Ambassador Post: How NC State Entrepreneurship Has Shaped My Career Path
This is a guest post by Entrepreneurship Student Ambassador, Marissa Noon. Marissa is a junior studying Textile Engineering with a minor in Industrial Engineering.
Freshman year of college can be such an exciting and scary time! You’re 18 years old and you have your whole life ahead of you. You call the shots now. You are independent, full of life, and passionate.
Here’s a little bit of background on my freshman year. Being from Tennessee, I was 400 miles away from anything familiar. I came to NC State to study engineering; I wanted to be an industrial engineer to bridge the gap between science and business. If there’s anything you need to know about me, it’s that I am a very driven and forward thinker. I dream of making my future the best it can be and of all the possibilities it has in store for me.
I decided to apply for the Industrial Engineering program as my first choice, Textile Engineering as a second choice because my friend was interested in that at the time (not me, just my friend), and lastly, Biomedical Engineering, which I knew I didn’t want to do. Long story short, I didn’t get into the Industrial Engineering program. It devastated me. Like I mentioned before, I am a dreamer and I dream big. I had ideas of my dream job and exactly what I wanted to do; to have that foundation crumble beneath you with a single email was my worst nightmare. Since not getting my first choice, I ended up getting my second choice, Textile Engineering – and I didn’t even know what a textile was! I was upset and confused and ‘knew’ I wasn’t going to be passionate about Textile Engineering. I’m the type of person who thrives off passion and if I didn’t have that, I was sure to fail – or so I thought.
As an engineer by trade, I want to solve problems and make people’s quality of life better.
Fast forward to junior year, there’s not a word that comes close to describing how I feel about textiles, in the best way possible! I found (and am still continuing to find) my passion. As an engineer by trade, I want to solve problems and make people’s quality of life better. I am passionate about e-textiles, which is implementing electronics into clothing. Paired with e-textiles, I love biomechanics– how the muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments produce movement for the body.
I strive to enhance peoples’ lives by assisting athletes to train harder and more efficiently without putting their bodies on the line, alleviate pain in people who struggle with arthritis and other joint diseases, and overall include healing and wellness into a daily routine. The idea is to bring healing to your home through clothing and the use of electronics to track progress.
In the summer of 2020, I took a class with my boss, mentor, and professor Dr. Jesse Jur to create my own smart textile company. This is where it all started. I spent 5 weeks cultivating my company and putting my heart and soul into everything. It was hard, but it was worth it. Everything up until this point was worth it. This class is where my entrepreneurial spirit blossomed. After that summer, I got involved with NC State Entrepreneurship and applied to be an Entrepreneurship Student Ambassador.
I am so grateful for the chance to be a part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem at NC State.
My entrepreneurial mindset has grown more than I could have ever imagined with the opportunities that are available. We have Entrepalooza which allows all faculty, staff, and students to experience the entrepreneurial community that lives at NC State. Additionally, we hosted an entrepreneurship event in partnership with The Wilson College of Textiles that was all about entrepreneurs in the textile industry – and very well attended. We are hoping to expand those events to all the colleges at NC State.
Overall, I am so grateful for the chance to be a part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem at NC State as it has well prepared me for the various challenges and opportunities I will face in the future. I am excited to continue to build off that knowledge and be surrounded by driven individuals.