Samantha Shirazi

Samantha wins YMA Scholarship

As sophomore, Samantha never expected to win the prestigious YMA Scholarship. Originally, her plan was to apply her sophomore year and take what she learned to try again her junior year. 

The scholarship, which awards a select number of students $5,000, required Samantha to complete a case study, analyzing the partnership between Macy’s and Etsy sellers. In addition, she needed to create a six-month buying plan – something she’d never done before.

Instead of giving up, Samantha enrolled in the one-credit seminar Iowa State offers apparel students that helps them manage the case study by breaking it down into sections. In December, her hard work paid off.

“Ann called to tell me, and I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “Before me, a sophomore had never won before. And this year we had two, me and Abi Goeser.”

Samantha, along with 10 other Iowa State students, flew to New York to accept the $5,000 award. While there, they toured the Kohl’s design studio, networked at a cocktail hour, and were guests of honor at the YMA gala.

Despite earning the award her sophomore year, Samantha plans to apply again next year.

“It’s such an amazing opportunity,” she said. “How could I not do it again?”

Since her experience was so positive, she encourages other students to apply regardless of their year in school.

“Just go for it,” she said. “I didn’t know how to create a six-month marketing plan, and I felt overwhelmed, but I learned so much more by taking the initiative. It’s so worth it.”