It is often a challenge for students to fuse together multiple areas of interest into a single career prospect. For Amanda Watts, leadership studies and business double-major from Sewickley, Pa., the fashion industry allowed her to do just that.

For ten weeks, Watts worked in Manhattan's garment district for the Escada group, an international fashion group for women's apparel. Since it was founded in 1976 in Munich, Germany, Escada has established itself as a leading name in luxury fashion, with upwards of 225 franchise shops in more than 60 countries.

Watts landed her position with Escada in the wholesale department through a University of Richmond classmate. "I finished my finals on a Friday and started work the next Monday," Watts explained. Her internship ended one week before the rising junior left for the semester to study abroad in Brisbane, Australia.

During her 10 weeks, the intern's duties ranged from computer and excel work to working directly with the models during Market Week. She explained that Escada had a market for its two main accounts, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neimon Marcus, where the buyers would come in and choose looks from the Spring/Summer 2010 collection that they wanted to see on the models. Watts and the other interns would take them around the showroom and talk about the inspiration for the line. "They would give the interns a rack of clothing and let us pair pieces together. They really trusted our sense of style, which was cool," she told of her opportunity.

Because of her demanding summer schedule, Watts began at Escada five weeks before the other interns arrived, offering her the chance to put her background in leadership into play. "I had to learn everything from scratch," she said on working as the only intern for the first few weeks. "Once everyone else came, I got to help train them. I loved having so much responsibility within the company."

Watts first came to the University of Richmond as a high school sophomore when her older brother, now a rising senior at Washington and Lee University, was looking at schools. The unique Jepson program played an integral role in her early decision application. During her time at Escada, she and her brother shared an apartment in New York, where he interned in finance with MidOcean Partners. 

When asked about her interest in fashion, she said, "I like it, it's interesting, but it wasn't something I would ever describe as a passion in life. Now, after approaching it from a business perspective and working directly with the buyers, I am much more enthusiastic about one day working in fashion." After graduation, Watts plans to enter into the business field, ultimately hoping to continue to earn an M.B.A. While her future aspirations are still fairly vague, she hopes to one day become a business leader.