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Industry Spotlight: Trim Engineer Uses Fashion Skills for Automotive Career


Trim Engineer Whitney Jones moved to Farmington Hills from Arizona at the age of four, grew up in the mitten and when she reached college, she knew she wanted to work in the design field but she wasn’t sure if the fashion or the interior design route was the right choice. As it always does for DG3, fashion won; she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Apparel and Textile Design from MSU but as she got out into the real world, she realized that most of the fashion jobs were out of state. Not wanting to move, she put her skills to good use in the automotive field.

DG3: Tell us a little about yourself, Whitney.

Whitney Jones: My family moved here from Arizona, I grew up in the Farmington Hills area and went to Marian High School in Bloomfield Hills. For my first year of college, I went to Arizona State University in Tempe and they did not have a fashion design program, so by default I wound up studying interior design. I got really home sick and decided to move back to Michigan after my freshman year. I transferred to Michigan State and learned that they had an excellent fashion program, so I switched majors and got my BA in Apparel and Textile Design.

DG3: How did you get into trim engineering? Is it similar to any of the specific fashion design applications?

WJ: I got into trim engineering for similar reasons that I ended up at Michigan State. Once I graduated, I found that most of the design work was either in New York or Los Angeles. For as many times as I flew home to visit friends and family while I lived in Tempe, I decided moving away again was not a good choice for me financially – I would be spending every dime I made on air travel! I began applying to every opportunity I felt I was even slightly qualified for. After a couple of months with no luck, I received an email from MSU stating that an automotive company in Novi was searching for Apparel and Textile graduates fo