Kelsey Bashore opened her email over spring break and glanced over one particular message several
times to confirm what she was reading.
After the fourth read over, Bashore was in disbelief and brought to tears when assured what was
conveyed. The email notified that out of 7,000 applicants, she was the lone selection for a summer
internship in the men's apparel design with Under Armour this summer in Baltimore, Md.
"I just wanted to call everyone in my family right away because I knew how happy and proud they would
be for me," Bashore said.
The internship will run 11 weeks with Bashore, a junior, serving in the business' men's apparel design
division for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
"It's exciting and a little nerve-racking," Bashore said. "It is such a competitive position and it's not going
to stop now. It's going to keep getting more competitive as I'm there. I know that they're going to push
me really hard because they told me that I will be put to work and they need my opinion. They told me
that they want someone of my demographic to come in and help the company succeed."
Bashore, a 2011 transfer from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, has played a pronounced part in
the success of the Buffalo State volleyball team the last two years as a two-time first team All-SUNYAC
performer. But it is the junior fashion and textile technology major's prodigious work in her field that is
allotting her an incomparable experience.
In addition to having this rare internship opportunity, Bashore is also considered one of the top fashion
students in the country. By virtue being one of 125 recipients of the YMA Fashion Scholarship in January,
Bashore earned a place at the 2013 Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards Dinner in New York
Bashore won the $5,000 scholarship after creating a persuasive 10-page case study outlining a designer
company's imitated clothing line for a short-period flash sale.
It was in New York City in January that Bashore had the chance network with, and catch the eyes of the
most prominent names in the fashion industry. The overnight stay included a job fair and banquet with
higher-ups from touted companies like Nautica and Ralph Lauren.
"It was really cool walking in front of all of them, they got to see our faces, they got to see what school
you're representing," Bashore said. "Before the awards banquet there was a cocktail hour and some of
the designers were at the cocktail hour and we were allowed to mingle with them. So it was more of an
informal setting, we were allowed to just talk to them as students."
At the dinner, Bashore was joined by fellow scholarship winners from distinguished fashion schools all
over the country like the Fashion Institute of Technology, Harvard and Pratt Institute. It was momentous
for the Buffalo State fashion department, as the school had previously never been invited to the private
event. Bashore and the other recipient in the department, Lucile Ragot, winning the scholarship further
increased the standing of the school's ascending fashion program.
"It was exciting knowing that we beat out kids from huge (fashion) schools," Bashore said. "I know that
there were a lot of people that applied for this. We had just as many girls win the scholarship as those
big, prestigious schools. It was like we knew that we had beat out other people that applied from those
schools, so it was really cool knowing that we did better than FIT students. It was just a big honor."
Bashore's chances at pursuing her dream in fashion were nearly acutely compromised her freshman
year. On a full-ride scholarship playing volleyball at Louisiana at Lafayette, Bashore was left with a
decision when the school's fashion program was discontinued toward the end of her freshman year in
Instead of continuing to play Division I volleyball on the bayou, Bashore found it much more prudent to
put more of an emphasis on her education. She saw Buffalo State as a school that could accommodate
Parallels can be drawn between Bashore's hefty role in helping the Bengals to their most successful two-
year stretch in school history with her achievement in the classroom.
"I think how our last two seasons have gone really just shows how she's helped transform this
program," head coach Maria DePeters said. "She loved the fashion program and I think she really liked
that it is in New York State because there's a lot of affiliations with New York City, which is the fashion
capital of the world so the two kind of went hand-in-hand."
Bashore was able to use her experience as a student-athlete to her advantage during the application
process for the Under Armour internship. While she refined her resume during December and January
to meet the application deadline, playing a college sport was a pristine touch to Bashore's qualifications.
It was a principle feature that set her apart during an intense competition for the lone opening.
"I think that with Under Armour, that was one thing they really liked. I am part of a team," Bashore said.
"It involves a lot of time management and I work well with others and they can see that through playing
volleyball so it's definitely helped me a lot."
Bashore will leave for Baltimore later this month, and it is her ambitious endeavors in athletics and
academics that may expose an amplified appeal for Buffalo State as an institution.
"I hope our college can use it, particularly in Kelsey's case, she's one of a kind," athletic director Jerry
Boyes said. "To me, this is a commercial for Buffalo State, let alone athletics when we can talk to our
prospective student-athletes about those opportunities."
Aaron Garland can be reach by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @AA_Garland