Studying for finals is always a bummer, but when you just found out you won a coveted fashion scholarship and are going to New York on an all expense paid trip, studying is impossible. When I started the case study for my marketing elective class, little did I know that I would win one of the YMA FSF scholarships. The non-profit organization founded by fashion designer Geoffery Beene to grant scholarships and mentorships to students. It was such a surprise when Professor Sandi Lampo called me and told me the news; studying was so off the menu.
Landing at La Guardia sent a shiver of excitement over my body, I was actually in New York and the next day I would be attending the awards dinner and meeting CEOs, designers, and presidents of huge fashion corporations. The taxi ride to the Waldorf Astoria was actually a great experience, I felt like a real New Yorker. After about a 20-minute ride, I arrived at my hotel and stood in awe of the Waldorf. This hotel was once home to Frank Sinatra, Cole Porter, and a million other famous and successful people; everything about the hotel dazzled me.
That night the group of Texas A&M girls gathered in the lobby and decided on a big dinner to celebrate our accomplishments. We took a taxi, yet again, and arrived at a posh restaurant in the meatpacking district. When we walked up to the restaurant we were informed that it was closed for a private party, but we didn’t care about the inconvenience because we were in New York and everything, no matter how annoying, it felt new and fresh. So we walked half a block and found an adorable little French restaurant and ate a wonderful meal that was much needed after hours of walking earlier that day in the city.
The whole next day was devoted to practicing for the awards dinner. We had to make sure that we were on cue with the music, our pace was right on time, and we were in the right groups according to school. Even though we were all college students, this took a substantially long time because we were in awe of the grand ballroom and all the festivities that were taking place to prepare for the dinner.
After practicing ended, we had a little time to primp our hair and fix our makeup before the VIP reception with the board of executives. As we walked into the cocktail reception, the executives and our mentor, Sherri Rosenfeld, greeted us. She had been helping us with our cases throughout the semester and being our advocate to the board who were deciding which cases were worthy of winning. I was mingling with the executives, when a man walked up to our group. I recognized him because, being the overachiever I am, I had made a dossier of the executives and memorized their faces and positions. The man was Tom Hutton, the CEO of Geoffrey Beene, and he was coming up to talk to us because he said our papers impressed him. This was a surreal moment for me, the CEO of a major company thought that my ideas were impressive and was congratulating me for my accomplishments. The reception lasted for about an hour and we met the CEO of Macy’s, the CEO of Phillips-Van Huessen, and the presidents of both of these companies — along with many, many more people of the same stature, and all of them seemed impressed with us.
The awards dinner was an amazing experience; the master of ceremonies, Mary Alice Stevenson who is a celebrity stylist, honored us. All of the scholars sat at a long elegant table in the center of the ballroom because we were the highlight of the dinner. I felt so honored to be congratulated for my achievements among a group of such highly esteemed and successful individuals. It was an event that I will never forget, and I am so blessed to have been chosen to receive the scholarship.
Thanks to my mother and father for helping me with this amazing achievement and to Dr. Lampo for pushing us through all the obstacles of this case study. I think she probably spent more time on our projects than we did, editing them and sending them to us to revise and keeping us motivated to work hard. And thanks to God because without Him, none of this would be possible.