Maryville College students and alumni surely all remember the declared purpose of their school: to form students into citizens and leaders.
Right from the start, MC is adamant about stretching minds and requiring students to get out of their comfort zones in an effort to mold experienced and diverse future graduates.
Does all that hard work really pay off? What happens after that threshold into the real world is crossed?
A few of MC’s most recent graduates have found their ways to success and admit that a lot of credit is due to their alma mater.
Will Donovan graduated just last May, but he’s already making strides in the world of business. He started his own lawn care company, which has continuously grown, and he attributes much of his success to Maryville College.
“The skills I learned in college, I am now applying to my business on the networking in the marketing scheme of things,” Donovan said. “One of the best skills I learned was to give presentations and maintain a professional façade while talking to a customer.”
Donovan took a couple of semesters off to do some hands-on work with his company, but he returned to graduate, a decision he felt was vital.
“MC did not necessarily push me to run my own landscaping company, but it certainly provided me with the skills necessary to run my own business.”
The college also prides itself with preparing students to move on to a graduate school, and 2011 graduate Mollie Lamb is a prime example. Just a few short months after leaving MC, she found herself with a job as an assistant director for the YMCA and working on her master’s degree at UTC.
“MC not only gave me a wonderful education but also taught me how to apply what I learned,” Lamb said.
She also cites the academic rigor of this institution as one of the prime factors of her success.
“MC also taught me wonderful study, research and writing skills. Plus I knew if I could survive comps and thesis, then I could make it through almost anything I come across!”
Many graduates do very well after heading back to their home cities, and many end up staying in the Maryville area. Some, however, venture beyond the norm and aspire to be citizens of the world.
Chelsea Barker, a member of the class of 2010, joined the Peace Corps last year and has been working to help villages in South Africa ever since. From educating villagers about disease prevention to painting world maps with local school children, she has fully committed herself to the project. Still, this isn’t just a job—it’s a calling.
“It represents a deeper pull I think that many of us feel—to serve others and the world at large—because that same pull also tells us that we’re all the same person,” Barker said.
She believes that one of the main skills that won her a position in the Peace Corps was the ability to effectively communicate, a specialty of MC.
“At MC, even as a jittery, know-it-all freshman, I was treated as an intelligent adult whose voice mattered,” Barker said.
There are countless other graduates who have gone on to do great and wonderful things, some in their home towns, others half-way across the world.
It may be difficult at times, but there’s no doubt that the education provided at MC will push any willing learner in the right direction. Whether you start a business, go on to grad school or venture into foreign lands, the skills you learn here will last a lifetime.