enjoy the inside workings of a business and that it is something I see myself doing upon graduation. I am pursuing jobs similar to my internship (merchandising/buying) because I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Was there anything during your internship that surprised you? For example, realizations about the industry or lessons you learned.

One thing that surprised me about my internship was how quickly a big retailer like Belk was able to completely transition their business online/working from home. It proved that big retailers are constantly evolving and the industry is changing as new challenges occur (such as the pandemic). It gave me a new perspective on all the decisions that go into making big changes to a business and the results of those changes.

Addie Seay

B.S. FTM, 2022
Junior Marketing Associate Intern, Berry Global, Inc. ( Health, Hygiene, & Specialties Division)
Charlotte, North Carolina

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

I worked as a marketing intern in the tapes division. I worked on a variety of projects related to the retail, industrial, medical, aerospace and HVAC tapes industries. I worked on creating content for social media and customer campaigns, developing new marketing collateral for the sales team and updating our tape stock-keeping units on The Home Depot.com!

How do you think your time at Wilson College helped prepare you for your internship?

My time at the Wilson College prepared me in so many ways! Berry Global, Inc – HH&S division specializes in the production of nonwovens. I got to use my technical knowledge from the textile technology classes we take, but I also got to use all the marketing and business information from my brand management classes. This opportunity really proved how well-rounded my degree is here at the Wilson College!

How did this experience impact your college plan/career trajectory? Do you still want to pursue the same types of jobs?

I absolutely loved working in marketing, especially in textiles. I always thought I would get a marketing job in the fashion industry, but I realized how much I love the technical side of textiles! The textile industry serves so many other industries besides fashion. I loved getting to explore those different applications.

Hope Stallings

B.S. FTM, 2022
Creative Intern, Vestique
Raleigh, North Carolina

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

My day-to-day responsibilities included creating and uploading social media content, organizing inventory, merchandising, changing the store layout and working with each customer from try on to their final purchase.

What did you learn about yourself and what professional skills did you develop?

From this internship I learned that I really enjoy working with social media and creating a way to engage with consumers. Skills I developed include merchandising, marketing, communication skills with other employees and customers, and creating a personal shopping experience.

Anything else you think we should know about your internship?

I was able to do a photoshoot on the football field to announce the launch of a new collection and promote the Vestique clothing for the upcoming football season (pictured above). It was so fun to incorporate my internship with the school I love!

Kallie Stevens

B.S. FTM, 2023
T.J. Maxx Distribution Operations Intern, TJX Companies, Inc.
Las Vegas, Nevada

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?
My day-to-day responsibilities included actively supervising 40 associates in an area that processes 70% of over 200 million units of merchandise annually. I was responsible for running daily projection and quality control reports. I also conducted preferred method audits to ensure compliance with engineering standards on the floor. I worked on a special project to create process improvement initiatives that would allow additional merchandise to flow through to the flat ticketing department. I utilized the warehouse management system to collect and measure data to create informed solutions.
What did you learn about yourself and what professional skills did you develop?
In my supervisory role, I learned that I enjoy leading others and finding solutions through problem solving. I intentionally created a foundation of trust and respect ensuring that all the associates’ concerns were always valid and that each person was comfortable in our communications. This created a synergy that allowed the associates to feel supported, which optimized their performance. I developed many professional skills through this internship including how to be an effective communicator, how to motivative through building relationships and how to trust my decisions.
What was your favorite part of your time as an intern?
My favorite part of my time as an intern was being challenged with new situations daily. For example, I arrived one morning to find pallets of Gucci merchandise in the area. Due to the value of the products, I needed to ensure the apparel was properly moved to a secure position without getting lost, correctly ticketed and sent to stores. These challenges taught me how to think fast and be agile while creating maximum results.

 

Hannah Stoltz

B.S. FTM, 2021
Merchandising Intern, Gap Inc. (Women’s Merchandising for Gap Specialty)
Remote (but spent a week in the New York City office)

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

My day-to-day responsibilities included maintaining and creating weekly and monthly reports and tools used by merchant teams to understand category performance and participate in conversations to drive the business. I actively participated in presentations to senior leadership.

I worked closely with cross-functional team members and the entire Gap women’s merchandising team. I pulled together monthly competitor analysis reports. I also attended many private executive leadership discussions with leaders such as the CEO of Athleta, the chief growth officer and the director of product development for YZY Gap.

