By Raegan Cleary – 1851 contributor
When Mount Ida College closed its door, it wasn’t just the students that transferred to Lasell; Associate Professor Kathleen Potter came here as well. Potter, the former Fashion Industries Department Chair, had been working at Mount Ida for six years when the college announced it would be closing after its spring 2018 semester. After receiving offers from multiple fashion schools, Potter chose to continue her career here at Lasell.
Potter received her Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing at Mount Ida. Potter knew from a very young age that she wanted to work in fashion, but never expected a career in academia. After graduation she worked various jobs in the industry including buyer, visual merchandising director and merchandise manager. Then, Potter went back to school, receiving her M.B.A from the University of West Florida. When she finished her graduate program, she returned to Massachusetts wanting to rebuild her network and find leads on job opportunities.
“I reached out to my former professors to ask them if they had any leads for older grads, and that’s actually how I ended up in academia. The conversation started on teaching a course, then it was teaching a course or two or three, then it was being hired full time,” said Potter. At Mount Ida, Potter was given some amazing opportunities including reimagining curriculum, being innovative with course design and assuming leadership roles. “All of that combined really solidified that this was the path for me and ultimately that brought me to Lasell,” she said.
When the school closed, a couple of fashion schools, including Lasell put in offers. She was most excited for Lasell, since it was close to Mount Ida. Over time she got to know some of the professors and knew how solid their fashion program was. Potter was not able to start in September because she just had twins, but she looked forward to finally joining the School of Fashion in the spring.
Fashion Merchandising senior Catherine McCusker-Brown was excited to be taught by Potter this semester. “I have only had a few classes with Professor Potter, but so far all of her classes have been fun, interactive and have made me think critically about the fashion industry,” said McCusker-Brown. “Her experience and knowledge have and will be a great addition to Lasell.”
Outside of teaching, Potter wants to improve the internship experience here at Lasell. “At this point in 2019, going to college is all about the return on your investment. And I think a big part of measuring that return on your investment is your ability to build a résumé that eventually will lead to career opportunities and job offers upon graduation,” she said.
Lasell and the School of Fashion are lucky to have Potter on their team. With a new perspective and lots of fresh ideas, there is no doubt she will enjoy her time here.
Potter’s Trend Forecasting students get hands on by creating mood boards.
Photo by Raegan Cleary