Where are they now: Maryville graduates

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Maryville is constantly evolving. There’s no doubt that when it first started, things were immensely different from the campus we see today. While the university may have changed over time, but Maryville alumni Kelly Simmons‘ love for Maryville hasn’t. Simmons graduated in 1995 with an accounting degree.

What is your current position at your job and how has the experience been so far?

Currently, I am a manager for data analytics at a software development company called Superion Software. The experience has been wonderful. I lead a great team of people from various backgrounds, and we bring a wide range of experiences to the company allowing us to develop analytics solutions for our customers.

Why did you decide to come to Maryville?

I wanted the more intimate setting of smaller classes and a higher student to teacher ratio. Coming out of high school, the thought of lecture halls with hundreds of students to a class was overwhelming to me and not the type of educational experience I was looking for.

What did you think of your professors in your degree?

I got to know my professors well as I had them consistently throughout my education. I thought all of them were top notch, and I appreciated the real-world experience they brought to the classroom.

What were the most helpful classes you took and why?

All of the classes were helpful. The business management and accounting courses have probably helped me the most in my career.

What were the most fun classes you took?

I enjoyed the philosophy and theology classes. Theology was a requirement for all degree programs at the time and though I wouldn’t have chosen it, it turned out to be a very insightful course encouraging us to hold open discussions about controversial topics. It taught me how to keep an open mind and debate my points with respect to opposing opinions.

What classes do you regret not taking?

Computer related courses – programming specifically.

What things did you regret not doing at Maryville or at college in general?

I regret not getting more involved in the student activities. I was a commuter student and kept to myself, coming to campus only for classes.

How has failure set you up for success?

Failure teaches you that you are stronger than you think, it gives you the opportunity to step back and assess what you did right, what you did wrong and how to approach the challenge from a different angle.

How did Maryville help you prepare for your career?

Completing an education is a great first step towards building a career. Not all career tracks go according to plan. Though I haven’t had a job in accounting for many years, the knowledge I gained at Maryville has allowed me to build a career in financial data analytics.

Did your experience at Maryville help you find your first position after graduation?

I utilized Maryville’s job co-op services extensively during my junior and senior years. This provided me with the opportunity to experience various work environments over the course of my education and certainly attributed to my success in job hunting post-graduation.

This is Kelly Simmons when she graduated from Maryville University. Photo courtesy of Mackenzie Simmons.

What was your experience like getting a job after graduation? Did you find a job right away or did someone help you?

I continued part time for a company I worked with through the co-op office for a short time and then left the workforce to raise a family. 

What are the biggest improvements Maryville has made since you graduated?

Maryville has grown significantly since I graduated. The expansion of student services and extra-curricular options is significant. These options add to the student experience and make everyone feel like they are a part of something bigger.

How has Maryville changed since you graduated?

Maryville has grown significantly since I graduated, the campus size has at least doubled. Also, there were still a few nuns instructing while I was there and I understand the Catholic affiliation has been modified to non-denominational.

Is there any advice you would give future alumni about how to adjust to having a full-time job and not being in school anymore?

The transition to a full-time job from full-time school is not difficult. Accountability and dedication to the task at hand are necessary for success in both arenas.

What advice do you have for Maryville students and incoming freshman?

Focus on getting varied education, participate in as many things as you can and enjoy your days as a student.

What advice would you give to yourself as a freshman in college?

Relax. Get involved. Don’t let fear hold you back.

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