Stephens junior Kyla Cherry grew up reading fashion publications and developing an eye for style—interests that brought her to Stephens.
Now—armed with a broad understanding of the industry she’s gained at Stephens—Cherry is spending this semester in New York City where she’s interning for Seventeen magazine. She credits her college experience for preparing her for the job. Cherry is majoring in fashion communication.
“Stephens does a good job teaching you all of the skills you need such as graphic design and visual merchandizing,” she said. “Faculty members are committed to making sure you have an understanding of the industry across the board.”
At the prestigious teen fashion magazine, which was recently acquired by Cosmopolitan, Cherry will work in the fashion closet, where she’ll organize samples and garments and assist with photo shoots.
She’s excited about the work, but also about meeting people and developing contacts within the industry, she said.
It’s not Cherry’s first time in the Big Apple. The Kansas City native spent the summer of 2011 playing the role of “Young Nala” in the Broadway production of “Lion King.” She was part of the traveling company and toured cities along the East Coast.
“I didn’t realize how big of a deal it was at the time; it was just ‘Lion King’ to me,” she said. “But I was paid to perform, so it allowed me to shop a lot and get exposed to different styles and what different cities had to offer.”
Her mother brought her to the Stephens campus for a tour when Cherry was 16.
“I fell in love with Stephens because it catered to the incoming student,” she said. “Everything was so personalized and it seemed so nurturing. I felt as though I belonged.”
At Stephens, she has taken advantage of a variety of opportunities, including studying abroad at the College of Fashion in London.
“It was truly amazing,” she said. “They taught me to trust my vision.”
Cherry worked with the Center for Career and Professional Development last semester to find an internship, which she expected to conduct during the summer. Seventeen offered her the semester internship with the caveat that she would be able to earn course credits. Her instructors worked with her to make sure that happened.
“They were happy to do it,” she said. “That’s what makes Stephens Stephens.”
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