What was your favorite part of your time as an intern?

My favorite time as an intern was the opportunity to visit Gap HQ in New York City for Spring 2022 Adoption Week. Adoption is an extremely fascinating time where you get to touch and analyze products for the first time for the upcoming season. During this week, I learned so much about how to build a successful line that is cohesive and speaks to the Gap consumer. Also, being able to meet my buddy and manager, my cross-functional team, and senior leadership in person was the cherry on top of the whole remote experience!

How did this experience impact your college plan/career trajectory? Do you still want to pursue the same types of jobs?

I accepted a corporate position with Gap Inc. for their Rotational Management Program following graduation. The Rotational Management Program is one of the most competitive corporate retail training programs in the industry, and it aims to grow the future leaders in the company right out of college. I will rotate between merchandising and inventory management roles for nine months and then be placed in a full-time position at the company’s headquarters. Such a dream come true!

Amanda Valentine

B.S. FTM, 2022
Associate Apparel Intern, Nike ( Global Apparel Materials (GLAM))
Remote

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

My day-to-day responsibilities included collaborating with teammates across the globe, driving material excellence and working on my personal project. Outside of my personal project that revolved around mapping out sustainable textile opportunities and providing recommendations to get around common roadblocks for sustainable textile adoption, I also partook in a cross-functional group project with interns across all aspects of the business called Combine. For this project, we were given a problem facing the company internally and were asked to come up with a scalable solution in only four weeks.

How do you think your time at Wilson College helped prepare you for your internship?

What caught Nike’s eye on my resume was my research work with a professor in the Wilson College about hemp fibers. Through that opportunity I was able to further expand on why I should be an intern at Nike.

Was there anything during your internship that surprised you? For example, realizations about the industry or lessons you learned.

It was my first time working for a global company and seeing how to run a global business was truly eye opening! There are so many moving parts going on behind the scenes and so many job opportunities available.

Ally Wynne

B.S. FTM, 2021
Merchandising Intern in Fashion and Bridge Jewelry, Belk
Remote

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

I worked alongside our assistant buyer setting up orders and styles in the system, getting samples and marketing in. I also worked on a group intern project as well as a final individual project on one of my department’s new private brands.

How did this experience impact your college plan/career trajectory? Do you still want to pursue the same types of jobs?

This experience was integral to my career path. I really wasn’t sure if I could see myself in a buying role until I had this internship.

Anything else you think we should know about your internship?

With a small intern cohort I really feel like I got the best internship experience. I was close with my other interns, was encouraged to branch out and meet with other employees across the company, and our coordinators were amazing!

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Polymer and Color Chemistry

Michael Keating

B.S. Polymer and Color Chemistry
Intended Graduation Year: 2022
Color Systems Intern, Organic Dyes and Pigments (ORCO)
Union, South Carolina

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

My primary responsibility was the creation of a physical and digital color library for ORCO’s varied line of pigment dispersions for use in a new spectrophotometer system. This involved preparing drawdown samples of pigments in a white base paint, which were later read on and stored into a digital, searchable library via Datacolor Tools software. Halfway through the project, the white base used was discontinued, and I worked with the lab manager to formulate an in-house solution to match the previous paint in color and texture. My final weeks were dedicated to setting up a colorant set for use in Datacolor Match Pigment to kickstart use of this software to improve the color matching process.

What did you learn about yourself and what professional skills did you develop?

I was able to apply the color theory I learned in PCC 350 to a practical manufacturing environment. Being exposed to this environment showed me how much more there is to learn in the field of color control and manufacturing. At the end of my experience, I was tasked with communicating my findings and training my fellow color lab employees on the new system. I learned not only how to acquire skills useful in industry, but how to transfer that knowledge to others.

How did this experience impact your college plan/career trajectory? Do you still want to pursue the same types of jobs?

I absolutely want to begin my career in the field of color control. The tension between data driven results and visual assessment is fascinating to me, and I want to master that dichotomy. Hitting a color target is immensely satisfying, and I want to develop the intuition I witnessed in the matchers I worked with.

Sruthi Koppol

B.S. PCC, 2024
Optometric Technician/Shadowing Optometrist, The Vision Studio
Cary, North Carolina

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

On a day-to-day basis, I was able to learn to use RevolutionEHR, an optometry practice management software to log patient appointments and data. I began by scribing Dr. Kasper one out of the three days I worked during the summer and continued with two working days into the fall semester this year.

