Alumni Q&A: Drew Charette, Class of 2012

What’s happening in your career now?

I’m the Director of Product Development at Away, a modern travel and lifestyle brand. We offer beautiful, high-quality luggage at an affordable price point.

I execute the design and creative department’s ideas and concepts for a myriad of products. I follow the development process from the initial design concept to material sourcing and sampling as well as construction guidance to final production of sellable goods.

How would you describe your career path? What were some challenges you faced?

Impatient and tumultuous. I’ve been impatient in my career path because I’ve always wanted more responsibility and control. Being low man on the totem pole did not cut it for me. I knew I could handle more responsibility.

I say tumultuous because in every position, team members, both at higher and lower levels, have decided to leave at very inopportune times. I’ve come to realize that it’s actually an opportunity to prove that I can incorporate their workload into mine.

Did you have mentors at LIM?

Paula Wang was an LIM professor who brought taught me about Asia. She encouraged me to take part in a travel abroad opportunity to China. We visited Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Upon returning, I was required to complete an internship before graduation. Paula set up an internship for me in Shanghai. It was a very challenging experience, but it gave me a very strong advantage landing my first job in product development.