Emily DeDoncker

Emily DeDoncker plans to work for an outdoor retail and lifestyle brand like Patagonia or Columbia in the future. When she isn't studying, Emily enjoys biking, hiking, hammocking, and hanging out with her friends. 

Rising Star Award winner Emily DeDoncker reaps benefits of involvement in NRFSA

Coming to college, Emily DeDoncker was nervous to join the clubs and activities that Iowa State University has to offer. After fully immersing herself in multiple activities and taking on a double major, she has been able to further enhance her skills in various areas.

Emily dreams of working for an outdoor retail and lifestyle brand. After visiting Rocky Mountain National Park in high school, she was inspired by historic parklands, and developed an admiration for the outdoors. She has continued to visit national parks, which has strengthened her desire to pursue a career in the outdoor apparel industry.

She also knew she wanted to learn more than just one side of the business, so she decided to pair her major in apparel, merchandising, and design (AMD) with a second major in public relations. She hopes to become a more well-rounded employee by doing so.

“I really liked the communication side of things [in public relations], and how it can be really versatile in the companies you work for,” Emily said.

Emily uses her public relations skills to complement her interest in apparel by participating in various clubs and activities at Iowa State.

As a student ambassador for the National Retail Federation Student Association (NRFSA), she promotes the organization's growth through social media. Because of her prominent part in the NRFSA, Emily was hand picked to receive the NRFSA Rising Star Award. This allowed her to travel to New York City and represent Iowa State at the NRFSA student conference.

The conference was an eye-opening experience that left Emily feeling rejuvenated and inspired, particularly because its location is so important to her as an AMD major. She heard from prominent industry professionals who work for big corporations including Sephora, Home Depot, and Macy’s.

“[A] great thing that they do with the Rising Star Award is they give people that experience, especially because [New York City is] such a large fashion hub,” she said. 

Emily is appreciative that she put herself out there when coming to Iowa State, as her involvement with organizations like NRFSA have largely helped her develop throughout college thus far.

“Now that I’ve had the experience of going to the [NRFSA] student program and seeing all the benefits, [I’ve realized] this is just a great experience for you as a person, just to grow who you are,” she said.