October 27, 2016
Think of Anna Schumm as fashionably early. After only two years as a double major in fashion design and fashion merchandising, she landed a summer internship that was typically reserved for recent graduates of fashion programs. Schumm spent the summer interning at Cleveland-based National Safety Apparel, a company that designs and manufactures garments that keep workers and soldiers safe around the world.
Working alongside Ursuline graduates Melissa Gerhardt ’10 and Vanessa Feldcamp ’14, two of the seven full-time designers on staff, Schumm dove in and learned as much as she could.
“I learned about working with patterns on CAD (computer aided design programs). I hadn’t had that in school yet. I got to work on technical sketches for people in the factory. I think there are 43 different languages spoken in the factory, so technical sketches are very important. They said I had good attention to detail,” Schumm said.
The first garment for which she developed a full set of technical instructions was an aluminized mitten that will keep workers safe from extreme heat.
The Findlay, Ohio native enjoyed being able to apply her classroom learning in the professional setting last summer. Now she is applying what she learned at National Safety Apparel to her class work. “It’s giving me an edge in my classes. I can definitely move more quickly through assignments and focus on the more minute details of things.”
"CAD for Fashion" instructor Anne-Marie Gurko ’09, ’16 MA, said, "I definitely see how the skills Anna learned in her internship have carried over to this semester. She's a very hard worker." Schumm looks forward to using a 3D printer in Gurko's class in the near future to design and create accessories.
She is grateful to her instructor, May Cygan Beard ’92, for informing her about the position and helping her prepare for the internship interview. “She and I talk extensively before and after class. The thing about our program that I think is unique and served me well in my internship is that we are so small. If I’m working on a project, my professor can come up and say, ‘Why don’t you try this technique.’ That access to the faculty is super valuable.”
Schumm is already scouting out opportunities for next summer, even though her ultimate goal is to work for herself. “I’m going to have to work somewhere after graduation to save up capital to start my own business.” She envisions designing her own fashion lines and selling them – along with jewelry and other merchandise – in her own shop. “I already have a business plan, logo and social media presence for my start-up. I took a branding class with May Beard last year.”
Meanwhile, Schumm will stay plenty busy studying, working as an RA in a residence hall, working part time in the Office of Student Affairs and serving as president of Ursuline’s Programming Board.