Like many incoming freshmen, Jodie Swayze, B.S.’10, wasn’t sure what she wanted her major to be when she first came to Henderson. But after taking a class in the family and consumer science (FCS) department, Jodie found a community she wanted to be a part of. “While taking that class, I realized that I loved all the things they had going on and all the professors were wonderful, all nice and helpful! It felt like a family in the FCS department and I loved it!” she said.
After her initial decision to stay in FCS, she quickly decided on a specialization in fashion merchandising. She said her decision was based on her love for fashion and changing trends. Her enthusiasm for the topic kept her motivated even when she faced challenging assignments. “Even though the classes were really tough at times, it just made me appreciate all the things I was learning,” she said. Among her favorite classes were History of Costume I and II and Professional Image Development.
As a first assistant store manager at a retail store, Jodie’s current position is directly related to her studies at Henderson. She says that several experiences stand out as ones that have helped her develop the skills she needs to succeed in the field. Twice, she traveled to Dallas, Texas, for Career Day sponsored by Fashion Group International. The event offers classes dealing with different areas of the fashion industry and a fashion show competition, which features designs by students all over the world. Of the experience, Jodie said, “Getting to be involved that closely with people actually working in the fashion world was a great experience.”
She also credits some classroom assignments--like designing an interchangeable wardrobe, developing a concept for her own store and analyzing her body type to choose the best professional wardrobe—with helping her feel confident and prepared after graduation.
Jodie hopes to one day be a buyer for a retail store and possibly develop her own fashion line. “I believe there is no limit to what I can do with my career,” she said. “I think that the [Henderson] fashion merchandising program has prepared me for anything that comes my way.”