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Thomas Rosemond: Woven Into Wilson

Once Thomas Rosemond set his sights on NC State, there was no plan B. He reflects on the community — and real-world experience — he gained in Wilson College of Textiles.

Thomas Rosemond, a fall 2023 graduate earning his degree in fashion and textile management, stands outside of Wilson College of Textiles.

For Thomas Rosemond, there was no alternative to NC State.

“I didn’t apply anywhere else. I knew, one way or another, I’d end up here. Whether it took me a year or two, whatever it was. Luckily, I got in,” said Rosemond.

But his sights weren’t always set on Raleigh. Growing up in a Wolfpack family — his father and brother are both NC State graduates — initially pushed him to rebel.

“For a while in high school, it was ‘anything but State,’” said Rosemond.

It was the summer after his junior year of high school, when he enrolled in the Wilson College of Textiles Summer Textile Exploration Program (STEP), that his mind finally changed. Drawn to fashion and retail from an early age, the STEP program seemed like the perfect opportunity to explore his options.

The week spent living on campus with access to the college’s studios and labs was all it took.

“You get that little sneak peek of what college is like,” said Rosemond.

Watch: Thomas and two other graduating seniors reflect on their time at NC State and share advice for future students.

One application and one acceptance letter later, he was back at NC State as a fashion and textile management student, with a focus in brand management and marketing.

“Every day, I’d wake up — early, because I’m more productive in the morning — and I knew I’d have class, and I’d walk to class excited,” said Rosemond. “It sounds corny to say, but I’m going to class and I’m going to learn something new. Something I didn’t know before today, because I’m passionate about the textile industry. It’s what I love.”

I’m passionate about the textile industry. It’s what I love.

Rosemond channeled that passion into relationships, staying after classes to talk with his professors and working with Jeff Sackaroff, director of Career Services for the Wilson College of Textiles, to gain more experience in what he loved.

“You start [at Wilson] and everyone else thinks, ‘Oh, you’re going to be a fashion designer.’ No, that’s not what we all do. There’s a lot to learn,” said Rosemond.

As a strategic sourcing intern with Kohl’s, he was working behind the scenes, coordinating who is making which garments, where the materials are coming from and more. That’s when he realized just how much he’d been learning in the classroom.

It made me feel confident in the education I was getting and appreciate it even more.

“I’d had plenty of sourcing classes, global trade and retail buying. Having a job and doing what I’m learning about I’m like ‘Oh, I was learning how to actually do it in a real-world scenario,’” said Rosemond. “Think and Do, you know? It made me feel confident in the education I was getting and appreciate it even more.”

When it comes to advice for new students, he says: “Don’t be afraid to reach out to people — the faculty and staff on campus — there’s always a resource out there. Whether it’s career-related, personal, whatever it might be, there’s someone there for you.”