From Saint Michael’s to HomeGoods: Q&A with Alum Mairead McGonagle

Think you want to study English and journalism in college? Read about this Saint Michael’s College graduate’s experience.

February 9, 2022
Faculty/staff report

Attention, HomeGoods shoppers! Or really, anyone who a) likes to shop, b) likes to write, c) is considering studying English and journalism in college.

This post is for you.We caught up with another one of our many impressive Saint Michael’s graduates to hear about her current job, her time at St. Mike’s, and more.

Meet Mairead McGonagle ‘11 from Cape Cod, MA. During her time at Saint Michael’s, Mairead majored in English, minored in journalism, and was active on the swim team, Student Association, and the Founders Society.

Today, she’s a senior copywriter for The TJX Companies. Read on.

How’d you end up at the TJX Companies? Tell us about your job!

I had always had my eye on TJX as I worked for other retail companies in Boston. I’m an avid shopper of our stores, and learned how to be a TJX shopper from my mom and grandmother at a very young age 🙂  When the opportunity came to join the marketing team in 2016, I couldn’t have been more excited! 

TJX is a great company for many reasons, but I’ve loved being able to gain a wealth of experience working for each of TJX’s family of brands: T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, and now HomeGoods. Each brand has its strengths and challenges, offers unique opportunities to grow, and is so beloved by all of our shoppers!

Currently, I’m a Senior Copywriter on the Marketing Creative team for HomeGoods. My biggest project is launching the all-new! As a creative, I make sure that our fun, unexpected brand voice is coming through in each of our marketing touchpoints. I work on the brand social channels (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.), and focus a lot of my efforts on strengthening our digital marketing.

What made you choose Saint Michael’s College for your undergraduate degree?

I fell in love with St. Mike’s as soon as I stepped on campus. I was on the swim team, and my biggest advocate for helping ensure that my St. Mike’s dream came true was my coach, the late Jim Donoghue. He instantly made me feel comfortable, introduced me to my best friends, and assured me that I had everything it took to succeed and thrive at St. Mike’s. He was my #1 mentor, cheerleader, and, well, person. After my first visit, I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else!

In what ways do you think Saint Michael’s helped prepare you for your career?

I was able to perfectly tailor my St. Mike’s experience to lay the groundwork and foundation for a successful (and fun!) career. There were soooooo many opportunities to take advantage of! I was interested in marketing, writing, and social media and was able to gain an invaluable internship in the SMC Marketing Department. 

As an English major, I loved to read, but knew I wanted to pursue a career in communications, so was able to add a Media, Journalism, and Digital Arts minor to expand my knowledge even more. 

I also took advantage of being part of the SMC Student Association as the Secretary of Communications and was able to help new students experience the joy of St. Mike’s through the Founders Society. I learned a lot about juggling deadlines and workload, making connections, and building relationships—all important skills that have helped me succeed in my career. 

Got a favorite class, experience, or memory you can tell us about?

All of my memories are my favorite! I loved my photography classes, writing my senior English thesis, being attached at the hip with my St. Mike’s swim team pals, studying abroad in Galway, Ireland, and so much more! Oh, and P-Day. Always P-Day

Favorite spot on campus?

I spent so. much. time at the Durick Library. I always found a quiet place to study, and write! The views of the campus from the upstairs lobby were beautiful and so peaceful. I’d also have to say the pool—another favorite place where I spent many of my afternoons and early mornings with my teammates and friends.

Is Burlington a great college town or what?!

THE BEST.  Even 10+ years later, I always try to make it up to Burlington at least twice a year. I love seeing my friends who are still in the area, going to the restaurants, and of course, shopping on Church St. My favorite boutique has always been Monelle

Any advice for students considering Saint Michael’s College? What kind of student is St. Mike’s perfect for?

I cannot say enough how attending St. Mike’s has positively impacted my life. I have friends that are my family, and attribute most of my success to the skills, relationships, and experiences I had there. 

Every kind of student has a home at St. Mike’s. Personally, I struggled with test-taking, and as a student-athlete, really had to rely on my professors for extra help, time management, and building confidence in my academics. My professors personally gave me extra time, invited me to their homes for extra help, and were my biggest advocates. I thrived in the small community and the close-knit environment that a St. Mike’s education provides. 

My advice? Take advantage of EVERYTHING. And savor the time! I look back on my four years so fondly, and have so many amazing friendships and memories to thank St. Mike’s for! 

Want to hear more about the English and journalism programs at Saint Michael’s College?


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