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Maya Mitchall ’24: From NC State to Luxury Fashion in NYC

Maya Mitchall first realized that the Wilson College of Textiles was where she wanted to call home after sitting in on a brand management and marketing class taught by Associate Professor Delisia Matthews

“After that class, I realized that I really wanted to be in the fashion space and that the Wilson College of Textiles family was the right fit for me.”

Four years later, Mitchall, a Centennial Scholar, is leaving the Wilson College of Textiles to begin her career in luxury fashion. After interning at Bloomingdale’s in New York City, Mitchall will join the team full-time as a marketing coordinator. 

“My internship ended up solidifying that this is what I wanted to do, and this is where I wanted to be in marketing. I want to work in fashion, especially luxury fashion.”

Maya Mitchall Standing in front of Bloomingdale's sign at Bloomingdale's office.

Which class at Wilson has been your favorite?

My favorite class has been FTM 382, Brand Management in Textiles. One of the things I love about this major is that with each class I take, I find myself even more excited about my field and fashion marketing in general.

FTM 382 is awesome because it talks about brand perception – how you, as a consumer, think about brands – and how that impacts how you choose to shop at different brands. All of that is really fascinating to me, and we learned about how marketing can help shape that in the minds of consumers. Taking that class helped me figure out I definitely wanted to be on the more creative side of marketing. It was just really fascinating to learn about.

What organizations have you been involved in on campus?

During my time at NC State, I’ve been involved in Windover, the literary and arts magazine on campus, and Platform, the fashion and culture magazine on campus. The community I have made through Platform magazine has been really impactful for me. I’ve also been the social media chair for Le Cercle Français, the French club on campus, for two years. 

Maya Mitchall and other NRF at NC State Club members pose in front of Implus sign with Director of Career Services and Club Advisor Jeff Sackaroff.

Additionally, I am a part of the NRF at NC State club, which I founded to give students more career development opportunities and connections in textiles. Creating the club has challenged me in a leadership capacity and it has been really rewarding to see people get internships as a result of the club and have fun at the NRF student program.

What did you learn during your semester abroad?

Academically, I learned a lot during my semester studying abroad at the Lorenzo De’Medici Institute in Florence, Italy. I took courses in fashion consumer behavior, fashion photography, which was my favorite class, and fashion communication. I am a photographer for Platform Magazine, so I especially loved taking the fashion photography course and applying my photography experience to fashion and my career path.

Even though my professors talked about this at NC State, my study abroad experience really showed me just how much fashion is truly global. I went to Milan to attend Milan Fashion Week and do some volunteering there, and it was really interesting to see how fashion is different in different places around the world. In my fashion consumer behavior class, we studied Italian consumers and how the Italian consumer is different from the U.S. consumer. Little things like that are really important to my career in marketing, specifically because not all of your consumers are going to be in one place and so many brands are global.

Maya Mitchall and friend pose in an alleyway in Florence, Italy.

Interpersonally, I learned a lot about my independence, confidence and ability to try new things. The experience has solidified for me that I can live elsewhere, live on my own, step out into the world and interact with other people. 

What advice would you give your first year self?

My first-year self was very career-driven and was all eyes on the prize. How do I get into the industry? How do I get the internship? How do I get the job? My advice for my first-year self would be to slow down. 

Yes, it’s great to be prepared. But take some time to actually enjoy your time on campus, make friends, go to the football game, go to the birthday party.

Take the time to really enjoy college. Do those college traditions because the job will always be there, the future will always be there, but you can’t be so forward-thinking that you’re missing the present.