Alison Koning is a Women’s LaCrosse coach, the Assistant to the Athletic Director at Mount Ida College and the holder of two degrees that have positioned her not only for her coaching job, but as a role model the young women who come to campus with talent, a competitive edge and a desire to succeed.

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Alison studied sport management as a Mount Ida undergrad, with a concentration in marketing and communication and sports became a major part of her campus experience.  “I loved Mount Ida, the classes, the instructors and being on the team.   And when I found out that I could, in an additional year, earn my Master of Science in Management (MSM), I jumped at the chance.”

Alison enrolled in the MSM in Sport Leadership, taking classes that expanded her knowledge into not only the world of sports, but business as well.  “I always knew I wanted to be involved in sports in my career.  With my master’s degree, I feel prepared to work toward an administrative role as well as to coach.”

The courses on the master’s level were challenging and much to Alison’s delight, different from those on the undergrad level.  “Even if some of the professors were the same, the content was fresh.  I never felt as if I’d already done it. “

Alison also had the opportunity to intern for a youth soccer league and to spend time with the Special Olympics of Massachusetts. “I did event planning and ran tournaments.  It was a big learning curve, but it helped me learn the administrative side of the sports industry.”

Getting her MSM was a sound choice.  “It boosts my resume and is opening doors. And because I was able to complete my two degrees in five years, it saved me time and money – not bad things at all.”

Iman Kelly McPherson, a 9th-grader at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, has a keen interest in fashion. When an assignment came up in her Digital Photography class to do a photo essay on a chosen topic, Iman wanted to focus on the fashion design process.  “I am really interested in fashion—I shop (!), but I wanted to understand the origins of the clothes I buy.”

Iman says that she could have chosen to visit a company, but that she didn’t want to learn just about fashion production—she wanted to be walked through the steps of how a designer would get started with a creative idea and develop it. She wanted to explore the process at a “place of learning,” so she chose the Fashion Design Program at Mount Ida College, where she already knew Professor Earl Battle, Chair of the Fashion Design Program at the School of Design. “Earl is very friendly, and I knew he would be open to helping me with my project.”

The following are some of the photographs Iman took at the School of Design which she will be using for her photo essay, with commentary in her own words.

Mood Board

“This is the beginning of the design process. Before you start making your own design, you put together other people’s creations to serve as the inspiration for your own.”

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Fabric Rolls/Office of a Fashion Design Professor

“I took this picture because it is disorganized, but interesting. I see it as representative of a step in the creative process of fashion design.”

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Mannequins

“Mannequins say something about what and who the designs are for—people. I like the different sizes of the mannequins, the idea that fashion encompasses different kinds of people and different styles.”

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Shell Dress

“I really liked the creativity of this piece. I was impressed that the designer used two materials that one would not normally put together and use for a fashion piece (hot glue and shells), and made something beautiful.”

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Finishing Touches

“Professor Battle showing me how to finish off a design.”

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Iman explained what she learned from this exercise in the fashion design process:

 “I learned that it takes a lot of work and many steps to make a single fashion garment. Also, if you don’t get it right on the first try, you have to go back and revise the design—you have to be very creative and have a lot of patience. This exercise made me appreciate my clothes more, and to see them not just as a form of style, but as an art.”

For Christina Gedick, a 2015 graduate of Mount Ida College, the Master of Science in Management (MSM) program in Interior Architecture was a perfect choice.   Christina did her undergraduate work at Mount Ida and was able to take advantage of the 4+1 master’s program, allowing her to complete both her bachelor’s and master’s degree in a total of five years.

Now Christina has put her education to work as a full-time Project Designer at Fusion Design Consultants, Inc. in Boston, designing mainly corporate offices. She has helped with projects including Boston Children’s Hospital, District Management Council, and Westwood Global Investments.

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Christina credits her experience at Mount Ida with helping her land her position. “It was ideal in so many ways,” says Christina.  “Taking graduate classes while still an undergrad was a great solution and it meant I could get another degree under my belt while challenging myself, continuing my college experience at Mount Ida and saving a little time and money, too.” Because she was achieving her bachelors and masters at the same time, Christina was able to connect her graduate research to her undergraduate thesis which was an advantage that she had over some of her classmates.

Christina, who had no previous business experience, said the program pushed her to work harder, saying the courses tested her creativity and her mind.  “The classes forced me to think deeper about concepts and certain aspects of design and what I, as a designer, could bring to the table that would be different from the rest of the designers in the industry.”

One of the many things she enjoyed at Mount Ida was taking part in the Enabled by Design-a-thon competition in Washington, D.C.  “It was fun, yet educational and opened my eyes to accessibility and changed my way of thinking about design and how it can be used to accommodate everyone, no matter their ability.” Christina also had the opportunity to take the travel course “Global Design: Analysis of Historic Built environments and Planning for Resilient Communities”, and studied the relation between interior design and resiliency first hand in Czech Republic and Germany. This was a meaningful trip for Christina as it was her first time traveling outside of the United States.

Christina recommends that other designers follow her lead into the MSM program.  “Design isn’t just design, it is a business as well.  Having the business foundation helps you better understand companies and their processes no matter what field of design you go into. I wanted to have an additional business degree to take with me into the design industry, and the 4+1 program was the perfect way to do it.” Christina feels that the business knowledge she gained in the graduate program combined with her interior design background has ultimately made her a well-rounded designer.