Meet Thomas Jefferson University (formerly Philadelphia University) Fashion Design Alum, Dana McNeil. Dana graduated in 2014 and is currently a Technical Design Manager at Abercrombie & Fitch. We caught up with Dana to learn more about her career journey.
Tell us a little about your life and career journey since graduation.
I currently work at Abercrombie & Fitch at the global home office based in Columbus, OH. I’m a Technical Design Manager of Knits, Graphics, Fleece Tops, and Knit Bottoms for Abercrombie adult female. I interned at URBN in Tech Design under the sweater department, and from there pivoted to A&F as a full time hire in 2015. Since then I grew within the company at different levels, getting exposure to a multitude of categories.
What do you love about your current job/ workplace?
The environment at A&F is that of intense collaboration and supports fostering positive, communicative relationships with cross functional partners. The day-to-day collaboration is what I love most about my current workplace. Collaboration happens at all levels within the company and everyone’s viewpoints are respected and heard in all settings.
What surprised you the most about working in the industry?
Having a Fashion Design degree does not pigeon-hold you into only apparel design. The opportunities are infinite in the industry and experiencing different internships/entry-level positions will guide you in deciding your career path. Remember to remain open-minded on your individual journey!
If you could go back in time, what do you wish you could tell your freshmen/ senior self?
To remain authentic to yourself, your vision, and your purpose in life. Once we get into the industry, it is very easy to have the idea that we need to change our core to fit into a mold of our new environment to be successful, which is an absolute falsity. Remembering who you are, what you bring to the table, and why you got hired in the first place is crucial to remaining confident in your role(s).