Students You Should Know: Sarah Ormsby

Many students start college unsure about what major to pursue. Junior textiles and apparel and marketing major Sarah Ormsby was one of those students.

Sarah Ormsby
Ormsby was one of four student directors for this year's TAPP fashion show.

"I originally thought I wanted to do something with education," says Ormsby. "I was kind of in limbo for my freshman year and part of my sophomore year, not knowing what exactly I wanted to do."

A memorable class in the Textiles and Apparel Program (TAPP) pushed her in the right direction.

For Ormsby, the variety of the classes is one of the best things about her major. Students are exposed to many aspects of the industry, including quality assurance, technical and creative design and merchandising.

The program opens doors to many great opportunities. Ormsby was one of four student directors of this spring's TAPP fashion show. She worked as the director of stage, overseeing choreography and model recruitment.

"It's a lot of planning, a lot of meetings, but I would say it's the highlight of the school year," says Ormsby. "It gives students the chance to showcase their hard work from the past year. It's also really cool because Dr. Strauss, one of the professors in our department, takes professional photographs at the show, which we can put in our portfolios to make us more marketable to potential employers."

This summer, Ormsby will be taking an even bigger step into the fashion world. She was recently offered a position as a summer intern in New York City working on computer design of women's wear for Li & Fung, an international leader in product development, sourcing and distribution. A UNI alumni connection helped her land the job.

"I think this really shows that just because we're in Iowa doesn't mean that we are less able than others or have fewer opportunities," says Ormsby. "I'm going to New York City, another TAPP student is doing an internship in Hong Kong this summer, and we have alumni working in the industry worldwide."

Ormsby's not entirely sure what she wants to do after college, but one thing is for certain...with her real-world experience and comprehensive education, she's ready for whatever the future holds.

For more information about TAPP, visit

*All photos are courtesy of Mitchell Strauss, professor in the School of Applied Human Sciences.