Vanguard: News from the College of Human Environmental Sciences
Olivia Bleeker, TAM Senior...Paving the Path to Success
If I had to choose one word to sum up my time in the College of HES the last four years, it would be fulfilling. When I came to college, my dream for after graduation was to work in the sustainable fashion industry. The Textile and Apparel Management department has done everything and more in order to help me accomplish this dream! Through classes, panels, presentations, and support, I feel so at home in the TAM Department, and this department truly laid the groundwork for me to have such an incredible undergrad experience here at Mizzou.
One of my biggest passions in life is traveling and experiencing new cultures, so I was happy to find that my passion was not only accepted but encouraged here at Mizzou. Because of opportunities that the College of HES provided, I have had amazing opportunities to spend six months studying abroad in a Mediterranean beach town in Spain (2016), work at a sustainable fashion company in Guatemala for three months (2017), and experience a behind-the-scenes look at New York Fashion Week (2018). Throughout all of these amazing experiences, I chronicled my adventures on my travel + fashion blog, A Drop in the Ocean. As I did so, I created connections with companies all around the world, which then opened doors to earn money, travel, and make countless friends all through my blog!
Not only did I form connections in an online platform, but I also made many close connections right here at Mizzou. These friendships with students, faculty, and staff alike provided me with so many deep relationships within the College, which only contributed to the small, family-like bond that I experienced during these four years at Mizzou. I truly think these connections are what created so many opportunities for me within the College. My junior year, I was selected as the HES Textile and Apparel Management Student Ambassador where I attended recruitment events and helped promote the College I love so much. Then, junior and senior year, I have been working in the HES Advancement and External Relations Office where I learned marketing, PR, and event planning skills as well as getting to work with the gracious alumni and donors for the College of HES.
As I now begin to prepare for graduation in May and start to plan what I will do after I graduate, I look back at the last four years with the best memories. Not only do I have nothing but amazing times to look back on, but I will close this chapter at Mizzou with several incredible mentors who have been there every step of the way during my college career.
My advice to any new students would be this…
- Step outside your comfort zone.
- Join a student org that you’re interested in.
- Talk to your professors.
- Befriend everyone. Don’t just stick to professors or students in your major – find friends all throughout the College.
- Make your college experience yours. Even though you will graduate with the same major as your classmates, you can blaze your own trail and create a completely different experience!
- When you’re walking down the halls of Gwynn and Stanley, talk to everyone. Smile and show others you’re a friendly, approachable person.
- Do things that will set you up for success within HES and provide you with the opportunity for the best years of your life!