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CAS Graduate Study Success Stories

Taking Risks

Several of McCullough's class projects were centered on the YMCA where she volunteered. Now she is their Director of Marketing and Development.

The MCM program has had a profound influence on my life, both personally and professionally. It has enabled me to leverage my life experiences in the public and non-profit sectors and gave me the confidence to take risks and pursue a career in the field of communications. As part of the interview process for my current job, I submitted writing samples of class projects from the Communicating Corporate Image class (Repositioning the YMCA) and also a Direct Marketing course (case study on The United Way). The CEO in my second interview mentioned the report I had written on repositioning the YMCA and I believe it gave me an edge over the other candidate.

During the course of my Simmons education, several class projects centered on the YMCA. As Chairman for two years of the Board of Directors for the Waltham YMCA (a branch of the YMCA of Greater Boston), I gained valuable leadership experience and insight into the mission and operation of the YMCA. As an involved community volunteer for this highly respected organization, it was a pleasure to delve deeper into the subject matter and present my findings to several classes. My MCM projects were written proof of my knowledge of the YMCA. What I lacked in professional work experience in marketing and development was overshadowed by my demonstrated knowledge of the YMCA mission and purpose. My communication skills were also an important factor.

MCM has continued to have an influence on my professional career. My Applied Learning Project (ALP) on developing a planned giving program for YMCA Southcoast will be implemented next year as one of my duties in development for this growing organization, which now has four divisions.

I am a wife, mother, grandmother, businesswoman, graduate student and community volunteer. MCM has given me the confidence to relocate and change careers and has helped me leverage my strengths, professional desires and knowledge into a meaningful career in the nonprofit sector. An M.S. in Communications Management from Simmons College gave me the credentials I needed to succeed in the field of communications of an organization that has been an important part of my life for many years.