When Shannan Carlino ’08 watched the University of Maryland women’s field hockey team win the national championship this year, she had an unusual reason to cheer. As the women celebrated their victory, they were wearing jerseys that Carlino created as an on-field designer at Under Armour.
Carlino returned to Philadelphia University to speak on Nov. 22 in the second Fashion Alumni Lecture Series “Focus On,” which brings PhilaU’s talented alumni back to campus to share their success stories and advice with current students.
“I chose to study fashion design because I played sports my whole life and I never felt like there was a piece of apparel that perfectly fit the female form,” Carlino said. “At PhilaU, I was able to continue to play sports on the field hockey team, and I could also design athletic wear.”
As a senior at PhilaU, Carlino pushed herself to create what she still considers one of her proudest achievements—her senior collection, entitled, “Basketball Meets the Runway.” Carlino used pieces of donated basketball jerseys from local universities and high schools to create full-length ball gowns. Carlino said that the unique collection was one of the most impressive items in her portfolio when she interviewed for full-time jobs after graduation.
She urged current students to take advantage of the opportunities they have in college, taking internships and studying abroad. “It’s great to be out there in the world before you’re hired full time and expected to know how to do your job,” Carlino said. “You get to ask a lot of questions. Everything is new.”
She also encouraged students to stay positive, even when they face setbacks. As a fashion designer interested in athletics, Carlino’s dream job was to work for Under Armour, but she was turned down for an internship when she was in college. Instead of giving up her dream, Carlino took a position at Puma and improved her credentials, reapplying in 2009 for a full-time position at Under Armour, which she received.
“Don’t take no for an answer,” she said. “Do your best and work hard, and good things will happen.”