I dealt with post-cataract surgery patients, ortho-k children, glaucoma cases and regular yearly eye exam individuals as well. For each of these types of patients, I would run pre-exam testing using machines such as the NCT, auto refractor, optos, OCT and topos. These machines incorporate imaging of the retina, corneal measurements as well as ocular pressures to help provide doctors with information regarding the condition of patients’ eyes.

What did you learn about yourself and what professional skills did you develop?

I learned that I am a quick learner when it comes to adding a skillset that I am interested in investing my time in. I have established that I do want a career in optometry and walking into The Vision Studio with this mindset has helped me take advantage of the machine learning, time management between patients and communicating my role in the office clearly.

Oftentimes early on, I had trouble making sure I interviewed patients after pre-testing in order to gather a summary for Dr. Kasper for why a patient is visiting. With practice, I was able to earn the hearts of many patients who would compliment my efficiency and concern during their visit and at the end of the day, that is all that mattered to me – being able to meet the needs of the patient and make sure they are comfortable with the eye care they receive before Dr. Kasper takes over with the appointment.

What was your favorite part of your time as an intern?

My favorite part is speaking one on one with patients from all walks of life who can be either very talkative or reserved about their concerns during the visit. It helped me work on my professionalism and communication skills, making sure I asked the right questions in an efficient manner so that Dr. Kasper does not fall behind on her schedule of patients for the day.

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Textile Engineering

Alyssa Phan

B.S. TE, 2022
Product Development Intern, Sigvaris Group (Research & Development and Quality Improvement Department)
Peachtree City, Georgia

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

My most involved project was analyzing the process efficiency of their circular knit machines by collecting data and using statistical tools to draw my conclusions.

Another project was understanding thermal comfort properties of socks to then use that knowledge to design and knit socks with improved thermal properties. Since the manufacturing plant was relatively small, I got to interact with a lot of people in all the departments.

What was your favorite part of your time as an intern?

My favorite part was how much of the sock manufacturing process was done in house. Yarns get shipped into the plant, and packaged socks leave the plant. I loved being able to see that whole process happen in that one building and then being able to talk with all the departments to learn more about what they do.

How did this experience impact your college plan/career trajectory? Do you still want to pursue the same types of jobs?

Before my internship, I never considered going into medical textiles, but now, I definitely consider it an option. In a way, this internship didn’t help to narrow down my career options, but I’m not mad about that. I used to want to either go into research and development or product development, but now I’m leaning more towards product development and/or quality improvement.

Jessica Schwendeman

B.S. TE, 2022
Product Development Intern, Bob Barker
Fuquay Varina, North Carolina

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

My day-to-day responsibilities included researching new product ideas, making prototypes of projects in the lab, collaborating with other team members in team meetings and coming up with new product ideas.

What was your favorite part of your time as an intern?

My favorite part of my internship was working with people who, presented with an idea, immediately said, “What resources can we get you to do this?” rather than, “We have these materials, figure out how to make something work.” The supportive environment helped me to thrive.

How did this experience impact your college plan/career trajectory? Do you still want to pursue the same types of jobs?

I always had a vague notion that I wanted to be in research and product development. Now, I’ve confirmed that.

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Textile Technology

Gunikka Ahuja

B.S. TT, 2022
Fabric Research and Development Intern, Fabletics
Remote, with a two week trip to Los Angeles, California

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

My daily tasks included researching new fabric technologies and onboarding sustainable fabric options for the 2022 activewear collections. I also worked with the color team to review the Pantone decks and approve colors using Lightbox and spectrophotometer. I also worked a lot with vendors to source fabrics and meet costing targets.

What did you learn about yourself and what professional skills did you develop?

I developed a lot of detail oriented skills during this internship such as developing a creative eye for color and calling out technical defects. I did learn a lot about material feel and properties and how the choice of materials can impact the cost for that season’s collection.

What was your favorite part of your time as an intern?

Collaboration!! I collaborated with so many amazing people in the activewear space and was able to expand my technical knowledge on textiles.

