Students awarded scholarships for their innovation in the fashion industry

CSU scholarship winners in Times Square. Photo from Arran Senn.

Kelsey Hussey

Developing compelling case studies led to big rewards for 10 students in the Department of Design and Merchandising. Months of hard work paid off as the students received highly competitive scholarships from the Fashion Scholarship Fund. The winning students were invited to attend an all-expenses paid awards dinner in New York City accompanied by multiple networking events.

This is the second year that Colorado State University has been invited to have students apply for the FSF scholarship. This year, more than half of the applicants at CSU earned a scholarship and those who didn’t receive the scholarship received incredibly high scores.

“These students made us so proud and they represented CSU so well,” Department Head Nancy Miller said. “They are excellent examples of the talent in our program.”

Fashion Scholarship Fund

The FSF has been around for about 80 years with the goal of seeking out talented, young professionals who are looking to join the fashion industry after graduation. This fund also stresses the importance of networking by pairing winners of FSF with a mentor within the industry for career advice and support.

Students take months out of the year to develop, build, and refine an elaborate case study with a focus in either Design and Product Development or Merchandising and Marketing.

“FSF advances the students’ level of confidence within the industry and gives them an amazing opportunity to be mentored by high-level industry professionals,” Apparel and Merchandising Internship Coordinator and Instructor Carol Engel-Enright said. “For a student to be able to write, research, and develop a solution with that amount of detail and then to receive a reward from a high-level executive is truly amazing.”

This industry-supported fund allows students to rise a notch above other individuals and interact with influential members within the fashion industry. It gives students a glimpse of what they can achieve.

“This is a very significant award. These students should be very proud of their hard work and I’m excited for the networking and alumni connections that come out of this,” Engel-Enright said.

Hard work paying off

This case study takes an extensive amount of time and innovation, but the Design and Merchandising faculty made sure they provided the students with as many resources and advice as possible. Students had the opportunity to focus their case study to cater their interests.

Apparel and merchandising student Arran Senn explained, “I started doing preliminary research for the scholarship in the summer and narrowed down which retailers I wanted to focus on. I also started thinking of the technological aspect and bounced around ideas with my dad for new products and services that aren’t currently in the market.”

“I pieced together a ten-page case study on how I could merge digital technology into retail stores to increase foot traffic and sales,” said Mackenzie Brigham, apparel and merchandising student. “You have to give yourself plenty of preparation time because you may completely start over a month before the scholarship due date like I did.”

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