Around this exact time four years ago, I was applying to colleges and ultimately deciding where I wanted to call home for the next four pivotal years of my life. At the time it seemed like a very daunting decision because I was always told that the next four years would be a time in which I would grow and change exponentially and build lifelong friendships and relationships with my peers, as well as professors. Thus, it was very important to me that I choose an environment that would encourage and foster this, and as I enter my senior year, I can confidently say that choosing to attend Marist College and be part of the Marist College Fashion Program has proven to be exactly that type of caring environment and much more.
Within the fashion department, all of my professors have had extensive experience in the industry and have always given me advice and extremely valuable insight. They have been there to help me with everything from developing my own unique course of study so that I can double concentrate in fashion business and promotion and still graduate on time, to also providing me with amazing connections for internships that have ultimately led to my recent acceptance of a post-graduate job offer. Countless times, my professors have been willing to meet with me outside of class and regular office hours if I am still struggling with understanding a lesson or concept. For example, during my freshman year I was taking a course called principles of apparel and design, a class that relies heavily on adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, which was somewhat challenging for myself and many other students in the class. Our professor, Michael Johnson, was always willing to stay late or make available time in his schedule to make sure no one would fall behind and that everyone received one-on-one time with him if needed. Later on, during my junior year, he and Professor Jodi Hartman would be there at the arrival gate in Hong Kong when I landed for my fall semester abroad to study fashion merchandising at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. They both stayed the entire first week to help myself and my other classmate, Renee, get adjusted to living on the other side of the world for the next few months.
Some of my favorite memories of being part of the fashion program have come from the various opportunities to participate in the production of fashion shows at NYFW and our very own Silver Needle Runway. Throughout these opportunities, I’ve been able to collaborate with professors and other incredibly talented peers as a team. Many of the tasks for the Silver Needle Runway and the editorial magazine take place on the weekend. And regardless of how early on a Saturday we have to be on location, there is always a professor there with coffee and constant encouragement to get us through the day. To see professors with such passion and genuine care for the program and the students in it is so encouraging and inspiring. It is exactly the type of environment that fuels personal growth and insight as well as sparks curiosity to learn inside and outside of the classroom. It’s this type of dedication and support that has had a profound effect on my experience here at Marist and I know that I can speak for many others and myself when I say that it will stay with us throughout our careers and beyond.