Emily Odykirk

B.S. TT, 2022
Market Development Intern, The LYCRA Company (Research and Development and Materials Innovation)
Newark, Delaware

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?
I had one special project that I worked on during my whole internship. For my project I drove research focused on novel modifications to the LYCRA® FitSense™ technology for apparel applications. Other than my main project, my daily responsibilities varied depending on areas of need. I aided the LYCRA® FitSense™ and marketing teams in understanding market needs, consumer pain points and identifying/developing new consumer-based solutions in the area of intimate apparel (bras, underwear, shapewear, leggings, sports bras, etc.). I did on-body fit model testing with products in the garment engineering lab for in-depth analysis of apparel performance. I also frequently worked alongside apparel companies to execute LYCRA® FitSense™ print suitability tests (trade support).
How did this experience impact your college plan/career trajectory? Do you still want to pursue the same types of jobs?
My experience reassured me that I do want to continue working toward a career in research and development. I also learned I really enjoy working with performance apparel. When you are shopping, you don’t always realize how much goes into the garments you pick up, but in my role I got to see that and be a part of making influential improvements in comfort. If I could continue to do that in my career after graduation, I think I would be very happy!
How do you think your time at Wilson College helped prepare you for your internship?
My time at the Wilson College helped prepare me for my time at The LYCRA Company very well. I worked in a research facility so they had one of pretty much every machine starting at dying and finishing, to knitting/weaving, and material testing. When I walked in on my first day I was prepared to be lost, but I found that I had a great understanding of the processes and was able to ask knowledgeable questions and follow along in technical meetings right away. Understanding the language of the industry was the most valuable information that helped me feel prepared.

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Master’s Programs

Ashley Heller

M.S. Textiles, 2022
Assistant Designer, Linda Hartman intimates
Raleigh, North Carolina

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

My responsibilities included tech packages, specs and marketing materials.

What did you learn about yourself and what professional skills did you develop?

I developed CAD proficiency and gained experience in the intimates industry.

How did this experience impact your college plan/career trajectory? Do you still want to pursue the same types of jobs?

I would like to bypass the assistant designer role and be a designer in CLO/3-D.

Cecilia Monge

M.S. Textiles, 2022
Kohl’s Design Intern
Remote

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

I worked on customer research and completed flat sketches of different garments the team needed. I also completed a pitch for a collection of adaptive kids clothing as well as a collection geared toward Gen-Z TikTok trends.

What did you learn about yourself and what professional skills did you develop?

I learned how to work on a team. I also learned about the product life cycle and how to complete professional line plan sketches and callouts.

How did this experience impact your college plan/career trajectory? Do you still want to pursue the same types of jobs?

Yes, absolutely. I definitely want to pursue design positions but perhaps one with more of a focus on technical design instead of concept and trend research!

Jackson Young

M.S. Textiles, 2022
Continuous Process Improvement Intern, Phifer Inc.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

My day-to-day responsibilities were learning the processes involved with my main summer project, spending time on the floor collecting live data, organizing data by making charts and graphs, meeting with managers and engineers to discuss problems surrounding my project, and helping operators or anyone else who needed assistance. My special project was to reduce the yarn package length variation, which also addressed the reduction of yarn scrap during manufacturing.

What did you learn about yourself and what professional skills did you develop?

I learned that I actually have a passion for manufacturing and continuous improvement that I didn’t know I had. Rolling up my sleeves, getting a little dirty and sweaty didn’t seem appealing at first, but it was very rewarding! I improved my communication skills by learning how to speak with operators, upper management and my peers. I also developed better Six Sigma skills by working on lowering variation and reducing waste.

How do you think your time at the Wilson College helped prepare you for your internship?

My time at the Wilson College helped prepare me by providing a solid foundation of textile material and textile manufacturing knowledge. Both of these were important in my role as an intern, and I am happy to have experienced a rigorous course load to prepare me for that position.

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Doctoral Programs

Faisal Abedin

Ph.D. Fiber and Polymer Science, 2022
Textile Research Engineer, Unspun (Hardware Team)
San Francisco, California

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

First, let me tell you details about Unspun. Unspun is a startup founded in 2016. The cool thing about Unspun is they made custom jeans for every individual. It’s more than just a denim brand. Using its own proprietary digital fit platform, they make each pair of jeans unique to the body shape and design from a 3-D scan. The mission is to reduce global carbon emissions by 1% through this zero-inventory, low-waste process.

