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Association Manager Strikes Career Success with Business Skills Gained at National

Association Manager Strikes Career Success with Business Skills Gained at National

Feb 11, 2014

Mary McClay first got hooked on bowling in 1969 when she was a sophomore in high school, and she has been involved in the sport ever since. “Bowling has always been a part of my life. I loved it the minute I started it,” she recalled.  But in her work as the manager of the Ohio USBC Women’s Bowling Association, Mary explained that it’s not all fun and games and “there’s more to this than going and throwing the ball down a lane.”

At the association office, Mary has a wide variety of duties—from coordinating tournaments and annual meetings, to developing marketing and promotional campaigns, and assisting local associations--and she is using the skills gained in her business administration-management, accounting, and office technology professional programs at the Dayton Area Campus to accomplish them all. 

While she has seen the great impact that her business classes have had on her work for the association, Mary wasn’t really thinking about going back to school when she bumped into fellow bowler and American National University instructor Wilbert Morris, who suggested that she should come to American National University to get the training that she needed to maximize her effectiveness on the job.

She was 54 at the time, and somewhat hesitant to return to school, thinking that many of the students would be half her age.  But once in class, she found that she fit right in, although as a professional working in the field, she often felt that she had a greater appreciation of the knowledge that was being shared than the younger students, because she was able to instantly apply it on the job.  “When I was in the classes, I’m thinking ‘OK, this can make my job a lot easier,’” she recalled of the classes which included accounting, Microsoft Office, marketing, and contract law. “I hope that when they get out and get into a job, they can really see the difference that it makes.”

While going to school and working full time at the association office was a challenge, Mary graduated with honors and was the recipient of the Joseph E. Hurn Award, which is presented for high academic achievement.  “I graduated with honors, but it shocked me.  They pushed me through, the instructors there, they’re behind you 110%,” she explained. 

"Who knew when I ran in to Mr. Morris?” Mary asked with a shrug, amazed at all she’s accomplished since that day.  She still turns to her instructors from the Dayton Area Campus whenever she has a question, and she feels confident knowing that free refresher courses are always available. “The support is probably the biggest thing that I took out of there,” she said. “It’s made a big difference in my life.”

Graduate Mary McClay is using her education received at the Dayton Area Campus every day.

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tags: OH-Dayton Area Business: Logistics/Supply Chain Management - Associate's Degree (LOG)