COM Alumni Spotlight
Eileen Normanly Vincett
|Graduation Date:||May 2001|
Senior Designer of Men's Accessories
|Current Location:||London, England|
What was your favorite class in the COM Department? Why?
Do I have to only pick one? I really enjoyed Public Speaking with Tammy Bulger and find that I have used skills learned when giving speeches in my design presentations while in New York and in London. Having confidence when speaking in front of a group is an invaluable skill and her course, and all of my COM Studies courses, gave me the foundation as I entered the work force.
What organizations/groups were you involved in while you were a student?
I was a member of the UNCW Dance Team my four years in Wilmington and the Captain my Junior and Senior years. I look back at my time dancing at the basketball games and serving as an ambassador in the community and it gives me great pride to have represented the school with my fellow hard working dancers on the squad. The CAA tournaments weren't bad either!
Did you complete a departmental internship? If so, please list your internship agency.
I did not do any internships but I HIGHLY recommend them to students in the program now. Any opportunity for work experience you can get prior to graduation will make you that much more marketable and confident when you begin your job search.
How are you using the skills/concepts learned from your COM degree in your life?
So much of what I do uses skills learned in the COM studies department. I take things from Dr. Weber's Organizational Communication course when selling my initial ideas in our internal business units to when I negotiate with factories in India and China. When working with cross functional partners internally, Dr. Comeaux's Small Group Communication course comes into play when managing conflicts, collaborating and problem solving. Dave Bollinger's Interpersonal Communication can come in handy also when dealing with challenging personalities in and out of work! I even get to use my Performance of Literature skills when being creative at work and explaining my design ideas and inspiration...I find the fun ways of selling a story like Dr. Tallant taught me along with the important discipline of keeping a journal...These lessons all come in handy. I carry my sketch book with me EVERYWHERE! I could likely reference back to all of my courses in some way which seems strange considering I'm a designer. I didn't go to fashion school and I like to believe the discipline, techniques and overall instruction received at UNCW in the COM studies department gave me the "Ask lots of questions", "Learn as much as you can"..."Speak UP!" skills to make it in New York and now London in the fashion industry.
What are your proudest accomplishments since graduating from UNCW?
Since leaving UNCW I have worked for two highly successful brands in New York City, Coach and J.Crew, designing their men's bags and accessories. I have been so lucky to learn from retail business geniuses including Micky Drexler which I'm very grateful. While living there, I also ran two ING New York City Marathons and raised money for "Team for Kids," an organization which supports youth fitness programs to get kids moving! These are all personal accomplishments but I'm the most proud of the work I did to go from entry level administrative support employee to Senior Designer in a very tough industry in the greatest city in the world (my biased opinion).
Communication is. . .
and will always be paramount in everything we do from dialogue with our family and friends via verbal, nonverbal and social media to debates, discussions and collaboration between colleagues, political party lines and international platforms. Everything moves forward because of communication.
What advice would you give current COM majors?
Pay attention in class and apply what you learn every day while studying. Start thinking now about your goals and aspirations once you finish your COM studies degree. Take it from me...you can pick any field and the tools taught at UNCW will get you there if you make a plan, work your butt off (nothing will be given to you), and network network network. One more thing....Linkedin is for colleagues and recruiters...Facebook is for friends. There is a difference. Best of luck to you all!
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