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Entrepreneurial Dream Leads Graduate Student to Textiles Online Program

NC State graduate student Nicole Edwards is the marketing manager for the Department of Housing and Residential Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her job is to keep students living on campus after their freshman year.

Edwards is currently enrolled in NC State’s Master of Textiles online degree program offered by the College of Textiles. So, what does textiles have to do with Edwards’ current career? It doesn’t.

“That’s exactly why I applied for the program,” Edwards said. “I was looking for something different!”

There were many factors as to why Edwards chose the Textiles Online Program at NC State, including the fact that the College of Textiles is the global leader in textiles education and research.

“I knew it would provide career opportunities in an industry that is both creative and challenging,” Edwards said.

She also needed a program that was flexible since 40 hours of her week is dedicated to her job.
There was definitely a learning curve in trying to figure out how to manage my time effectively,” Edwards said. She also learned that starting assignments early was crucial to completing them on time.

“It’s necessary to make sure my priorities are straight, which sometimes means saying no to a social obligation because I have homework or a paper due,” Edwards said. She also complimented her online instructors for their willingness to adjust her assignment deadlines based on her work schedule.

“Despite the fact that you may feel a bit disconnected as you watch lectures over a screen and not in-person, the professors are more than willing to speak with you, provide advice and help you work through problems if you just reach out to them,” Edwards said.

One professor and course that stands out – Associate Professor Helmut Hergeth’s TTM 561: Strategic Technology Management in the Textile Complex course.

“Professor Hergeth used the lectures to delve into the applicability of different technologies in the textile industry, but used the assignments to allow us to explore our own areas of interest,” Edwards explained.

The course also allowed her to explore two key areas within textiles she was interested in knowing more about.

“I was able to write about the evolution of printing patterns and motifs on fabrics, as well as the niche textile manufacturing industries that remain successful in North Carolina,” Edwards said.

Overall, her experience with NC State Online and Distance Education and the Textiles Online Program has been positive.

“Not every person fits into the full-time student mold that lives on or around campus and I am grateful that NC State offers alternate, flexible opportunities for people,” Edwards said.

Edwards is expected to complete her master’s degree in December 2017. She even has plans once she graduates.

“I plan on starting my own North Carolina-based clothing line that focuses on unique textile designs. Everything I’ve learned…will be crucial to the development of my company,” Edwards explained.

Students can learn more about the online Master of Textiles Program on the Textiles Online Programs website.

This post was originally published in Online and Distance Education News.

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