Art at IU recently caught up with Carlie Jensen, an IU Bloomington senior selected to receive a $10,000 scholarship from the National Retail Federation.
Then, while attending the organization’s annual “Big Show” convention in New York City last month, Jensen learned she’d won a $25,000 scholarship, the first such scholarship the organization has given.
Jensen, who graduates in May, has already accepted a full-time position with Kohl’s Corporate Headquarters in their product development division. She’s majoring in apparel merchandising through the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design and is seeking a business minor through the Kelley School of Business.
Q: Talk about your win. What does this scholarship mean for you?
A: Winning the first Next Generation Scholarship was the most incredible experience. The past year had been full of ups and downs, including my mother finding out she had cancer, then finally getting back to normal life as my mom entered full recovery. In that moment, all the hard work and perseverance paid off.
While my mom was getting back to health, I was a busy student, a corporate intern and on the steering committee for the IU Student Foundation. Winning showed me you can get through anything and that hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.
Q: Talk about your recent visit to New York City for the “Big Show.”
A: I toured Kohl’s Corporate Design Center, went to the top of the Empire State Building and walked Fifth Avenue. The “Big Show” was one of the neatest events I’ve ever attended. I sat in the front row for speakers like Blake Nordstrom, Rebecca Minkoff, Katia Beauchamp and George W. Bush, and was invited to network with executives and CEOs at private events and dinners. The energy of the retail industry was undeniable and beyond exciting.
Q: Talk about your time here at IU. What have you enjoyed most?
A: My four years at IU have gone by so fast. I spent most of my time being on the steering committee for the IU Student Foundation. I love being with the other 20 or so steering committee members, who are some of my closest friends.
I have learned so much from my apparel merchandising professors that it’s hard to pick just one favorite. Janis Shaffer and Eloise Paul have been there and supported everything I do and dream to do. Professor Rick Bomberger was the first professor who excited me about the retail industry and asked me to be his teaching assistant. His stories are motivating, and I attribute a lot of what I have learned from him. Professor Mary Embry recently enhanced my perspectives on the world in her international trade course, and writing my scholarship essays was a very natural process because of what she taught me.
I also love IU basketball games and spending time with my roommates who have been my best friends for 12 years — and who just so happen to be twins.
I wouldn’t trade my experience at IU for the world. I couldn’t ask for a more well-rounded and relevant education. I feel fully prepared to have a strong start to my career. I can’t wait to see what the future brings.