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!!

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: Isi Gonzalez, Graphic Design

Wade College Alumni, Graphic Design 2013Meet Isi, Wade College Graphic Design Alumni who works with Digital Imaging for Fossil Group headquartered in Richardson, Texas.

Describe a typical work day:

I coordinate photo studio activities all throughout the process for brands such as Fossil, Burberry, Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Armani, DKNY, Diesel, Adidas, Skagen. I create and update visual guides, handle imagery quality control to be the final source of imagery for the company worldwide, production, and retouching support for the team. I maintain close contact with all brands that Fossil Group serves. Also, I have worked on really exciting projects and launches such as the most recent Tory Burch watch launch where I had the chance to see her literally 10 feet away from me!

Why did you choose Wade College?

Wade was the best option as far as the professors’ teaching methods, how well connected the school is to the industry, infinite intern and volunteer opportunities, support from professors and peers to continue working towards your degree, and best of all, the incredible support to be ready for the real world!

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

From the smallest thing such as be in class on time, to how to carry yourself and be yourself at the same time, the concentration towards building a portfolio, and the support to start in the industry with volunteering, Wade helped me jump start my career.

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

Educate yourself. You’re already in school, but that it’s not enough. Get involved in local industry associations such as DSVC, go to seminars, conferences, volunteer, and enter design contests. Explore your creativity in and out of the classroom. Try and fail, but keep trying. Explore every single branch of your industry before committing to one.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

In general, being where I am with a Bachelor’s in marketing, an Associate’s in graphic design, working on my Master’s, working for Fossil, freelancing, and being part of this awesome industry!

Quote that you live by:

There is so many!!! In general, “My life is constantly under construction, there is always something to improve.” But one of the ones that drive me everyday is: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when know better, do better” by Maya Angelou and “When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.”