ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Blake Burnett (Merchandise Marketing)

blake-burnettBorn and raised in North Texas, Blake Burnett graduated from Wade College in 2015 with his degree concentration in Merchandise Marketing. “Attending Wade taught me everything I would need to know and more. I have applied what I have learned in many situations in my career.” Today, you’ll find him handling procurement for the Store Brand Environmental Design & Construction team at Fossil Group, Inc.

With the company being home to design and distribution of fashion lifestyle and accessory products, including a diverse portfolio of internationally-recognized brands, it’s no wonder why Burnett enjoys Fossil’s culture.  “Even though my work load can be quite taxing, the work environment and culture is laidback and makes each workday much more pleasant. I am constantly staying organized by creating a daily list of tasks and priorities to accomplish.” Burnett assists Project Management and Real Estate teams to complete the project closeout process. He regularly communicates with suppliers, as well as internal and external construction partners to ensure dates and deadlines for all store related projects. In addition, Burnett works with Procurement, Finance and external partners to track accurate project spends. “I also attend roughly 6-8 meetings in a week and balance my work schedule accordingly to insure the best time management.”

What advice do you have for students/graduates beginning their careers in your profession?

Don’t be discouraged when you don’t get the job the first time. I failed several times before I achieved my goals. To be successful, you must be persistent. This is something that can’t be taught. It is something you must do all on your own.

What opportunities, decisions, and events have shaped your professional life?

I was originally hired as a Temp for Fossil Group, Inc., so as for opportunities, this would be a good type of position to start in.  I made sure to prove my worth and was consistent in my work ethic and commitments. My decision to constantly show value is why I am still here at Fossil. Since I have dyslexia, I have always been thought of as someone with a learning disability. I was told it would be harder for me to succeed academically and professionally (which it was). That gave me the extra push to prove that I can do whatever I put my mind to, and my “learning disability” wasn’t going to hold me back.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

I am most proud of being able to provide a safe and secure life for my son because of where I am now. Also, being thrown in the lion’s den from the start and coming out on top. I was able to accomplish what I have today regardless of my dyslexia.

Motto that you live by:

Slow down before you speed up. Stay educated. Know your stuff. Always stay on your game and continue to educate yourself because you never stop learning.

Anything else you’d like to share? 

Wade College was a great stepping stone for me. Attending Wade really gave me the insight and direction to be where I am today. So, thanks!!

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Tommy Brooks III (AA-FD ’14) Designs His Career Path To Success

TBrooksIII2016-05-23-11-54-14Tommy L. Brooks III, AA-Fashion Design ’14, initially interned with Dallas-based fashion designers such as Abi Ferrin to gain his footing in the industry. Working with Abi Ferrin helped shape his professional life. “Seeing the business side of the clothing line helped me to gain an understanding in trying to start my own line.”

Today, Brooks is the Quality Control / Lead for Dallas designer Tish Cox and her high-end fashion line. “I inspect the quality of garments for the TISH COX brand, knowing fabric science, pressing, and steaming. He is also as the Assistant Designer for Dallas Lighthouse Sportswear division. “I design concepts for Dallas Lighthouse Sportswear, along with sewing, measuring specs for garments, and training.”

Describe a typical work day:

After determining which deadline dates are priority, I provide the seamstresses with the work needed for the day. As they are working, I check for quality, time, and OSHA Compliance. If there are mishaps with fabric or machines, I communicate with the Manager and employees, and receive an acceptable plan of action.

What do you enjoy most about your career?

 Handling the various fabrics, and hustle and bustle of it all.

How did education at Wade College help prepare you for your career?

Fabric Science or Textiles is EXTREMELY helpful. You must know what fabric you are dealing with and what it can do.

What advice do you have for students/graduates beginning their careers in your profession?

 Always be courteous and on-time. A strong, dependable work ethic is key! Be confident in the education you receive from Wade College. It is very beneficial.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

I started my own company / brand by the name of Ruisseaux. As of February 2016, I am officially the CEO of Ruisseaux Apparel Inc. I had a small debut line July of 2016.

Motto that you live by:

Do not attach your name to just anything.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Keep your word. Let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no”.

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