Student story: Cortney Addison

Posted on November 06, 2017

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Cortney Addison is in her second year in her master’s program in the consumer, apparel, and retail Studies (CARS) program – a perfect complement to her position as a men’s western tops merchandising intern at VF Corporation, a global leader in apparel, footwear, and accessories, headquartered in Greensboro.

After completing her BA in the CARS program at the Bryan School, Cortney returned to pursue a broader understanding of the consumer apparel and retail world.

Each semester she takes three classes, and no matter which ones she takes, they always tie in together. She is happy to be gaining an understanding of consumer apparel and retail, and she sees herself working creatively with garments and merchandising.

The amount of support she and her colleagues receive at the Bryan School impresses Cortney. “We are never in the dark – there are programs and workshops to help sharpen and refresh our skills, and the advisors and professors are so helpful and knowledgeable. It’s this way throughout the entire school.”

Cortney sees her work at VF as an extension of her CARS classes, not simply a job.

She has the unique opportunity to experience first hand the sales meetings, photo shoots, costing, and patterns at the start of each new season. “I’m happy to get paid for learning!”

The biggest challenge for Cortney right now is managing time. “With so many classes, papers, a practicum, and my career – it’s critical that I stay organized and prioritize all my commitments. Multitasking is something you learn in a graduate program and in the workplace – you have to stay on top of everything, all the time.”  With the support of her family, however, she knows she can do anything. “At the end of the semester I am overwhelmed with papers and projects. Mom and dad calm me down – they are always there reminding me that I can do anything.”

Cortney knows the ins and outs of retail; since she was 14 she has worked in a variety stores. Her favorite is fashion – she loves looking deeper into how the clothes get to the stores; who makes the patterns; who will buy these clothes; and who has the say-so to forecast colors. Originally from Hillsborough, NJ, she envisions herself living in a fast-paced city after graduation – and the West Coast is calling her name. “California’s culture really resonates with me!”


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