Citizen Scholar and Apparel and Textile Design Senior Looks Forward to Fashion Industry Career

Emma Stubbs, a senior Apparel and Textile Design major and Citizen Scholar, is preparing to graduate this spring and looks back on the many experiences she has had while a student at MSU that will help guide her as a professional designer. Some of these experiences include a study abroad to Italy, a study away to New York City, and an internship at the MSU Museum.

woman wearing a black top holding a Michigan State flag standing in front of a sunset above the water

“My time at MSU was a great experience to meet a lot of new people, connect with professors and alumni, and learn a lot about yourself,” Stubbs said. “It is very important to learn about yourself and develop your own designs and professional portfolio. MSU provides a lot of great resources and studio spaces to do so.”

As a Citizen Scholar, students like Stubbs take small classes that focus on community engagement and research opportunities and have access to Citizen Scholars mentors and advisors.

“The [Citizen Scholars] Program hosted an annual showcase where you were able to connect with professionals and share your research with others,” Stubbs said. “This experience will be helpful for my career because I center my work around ways to create a more inclusive society and how I can make a difference as an artist.”

It is very important to learn about yourself and develop your own designs and professional portfolio. MSU provides a lot of great resources and studio spaces to do so.

Students in the Citizen Scholars program receive a $5,000 scholarship that is used to pay for opportunities like study abroad, study away, undergraduate research, internships, or other enrichment opportunities.

Stubbs used this money to participate in the “Visual Art in Italy” study abroad to Venice and Florence during the summer of 2019. There, she visited the Biennale di Venezia, an international art exhibition featuring architecture, visual arts, cinema, dance, music, and theatre from artists from around the world that is held in the Castello district of Venice every two years.

woman wearing a black graphic top with a long skirt and white sneakers standing in front tan buildings in the background
Emma Stubbs during the “Visual Art in Italy” study abroad to Venice and Florence.

“I spent my time drawing scenery in Italy, visiting historical churches and museums, and studying a lot of artwork from the renaissance to modern,” Stubbs said. “On this trip, I learned a lot about myself as an artist and got to experience living in another country.”

During her freshman year, Stubbs attended the “Fashion, Culture, and Design Thinking” study away to New York City where she job shadowed a family friend at J. Crew and learned about the daily tasks of a technical fashion designer at a large company.

“I was able to experience the fast-paced fashion district, network with alumni, and take tours of fashion companies,” Stubbs said. “It was a great experience to learn about the careers in the fashion industry in New York City.”

I spent my time drawing scenery in Italy, visiting historical churches and museums, and studying a lot of artwork from the renaissance to modern. On this trip, I learned a lot about myself as an artist and got to experience living in another country.

On top of her work with textiles and fashion, Stubbs also is pursuing a minor in Museum Studies.

“I started my Museum Studies minor my junior year because I have always had a love for museums and was interested in learning more about them, and perhaps open up more career opportunities or master’s programs,” Stubbs said. “My major and minor work together because I am interested in fashion collections and art museums.”

Stubbs currently works as a Marketing and Communications intern for the MSU Museum where she combines her love for fashion and art with her interest in museum studies. She works with their apparel and textile collection where she researches and creates videos on special pieces for the museum’s social media and YouTube accounts.

woman wearing a tan turtleneck and black mask sting in a room with white cabinets
Emma Stubbs at the MSU Museum

“It is a great experience to learn about collections in museums,” she says, “as well as learning about the history of fashion.”

Stubbs also had a production and operations internship with the local swimsuit company Root Swim during her sophomore year in 2019. She developed original patterns, sewed samples and swimsuits, and collaborated with a design team. She also gained experience navigating an online fashion business.

Stubbs also expresses her interests in fashion as a member of the student-operated VIM Magazine. This year she is a designer in its annual fashion show.

My favorite part of VIM Magazine has been attending, and this year I will be a featured designer in their annual fashion show…This experience will help navigate my future as a designer.

“My favorite part of VIM Magazine has been attending, and this year I will be a featured designer in their annual fashion show,” Stubbs said. “This experience is great to showcase my work and network with other designers and people with similar interests in fashion. This experience will help navigate my future as a designer.”

After graduation, Stubbs hopes to continue her work as a fashion designer and looks to start her own clothing brand. She currently is applying for jobs with the fashion industry in New York City and with several museums in Chicago.