If you have visited Gearing Hall lately, you might have noticed the new life-size banners installed in the Great Hall. The banners feature a student representative of each of the School of Human Ecology’s three majors.
We, here in the school, chose our student representatives very carefully – they are all scholarship recipients; they all have big ambitions for the future; they are engaged, intelligent, creative, open and fearless. Most importantly, they are fearless (After all, each of these students was willing to respond to a vague email invitation to participate in a photo shoot with the university’s photographer Marsha Miller).
We had asked each of our representatives to bring an object that represented a personal quality. Anna brought a small leather case containing ornate antique jewelry; there were bright, cleverly crafted necklaces in abundance. Anna had made each of the pieces and explained that she had sold quite a few in the weeks leading up to the holiday break. The jewelry Anna creates is simultaneously old and new, stunning and subtle.
Anna was preparing to begin her internship with Top Drawer, an Austin thrift store whose proceeds support housing for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS through Project Transitions.
Anna Nygaard is our student representative of Textiles and Apparel. She is a recipient of the Elizabeth Tarpley Scholarship for Textiles and Clothing.
Anna and her fellow seniors will participate in the 129th Spring University-wide Commencement on Saturday, May 19, 2012. Anna’s accomplishments, to be recognized at the College of Natural Sciences Convocation on May 19, include being a recipient of a Book Award for Academic Excellence by the College of Natural Sciences.
We asked Anna about her time at The University of Texas at Austin and where she will go from here.
What is your hometown?
Born and raised in Austin, Texas!
What is the most surprising thing you have learned at The University of Texas at Austin?
Coming to the University of Texas at Austin, I was told that because it was such a large school, that I would not have any contact with my professors and that I would “just be a face in a classroom.” I have come to find that this is completely false, and several teachers I have had at the university make a point to know all of their students. I have formed great relationships with my Textiles and Apparel professors and I will cherish those even beyond graduation.
What is the most memorable experience you have had at the university?
My most memorable experience at UT would be being part of the “Dream Team.” In this small, hand-selected class, my group members and I were able to come up with a business plan for a self-sustaining restaurant and then present our ideas to executives at Neiman Marcus at the headquarters in Dallas, Texas. The experience was surreal, and still can’t believe I had an audience with some of the most successful people in the retail world.
What is the biggest issue facing your generation? What is your role in the solution?
I think the biggest issue facing our generation is the intense competition for jobs. With intense competition, people can become cut-throat and put other people down to get what they want. As a new graduate looking for a career, I can understand the pressures to find a ‘good’ job and to become successful. However, I want to earn that job with dignity and respect. I hope to never step on someone else to move up, and I think that is very possible to get what you want while being ethical.
What are your plans after graduation?
My plans after graduation are to get a job in Texas either in visual merchandising and display or product design.
What are you most looking forward to?
I am looking forward to having a career in which I enjoy going to work every morning! As long as I can be creative in my life, I will be happy.
We wish all of our graduates the very best as they move forward into their futures. We are very proud of you and of your accomplishments! Hook ‘em!