Throughout the fall and spring semesters, we will feature our professional mentors through a series of #MentorMonday blog posts. Stay tuned to learn more about these alumni and friends of the College of Human Ecology!
This week’s featured mentor is Kyra Dreiling, a 2005 graduate of K-State.
Talk briefly about your experiences in the College of Human Ecology at K-State. Specific major, any clubs you were involved in, memories that stick out to you and how your degree prepared you for your career.
I’m a 2005 graduate of the Apparel & Textiles department with a B.S. in Apparel Marketing. I was an active member of the Apparel, Textiles and Interior Design Alliance (ATID) while at K-State, which helped prepare me with industry experience by facilitating company tours, guest speakers, and helping in the Spring student exhibition and fashion show. My degree helped me learn about many specializations of the apparel industry such as sourcing and globalization, textiles, marketing and, of course, retailing. This made me an overall well rounded candidate when entering the job market!
Please explain your current job position and how long you have been in that role/with the company?
I am currently the Director of Retail at GTM Sportswear in Manhattan, KS. I actually started with the company one week after graduation and the rest is history! My career with GTM began in Customer Service and then Sales. A few years into my GTM career, I found myself with the opportunity to move into an Associate Buyer role in our Retail department leading the K-State Super Stores and a few other existing brands. I’ve worked my way through the Retail division to my current role of Director which I’ve held for the past 5 years.
Touch on the benefits of a mentor/mentee relationship and the big takeaway(s) you’ve had through the program.
I see the major benefits of a mentor/mentee relationship being that the mentee gets to network regularly with an industry professional who can share knowledge that you just won’t receive in the classroom; from detailed specific job assignments, to professional conduct, and all the way to work life balance. The mentor of course receives a fresh look at their industry through a student’s eyes and quality time sharing knowledge and reflection! I know I always enjoy sharing stories and experiences as doing so helps me stay humble and reminds me how much I’ve accomplished since graduation!
If you could give college students one piece of professional advice, what would it be?
Feedback is a gift! Truly listen and absorb any feedback given to you and learn from it. It will only make you better!