Summer Scott-Samuel ’96 spends her days like many other people in business – answering emails, attending meetings, and making presentations. The major difference is that she does so in Barbados, where it’s around 85 degrees, 365 days of the year.
Scott-Samuel graduated with a BS in textile products design, and works for Gildan Activewear, SRL. Her job requires her to develop and design blank goods, such as t-shirts and sweatshirts in a way that allows for them to have logos or designs added to them by screen printers and embroiderers.
“You must be creative and make products that are ‘blank canvases’ and can be decorated in a variety of ways while being different from the competition and maintaining a value price point.”
Scott-Samuel says the comprehensive nature of her education in the Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies program at UNCG allowed her to learn multiple aspects of the field. “Many people leave school with too narrow of a skillset, which can be a negative,” she said, “especially when companies have hybrid roles.”
Having now lived in Barbados for several years, Scott-Samuel noted that life there is the polar opposite from life in the U.S. She had to learn how to drive on the opposite side of the road, become accustomed to different types of food and the lack of conveniences she had in the U.S., and adjust to the fact that it starts to get dark by 6:30 p.m. However, she said that her day-to-day life in Barbados is far less stressful than the United States’ fast-paced living.
“Every day is a little different,” she said, “and I learn a little more about the culture. What makes this experience special is being open to that daily education.”
As a merchandising manager in Gildan’s printwear division, Scott-Samuel is responsible for a variety of tasks. Some of these include researching markets and trends to set the seasonal lines for different brands, along with watching sales through pre-existing programs. She also is responsible for identifying new opportunities, bringing them together, and creating cohesive products for the brands and their target end customers.
Scott-Samuel has loved working for Gildan and especially being a part of their growth. “What is great about Gildan is that the company is constantly changing,” she said, “and that keeps everyone on their toes. There’s never a boring day and we are always getting better.”
Summer Scott-Samuel will return to the UNCG campus on February 26 as she participates in the CARS Department’s Centennial Alumni Industry Speaker Series. The event is free and open to the public. Find details here.
Writer: Alison McKane ’17