Natasha Sligh (B.A.’14/A) considers herself “totally Mac-ed out.” She has never used a PC, ever.
Turns out that lifelong loyalty to Apple Inc. may have served her well. Sligh is a first-year graduate student at the Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter and she recently accepted a position as user experience intern at Apple in Cupertino, California. As the first intern at Apple from the VCU Brandcenter’s experience design track, she finds herself in uncharted territory.
“There’s no point of reference,” Sligh said. “So I hope that I make a good impression.”
Sligh’s journey to the Brandcenter was filled with obstacles and frustrations. Growing up in Virginia Beach as the daughter of two naval officers, the first time she moved away from home was when she was accepted as an undergraduate in fashion merchandising at VCU’s School of the Arts. She graduated on an accelerated track, and quickly found herself at a crossroads, unsure of what to do with her hard-earned degree. Sligh thought she might work for a fashion house someday but, after moving from job to job in local retail shops, she became determined to use her creative skills in a different way. On a random trip to a mobile phone store with her father, she logged onto an iPad and starting looking for graduate school opportunities. She read what the VCU Brandcenter had to offer and signed up to take the Graduate Record Exam, better known as the GRE, the next day.
“Ever since her application and her interview, we just saw something pretty special in her in terms of her passion and fortitude, work ethic and humility,” said Andrew LeVasseur, professor of experience design at the VCU Brandcenter.