Experiences

Transfer student follows passion for design and business in summer internship

In late summer 2015, Sydney Hodge was working at an Urban Outfitters in Tysons Corner. She had dropped out of Virginia Tech nearly two years earlier and was “pretty set” on staying in retail. But her parents kept bugging her about college, and urged her to look into Sweet Briar.

“I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the pictures of the beautiful campus and the amazing stories from students and alumnae,” says Hodge, a rising senior from Woodbridge, Va. “I visited for the first time on the first day of orientation and knew for sure this was where I wanted to be — I knew I had finally found a school for me!”

Hodge quit her job the next day and started making plans to move to the small women’s college in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains for the fall 2015 semester — the best choice she has ever made, she says.

Sydney Hodge
Sydney Hodge ’17 at NAFASI in Arlington, Va.

“What really made me consider Sweet Briar was the Turning Point program,” she adds. “I wasn’t looking forward to returning to school as an older student, but then I discovered that Sweet Briar had other nontraditional students not only attending class, but living on campus. That seemed really special to me.”

The business major is back in her neck of the woods this summer for an internship she found online: project manager at NAFASI, a small, residential interior design company in Arlington.

“I will be helping with all phases of design projects, from research on new business innovations and growth, to purchasing and ordering logistics, to implementation of design plans,” Hodge says. “I am super excited to learn about entrepreneurship, to apply my business knowledge in a creative field, and to develop my skills and knowledge in marketing, management and the interior design industry.”

Hodge isn’t sure exactly what industry she wants to work in after college. She’s always gravitated toward creative and design-oriented fields, but is also discovering an interest in management.

“I’m currently learning more about marketing and the financial aspects of business and finding that I enjoy those, as well,” she says. “I hope to combine my passion for business and design and possibly one day start my own business.”