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nielsen-head-shot-webFor alumna Tresha Nielsen ’12 (Industrial Design), her internship at High Sierra Sports meant a job was in the bag – literally. Nielsen recently designed a female-specific backpack, which is available online and in stores.

Before Nielsen had the opportunity to design for High Sierra Sports full-time, she landed an internship with them through networking, and a little help from Senior Professor of Industrial Design Pascal Malassigné, FIDSA.nielsen-backpack-web

“Pascal put me into contact with a former MIAD student who had interned at High Sierra a few years ago, who then put me into contact with the VP of Design at High Sierra. There was no formal internship position available,” Nielsen said.

Her networking resulted in an internship of a few weeks, which then evolved to over a year. “Having an internship was one of the best experiences that happened to me during college.”

“Internships are the best way to gain experience and make connections with the people in the career field that you want to pursue. I was totally humbled by the talent of the designers, and I learned so much from all of them.”

Nielsen was ready to get involved at her internship and was not afraid to show her excitement for her work. “During my internship, I tried to help out in any way that I could. In the end, I think my passion for soft goods and design helped me get the job offer.”

nielsen-backpack-sketch-webShe loves working for High Sierra, and said, “My favorite part is when I see a sketch I drew turn into a physical sample within a matter of days. It’s also a really cool feeling seeing something you created in stores for people to buy.”

Nielsen primarily designs backpacks, hydration packs and luggage, and she credits MIAD for helping her designs. “MIAD did a great job of teaching me the design process, which I use on a daily basis. Being exposed to different types of product design through class projects also helped me narrow my focus to soft goods.”

Hard work and a passion for design helped her land a job, but Nielsen said having an internship was the key to her success.


Top image: Tresha Nielsen ’12
Second image: Nielsen’s backpack, ALPINE DESIGN Estes
Third image: Initial concept sketch for ALPINE DESIGN Estes

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