Edinboro Alumni Issue: MacKenzie Cherban

Friday, September 28th, 2018 at 9:27 AM
Edinboro Alumni Issue: MacKenzie Cherban by Lucas Hershelman

Metalsmith, art director, communication designer, interaction designer. MacKenzie Cherban has just about done it all when it comes to the creative fields. Since graduating from Edinboro University in 2012 with a dual major in applied media arts/graphic design, as well as studio arts and jewelry/metal making, she has added quite a few new entries to her resume.

This includes her current job in user experience design at Microsoft.

Edinboro acted as a mold for Cherban, and if it were not for that mold, she explained, she wouldn’t be the finished product she is today.

“There isn’t a thing I would change about my majors or my career choices. Each major and degree (jewelry/metals, graphic design, master’s) taught me valuable skills and brought me in contact with phenomenal professors and great friends.”

On top of finishing with a 3.92 GPA, Cherban made Dean’s List every semester at Edinboro, along with having three pieces of her work published, being awarded four different scholarships due to art, and receiving the art department’s outstanding senior award.

After finishing her time at EU, Cherban worked a couple jobs, including as a freelance designer, and then furthered her education at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).

Cherban had several influences that helped her get to where she is now. “The professors in graphic design, particularly Shelle Barron and Brigette Davitt, prepared me for those first few years out of school. While at Edinboro, they were supportive in shaping my path and pushing me to do better,” she said.

The support from Edinboro’s graphic design professors led Cherban to land a job at an advertising agency in Pittsburgh as an intern. This past year, she submitted one of her inclusive design projects to the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City. This year the museum focused on “Access + Ability” which is right up Cherban’s alley, and lucky enough for her, the museum holds a student showcase every year.

“My project was accepted and my work hung in the museum for a few months. The showcase weekend allowed me to present my work to a panel of experts, and I was able to meet other students and professionals working in the inclusive design space,” she said.

Cherban also loves her job working in user experience design at Microsoft in Seattle. She enjoys that what she does can make an impact on Microsoft users worldwide.

“A lot of what we interact with these days was in some way or another, designed. It’s my job to make sure those interactions make sense and bring joy to people — not frustration,” she explained.

Working for a company doing what you love is typically one’s dream, and in the case of Cherban, she is living it.

“I’m quite happy with where I am professionally. I am working at a company whose values and mission I believe in. The leadership is amazing, and I get to do what I love,” she said.

And at the end of the day it all comes back to the people you work with. “I’ve worked with some truly amazing teams and people, and that makes all the difference. At the end of the day, I get to do what I love.”

Lucas Hershelman is a contributing writer for The Spectator.

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