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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

tour group

Eighteen students studying in Northwest's Department of Family and Consumer Sciences took part in a merchandising tour last month in Chicago that provided opportunities for the students to network with professionals and get behind-the-scenes looks at fashion and merchandising.

Dec. 15, 2010

Students experience Chicago culture on merchandising study tour

Story by Stefani Reed

The Smart Home in Chicago

During the tour, the students visited the Smart Home at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. The eco- friendly home is built to minimize home maintenance and maximize efficiency.

MARYVILLE, Mo. - Eighteen students from Northwest Missouri State University's Department of Family and Consumer Sciences extended their learning during a merchandising study tour, called "Fashion Careers 2010," Nov. 9 through Nov. 12 in Chicago.

The merchandising study tour gives students a behind-the-scenes look at a variety of retailers and wholesale showrooms to assist them in learning about the textiles, apparel and furnishing industry. Sales representatives at Baker, Knapp & Tubbs; Lee Jofa at the Merchandise Mart; and at Bobbie Brody Children's Apparel & Accessories Showroom gave presentations.

Molly Hansen, a merchandising of textiles, apparel and furnishing major from Council Bluffs, Iowa, attended a workshop titled "Behind the Scenes with Mart Fashion Production" where Elite Model Management offered insight to a runway show, styling and interview tips.

"Being there and physically seeing that what we learn through these four short years at Northwest can be applied to the real world was just amazing," said Hansen, who is president of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, a professional association for family and consumer sciences students and professionals.

Students also attended a career day sponsored by The Fashion Group Foundation of Chicago where they networked with professionals, attended workshops, heard keynote speakers and saw a fashion show featuring professional models wearing student-designed clothing.

"Speaking with professionals and learning what it took for them to get to where they are today gives me a sense of hope and shows that I will be able to accomplish my future goals just like they have," Hansen said.

In addition to the conference, the students experienced several cultural highlights in Chicago. They visited the historic State Street Macy's store and the Smart Home at the Museum of Science and Industry. The students also saw "Billy Elliot the Musical" at the historic Oriental Theatre and dined at Giordano's Famous Stuffed Pizza. 

"One thing I thought was really cool was seeing how what we are learning in class right now is used in the real world," said Amy Rutherford, a merchandising of textiles, apparel and furnishing major. "In just about every appointment and tour we attended they mentioned terms and ideas that we had discussed in class. I can say without hesitation that our trip to Chicago was one of the best experiences I have ever had. It is something I will remember the rest of my life and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to participate in such a wonderful event."

The merchandising study tour is offered as part of a trends class for upper level merchandising majors. The tour directors were Beth Goudge, instructor of family and consumer sciences, and Dr. Jean Memken, assistant professor of family and consumer sciences. Northwest students have participated in the tour 11 times since 1989.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468