During her time at Meredith College, fashion merchandising major Marissa Hurtado, ’17, found a way to merge two passions: learning French and exploring her interests in the fashion industry.
Moving to the United States from Ecuador when she was 12 years old and learning English cultivated Marissa’s love for learning other languages. She moved to the United States because her grandparents felt it was the best decision for her and her sibling’s education.
Marissa transferred to Meredith her junior year because of the opportunity to study abroad in Paris and the small class sizes that Meredith offers. She realized quickly how her strengths would benefit her in the classroom.
“Using different languages to communicate helps strengthen the bonds I have made while at Meredith,” Marissa said. “It helps you have an open mind and understand the people around you better.”
She is thankful for the professors she has had in the fashion department and knows that because of them she has learned many lessons on how to be successful.
“Not only do I benefit from what our professors teach in the classroom, but what they teach us personally on how to use our strengths and provide opportunities and job references,” she said.
When it was time for her to apply to a study abroad program, Marissa chose the summer program in Paris. While in France, she participated in internships with well-known designers, such as Rick Owens, Walter van Beirendonck, and Yulia Yanina.
She spent time working in the Rick Owens showroom with sellers and models and making sure everything ran smoothly for Fashion Week. She is grateful for these internships and the connections she made in the industry while she was there.
Marissa believes that her French minor made a significant impact on her study abroad experience. The other students often deemed her as the official translator for the group. She credits her fluency in more than one language, and believes that this skill will give her an advantage when applying for jobs in the international market.
Marissa also used her time abroad to think about the possibility of moving to Paris in the future. Since moving from Ecuador, she has always had a passion for traveling and an eagerness to experience other countries.
In addition to studying abroad and being able to present her undergraduate research on the importance of French translation at Celebrating Student Achievement Day, Marissa loves many things about Meredith. Her favorites are the atmosphere and community that Meredith provides.
“Meredith gives me more freedom in general, but I especially feel that I have the freedom to speak up and voice my opinions without judgment,” she said.
After graduation, Marissa hopes to use her fashion merchandising degree with a job at Belk, and dreams of starting her own brand in the future.
By Emma Watson, ’18
Explore Meredith's study abroad programsfashion merchandising and design french study abroad transfer