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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Thank You, Job Fair Employers!

job fair_SU16_3A special “Thank You!” to our valued Employers in the Dallas / Fort Worth area for sharing your job opportunities at our SUMMER 2016 JOB FAIR: American Girl Boutique & Bistro, Armani Exchange A|X, ArtLoveMagic, Chico’s, Clotheshorse Anonymous, Colletta Showroom, Culture Hype, LIZNA, Meesh + Mary Boutique, The Limited, and Winter Lennon!

The Office of Career Services has been hearing from many students who are already in the interviewing process as a result of Wade College’s Job Fair. If you found an opportunity at our event, we would love to hear about it!

If you are a Wade College student or alumni, and missed our triannual Job Fair, please check out their job opportunities and many others on our online job board WADE CAREER CONNECTION.

Our next Job Fair will be in October 2016.

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Spotlight on Employer: Fossil Group, Inc.

The iconic watch tins. The diverse portfolio of globally-recognized brands. Numerous stores worldwide, wholesale locations, and a robust e-commerce business. These are things that make Fossil Group, Inc. a highly-sought out company to work for. Headquartered locally in Richardson, Texas, this global organization is home to design and distribution of fashion lifestyle and accessory products. Fossil Group, Inc. encompasses the American vintage Fossil brand, Portfolio brands such as Burberry, Diesel, Michael Kors, and Tory Burch, as well as contemporary lifestyle brand Skagen.

More than a dozen of Wade College Merchandising & Design Alumni are contributing their skillset to the growth of Fossil Group Inc. They are gaining exciting industry experiences within various departments of Digital Imaging, Portfolio Product Development, Materials Development, Store & Environmental Design, Fossil Jewelry, Fossil Men’s Leather, and Fossil Women’s Leather. The combination of their Merchandising & Design degrees, positive attitude, professional demeanor, and willingness to embrace opportunities to learn and do new things are some of the skills and traits that many Employers like Fossil Group, Inc. desire.

Wade College Alumni at work

Wade College Grads at Work!

Alumni Spotlight: Shuntae Wordlaw, Interior Design

shuntaeDallas native Shuntae Wordlaw graduated from Wade College with a degree concentration in Interior Design. “I have loved the design industry for as long as I can remember. One of my favorite things to do as a little girl was to sketch floor plans of my imaginary dream home. As I became older, I started sketching furniture to place inside my dream home. Later, I started imagining what colors the walls would be and what the accessories would look like. It was then that I realized that what I envisioned had become bigger than me and that I should pursue a career in interior design.”

Shuntae is the Display Coordinator for Haverty’s Furniture. “I begin my day at work walking the showroom floor to ensure that everything looks presentable for the customers. After the showroom is nice and tidy, the real work begins. I spend my day hanging pictures, changing displays, placing accessories, and making beds. I also offer customers tips and tricks with designing their home. I love that each day is different. There is always a design challenge to be solved.”

For people beginning their careers in this industry, Shuntae recommends, “Keep an open mind. The rules in design are not concrete. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box and take a risk. It’s those moments that we create amazing things!”

Alumni Spotlight: Billy Crawford, BA-Merchandise Management

Billy CrawfordBilly Crawford, 2013 BA-Merchandise Management Alumni and Merchandise Assistant of Pier 1 Imports Inc. headquartered in Fort Worth, TX, shares his experiences as a student at Wade College and about his career in the industry.

What are your primary responsibilities as a Merchandise Assistant?
I create SKUs, processing all purchase orders to vendors, executing all purchase order changes including cost, payment terms, ship dates, ship ports, cancellations, and consolidations. I initiate all new order forms and applying all tax codes and applicable surcharges. I assist Buyers with samples including product validation for e-commerce and gathering competitive market research on other retailers

Describe a typical work day.
A typical day at the office can vary. Many days will involve writing new order forms for new product that has been decided to purchase. Re-buys also come through daily on SKUs that we carry year-round or on their low inventory. I assist 3 Buyers, 2 Merchandise Planners, and 2 Allocation Analysts over 5 different departments including rugs, bedding, throws, window treatments, and shower linens. One day may include a compliance meeting about flammability reports for bedding versus the next day we have a meeting on areas of opportunity for a solid program for outdoor rugs. There is daily involvement and communication with overseas vendors about purchase orders or characteristics about products.

What do you enjoy most about your career?
The thing that I enjoy most about my career thus far is the constant involvement with different types of work in the office. I work many different people and departments. I have worked with legal, product compliance, buying, planning and allocations, and marketing/e-commerce. It has showed me all the different occupations that really exist out there and helps you narrow down what really interests you.

Why did you choose Wade College?
I chose Wade College because of the smaller campus size and the prime location in the Dallas Design District. Also, I was intrigued by how industry professionals taught many of the courses.

How did education at Wade College help prepare you for your career?
Wade College significantly helped prepared me for my career by offering courses that relate to my current occupation. Many things that were learned in these courses are brought to the workplace! Do not study just to make a letter grade, study to remember! There is also a correlation between what I was taught in the classroom and with my current job role. Many of the tasks that I complete daily were discussed in multiple courses. I understand the merchandising jargon versus someone coming in with an accounting or business degree. Wade College helped prepare me for this industry!

What advice do you have for students and recent graduates beginning their careers in your profession?
The most precious advice that I can give involves what employers are looking for. Many students, (myself at the time) focus to make straight A’s and fail to realize that is only part of the “game.” Many employers are looking for candidates that are well-rounded. They want individuals that have experience, have stories to share, have accomplishments outside of the classroom. You might be the smartest student but that doesn’t make you the sharpest crayon in the box. Last but not least, you have to network! It is crucial in order to survive in these areas of concentration.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?
My proudest accomplishment is acquiring a corporate level position in merchandising within 6 months of earning my Bachelor of Arts degree.

Who inspires you in your career?
My co-workers are definitely my inspiration. They have taught me not only to work hard, but how to be a better person and how to be optimistic in every situation. I definitely follow their leadership and I’m constantly intrigued by their perseverance.

Wade College is very proud of you, Billy Crawford!