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MacKenzie Cahoone

  • Hometown: South Kingstown, RI
  • Major: Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design
  • Graduation Year: 2014

Why did you choose this degree program?

Somehow I just happened to fall into studying TMD, but it worked out for the best. I was originally studying biology when I came to URI, but when I realized that definitely was not for me, I took a few TMD classes just to see how I liked it. The next thing I knew I was accepted into the program and decided to stick with it because I was so enthusiastic about the courses the TMD program offers.

What inspired you to pursue your career choice?

My parents triggered my passion for this field. My mother and father own a screen-printing and graphic design business, which I have been around since I can remember. When deciding what courses to take my second semester freshman year, the TMD program seemed like the right fit for me.

Why did you choose URI?

I chose URI because when I was deciding where to go to school, I wasn’t completely sure about what I wanted to do with my life. URI offers a wide variety of majors and gave me the flexibility to change my mind about what I wanted to study.

What has been the best part of your studies at URI?

The best part of my studies at URI is the freedom I have in selecting courses. The TMD program is structured with 18 professional electives built in to the 120 credit requirement for graduating which can be used for a minor. I chose minor in general business and I could not be happier! The business courses and fashion merchandising courses I have taken build off one another.

What’s been the best part of your whole experience at URI?

My favorite part of my experience thus far at URI was my participation in the TMD/TM Winter Study Tour. I was given the opportunity to study in London and Paris for two weeks this past January and it was a trip I will never forget. One piece of advice I have for any student in this program is to participate in the study tour, or even go abroad if you have the ability to do so!

What has surprised you most about URI?

The small class sizes and the welcoming faculty at URI surprised me. Before enrolling, I wasn’t expecting my college professors to know my name or even remember me after the semester ended. I have been pleasantly surprised!

What do you think of the faculty at URI?

I have nothing but good things to say about the faculty at URI. Specifically, I am very appreciative of the faculty in my program. The professors of the TMD department are more than happy to answer any questions you may have and they constantly introduce new opportunities for students.

What do you consider the biggest strengths of your particular program at URI?

I believe the biggest strength of the TMD program at URI is the fact that this program is so broad. A student in this major has the flexibility to focus their studies on textile science, fashion merchandising, interior design, fashion design, or even historic textiles. As I begin looking for jobs, I feel as though URI’s TMD program has given me an advantage over other textile students across the country because of the exposure I have gained in all of the different areas in this field.

What kind of internships, experiential learning opportunities, or real-life experiences have you had?

I have been involved in my parent’s business since I can remember, and I currently work at the URI Bookstore in the clothing department. This job has given me real world experience in my field and even links topics I learn in my TMD courses to the job. I have also had an internship at the Destination XL Group headquarters where I worked in global sourcing and product development. This was an exciting opportunity where I was able to see up close the entire process of developing and sourcing a new garment.

What’s your “Big Idea”?

We need to become more sustainable in the apparel world. Consumers have a “throw-away” mentality when it comes to clothing, and manufactures look for the cheapest solution in apparel production, which may not always be the most sustainable solution. I would like to change this idea. Ultimately, I believe we need to make a change in the way society views apparel.

What would you say to someone undecided about where to go to school for your particular major/program?

As I said before, URI’s TMD program is constructed to give any student looking to pursue a career in this field exposure in many different areas of this field of study. If you don’t know what to study, URI offers a wide variety of majors and gives students the flexibility to change their mind about what they want to study.

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