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News Exploring the World of Fashion! 8/29/2018

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Mejean Family Student Experience Fund
The Mejean Family

​The Mejean Family

​New York. Paris. London. Milan. The world of fashion is truly one that crosses boundaries and covers the globe. For Katarina Mejean, AS18, pursuing a degree in fashion merchandising at the University of Delaware took her as far as Hong Kong. Born and raised in New York to parents who came to the U.S. from France and Germany, Katarina grew up with an appreciation for various cultures and travel. She decided to come to UD in part because of the University’s strong study abroad program and knew it would be important to get hands-on experience if she hoped to launch a successful career in the fashion industry. In the summer of her sophomore year, Katarina set her sights on Asia, where she had never been, and even secured an internship as a material services intern with Under Armour Hong Kong. She spent three months interacting with locals as well as communicating with businesses in nearby countries like Vietnam and Cambodia, learning both the culture of East Asia and more about the fashion and retail industry as a whole. “What better way of learning than by going to Asia and going to a hub such as Hong Kong and being able to really integrate yourself and learn from them firsthand?” Katarina says. Katarina often talked with her parents, Bruno Mejean and Martina Hund-Mejean, P18, about her study abroad experience, which later helped her land an internship and then a job as a merchandising development trainee with Saks Fifth Avenue. However, Katarina saw how difficult it could be for other fashion students to pursue much-needed study abroad opportunities. Her parents have long supported a number of charitable causes and have encouraged their children to think how they too can become involved with the community and world around them. As a family, the Mejeans discussed what they could do to support future UD fashion students. “When we looked at the Delaware program, and in particular the fashion program, which has a number of wonderful opportunities for students to go overseas, we felt that these programs were not easily available to everybody because of the cost,” Martina says. “And so, we wanted to do our part to help to make them available to more students, especially students who are not able to afford it.” By creating the Mejean Family Student Experience Fund, through the University-wide engagement and fundraising campaign, Delaware First, the family will help students in the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies who are eager to learn through real-world situations. The opportunity to study abroad or pursue an internship are invaluable experiences for any student, but especially those majoring in fashion. By learning outside of the classroom, students are exposed to the latest business practices and have access to technology in a rapidly changing industry, as well as make connections to potential mentors and future careers. “I want to help make sure that more students get this opportunity because it is so important in today's global environment to be able to travel and study abroad, and I just noticed not a lot of people could not do it unfortunately,” says Katarina, who will also continue to play a role as an alumna by serving on the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies Advisory Council. The fund ensures that more students will have access to international fashion industry leaders, experiences and opportunities—experiences that have proven to be instrumental to Katarina’s future. Through the Mejean Family Student Experience Fund, students won’t just explore the world of fashion, but explore what their future might hold. Since both Martina and her husband work in competitive global industries, they see the difference international experience makes when hiring decisions are made. “The world is getting smaller and smaller, and we truly believe that young adults will thrive much better in this kind of world if they have these international experiences,” Martina says. “It will make them better people, not only from a work point of view, but it will change them holistically. Their international experience will help them navigate different beliefs, different thinking, and different backgrounds.” For more information on how you can support Delaware First, email Stacey Muzzi or call her at 302-831-0764.

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​Exploring the World of Fashion!

8/29/2018
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  • Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies
  • 211 Alison Hall West
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-8714
  • fashion-studies@udel.edu