December 23rd, 2012 / posted by paularath

Cornell student Megan Rodrigues at a field trip to Stoll Fashion & Technology Center in New York City.

One of the things I will NOT be retiring from on December 31, 2012, is mentoring. In fact, I will be even more available for mentoring. Beginning January 9, I will be at the Hifi Coop in Ward Warehouse every Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. and I will be available to anyone who would like to come by and chat, vent , ask questions or simply cry on my shoulder. I promise a willing heart and ears. If you would like to secure a time, please call me on my mobile at (808) 391-3978. But it’s also okay to just drop in. I will be there with my laptop (writing away) or my sketchbook (dreaming away) or my crossword puzzles (playing away). I will be delighted to see you and help in any way I can.

Mentoring is one of my missions in life. I am  proud of so many I have mentored. My mentoring began in earnest with the Fashion Forum, which began in the late ’90s and went on for more than a dozen years. Among those I mentored through the Fashion Forum and beyond are Willow Chang, Sherry Shaoling, Summer Holcomb, Megan Anderson, Melissa White, Toby Portner, Amanda Stevens and so many more. Believe me, I have learned as much – or more – from them as they have learned from me.

Last week I had the delightful experience of meeting an outstanding former Punahou student who is now studying at Cornell in New York, Megan Rodrigues. Megan is now on my list of “Ones to Watch.” I am so impressed with her. She knows exactly what she wants and she is going after it with energy and intelligence.

Megan began fashion sketching  as a little gilr. She learned to sew when in elementary school and often spent her summers in sewing classes.  Her parents always encouraged her in fashion and they have been supportive all along. However, once she got to high school she realized she had a natural aptitude – and passion – for math. Fashion and math are an unusual set of strengths and she realized this right away. Seeking to combine her talents, Megan chose Cornell, where their textile and fashion track has three areas of emphasis from which to choose:

  1. Apparel Design
  2. Fashion Management, which requires a lot of business and math
  3. Fiber Science, which requires a lot of chemistry
Megan is a natural for the Management track and she is firmly ensconced in it. Although New York City is five hours from Cornell, Megan has taken advantage of its relative proximity whenever possible. Last summer she spent all three months in an internship at Josie Natori, working in product development and merchandising. She takes every fashion field trip Cornell offers and buses to NYC to visit the likes of Eileen Fisher.
When I met her, Megan had just interviewed for a summer internship with Fighting Eel. She wants to come home for one summer before heading on to a semester (or a year)  at London College of Fashion.
Career-wise, Megan sees herself as a product development manager in the fashion world. Right now she has a special interest in the wedding industry. Whatever business she chooses, I predict she’s going to be wildly successful.
– Paula Rath



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