I never realized I had so many responsibilities, and instead, it was full of fun. Working with a team of knowledgeable and professional engineers made by responsibilities seem trivial. As my job title suggests, I researched Unspun products, especially denim fabrics, and tried to contribute with technical insights for better quality fabrics for the customers from my previous experiences.I mainly worked on a particular project featuring a sustainable weaving solution for denim products.

What did you learn about yourself and what professional skills did you develop?

Traveling in a large city taught me to develop personal communications and how to adapt to a city where I did not know a single person before and in a global pandemic. This allowed me to think about myself, setting up my personal goals and finding positive outcomes throughout the entire period.

The Unspun team arranged several skill developing workshops, which helped me in my study and research. The workshops related to guidelines about intellectual property, 3-D printing and software developing skills.

How did this experience impact your college plan/career trajectory? Do you still want to pursue the same types of jobs?

An internship at a startup company certainly motivates anyone to be an entrepreneur in the long run. However, I’d like to look into new career opportunities in a well-established industry, which would allow me to gain more experience with startups and giant corporations.

Mushfika Mica

Ph.D. Textile Technology Management, 2024
Fashion Production and Design Intern, Good Measure
Raleigh, North Carolina

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

I worked on a special project for a medical apparel company to launch premium quality medical scrubs for female doctors and staff that are both functional and fashionable with a unique cut and design. Thus far, our team has developed prototypes for the staff to test.

My day-to-day responsibilities included market research, questionnaire development, interviewing potential consumers, fabric development and sourcing, and both prototyping and product development.

What did you learn about yourself and what professional skills did you develop?

While working on projects, I learned that I am a very good communicator. The professional skills I developed were interfacing with potential consumers, establishing relationships with material suppliers and conducting meetings with faculty, suppliers, consumers, and investors. I additionally improved my time management skills and ability to prioritize tasks.

What was your favorite part of your time as an intern?

Interacting with my coworkers and learning from them. I appreciated the candid atmosphere where thoughts and opinions could be openly discussed.

Kowshik Saha

Ph.D. Textile Technology Management, 2021
Technical Research Intern, Kontoor Brands, Inc.
Greensboro, North Carolina

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

Kontoor Brands Inc. offered me a summer internship as a technical research intern to work at their global innovation lab. As a technical research intern, my day-to-day job activities were reviewing scholarly articles, scientific reports and patents, as well as conducting lab trials. On top of running lab experiments and testing, my responsibilities were to communicate with various university scholars, scientists and company managers to discuss innovative material solutions. Furthermore, I worked on a company internship group project on social media analytics and worked on three different confidential projects on material development and process innovation for two and a half months. Among them, the project on industrial hemp fiber was special as Kontoor is planning to commercialize U.S. grown hemp denim in the next few years.

How did this experience impact your college plan/career trajectory? Do you still want to pursue the same types of jobs?

My internship experience had a strong relationship with my academic studies. During my internship, I worked on textile finishing innovations such as pretreatment applications, chemical experiments and finding solutions for fabric aesthetic properties made from sustainable and alternative fibers. Therefore, my internship experience at Kontoor will strengthen my material and process development knowledge to a greater extent. Yes, I would definitely pursue the same type of jobs such as research and development.

Was there anything during your internship that surprised you? For example, realizations about the industry or lessons you learned.

Yes, I was surprised to learn that industry problem solving requires a lot of communication with a lot of scholars, scientists and companies. More importantly, the projects are short term, unlike Ph.D. research, which requires a long time.

Edgar Garcia Torres

Ph.D. Textile Technology Management, 2023
Associate Engineer, W.L. Gore & Associates, Fabrics Division
Elkton, Maryland

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? Did you work on any special projects?

Unfortunately, I can’t really disclose too much of this. My days broadly consisted of working on my projects, attending intern events and doing meet and greets with the associates.

How do you think your time at Wilson College helped prepare you for your internship?

Going into the fabrics division, all of my classes on the properties and evaluation of textiles were invaluable in tackling my projects. Presenting data to a broad technical audience is something that I should give specific credit to Dr. Jur and Dr. Gorga for. Their Senior Design class incorporated that really well.

How did this experience impact your college plan/career trajectory? Do you still want to pursue the same types of jobs?

This internship helped me nail down exactly what career I want after I finish my Ph.D. The scientists at Gore really helped me see where I could end up with a doctorate degree.