Last fall, I arrived in San Marcos to begin my journey as a graduate student in the newly minted Merchandising and Consumer Studies program. Upon my arrival I immediately met with my graduate adviser Dr. Pauline Sullivan, whom I had spoken with just days before to discuss the various opportunities that lay ahead. Walking into the Family and Consumer Sciences building with a flock of students who unlike me were certain of their destination was overwhelming yet oddly reassuring. I knew then that I had made the right decision. More importantly that despite feeling lost I was exactly where I needed to be. In that first day alone I also quickly discovered that Dr. Sullivan’s office would become my second home for the next two years.
As I make my way into my second semester, I can argue that the MCS program is truly what you make it. During our first class session in the “Merchandising in the Experienced Economy” class, my classmates and I shared observations on several fashion campaigns, including one for Prada. Being an admirer of luxury fashion such as Prada, I was fascinated with the discussion. What I have enjoyed most about the program is that it is made up of a group of individuals with diverse backgrounds and unique career goals. Some of my classmates’ interests include charitable fashion and small business retailing such as boutiques, and international consulting. These career and personal differences make class learning enticing.
What I look forward to most as a graduate student is growing in my academic ability to write and research in the area of online fashion and social media. I’m grateful that the MCS program has opened the doors for graduate students like myself to spend time researching, analyzing and growing in the knowledge of merchandising and consumer studies. Being one of the first students in the program also presents the opportunity to shape the program into one that future students will come to enjoy. That’s exciting.
While the journey ahead continues to appear as a large, unobtainable goal, I will remind myself of the simple but profound words my graduate advisor gave me during one of our very first encounters, “Just take it one bite at a time.”