Today@Sam Article

Bearkat Internships: Sydney Sams

Aug. 23, 2023
SHSU Media Contact: Mikah Boyd

Bearkat Internships is a Today@Sam series that features select SHSU students who participated in recent internships. If you (or a Bearkat you know) would like their internship considered, fill out this form

Sydney SamsSydney Sams knows that working in fashion is more strategic and complex than most people realize with every article of clothing and storefront display meticulously prepared by a team of fashion experts. The senior fashion merchandising student knew this as she started her educational journey at Sam Houston State University and paired her major with a minor in business to help her on her way. 

“I think fashion merchandising is literally a mix between fashion and business because you get that creative outlet, but also, it’s more strategic,” Sams said. “Fashion is very meticulous. Everything in a store, on a website, wherever you shop, is meticulously placed and I think you have to know how to run a business to be able to know how to have a style or a trend succeed.”

With the skills she has learned during her time at SHSU, Sams was able to secure a summer internship with Levi Strauss & Co. at their San Francisco headquarters. The internship featured many future fashion leaders from around the globe who were flown into California and provided the accommodations they needed to focus on their internships.

According to Sams, she and her fellow Levi Strauss & Co. interns were looked at as equal partners at the company and worked on tasks and projects that would be seen across the nation. One such project was the creation of storefront displays for some of the Levi outlets that are scattered around the U.S., which Sams spearheaded.

“I got to go to one of the stores and see my work and I think that was a full circle moment for me because I actually did the work and you’re able to see it in person and other people are able to see it.”

A storefront at a Levi's outlet features mannequins styled by SHSU student Sydney Sams.Her work on the storefronts included selecting different outfits and poses for the mannequins based on current national fashion trends as well as localization for stores in different climates. Sams said her time creating the displays was one of her favorite experiences at the internship since she was able to utilize all her skills and see the fruits of her labor, not just from the internship, but from her studies. 

“I thought that was such a great opportunity for me,” Sams said. “I felt a lot of times like I was so unworthy of the job because I’m from a small town and graduated from a small high school, but it was awesome to be able to see my hard work brought to life. Other people were able to see it and appreciate it as well.”

Sams grew up in New Waverly, just down the interstate from SHSU, where her mother and grandmother attended before her. She said her acceptance as a Levi Strauss & Co. intern has brought her immense validation and shown her that even a small-town girl can make it in the big city.

And she’s not stopping at San Francisco. In September, Sams will go to the East Coast for New York Fashion Week (NYFW) as SHSU’s official representative through the UofNYFW program. UofNYFW is organized by the nation’s top licensing agency, Collegiate Licensing Company, and IMG, which operates NYFW. After participating in her internship this summer, Sams says she is ready to tackle the runway.

“I know a lot more going in and I feel now that I’ve actually seen the industry behind the scenes firsthand,” Sams said. “Levi’s is for everyone but going and being in New York Fashion Week and seeing that high fashion, I think it gives a new perspective. I think it’s the best of both worlds, I got the everyday side of fashion and now I can get the high couture part too.”

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