Excited About Starting a New Chapter in Her Life – Meet Mary Mallegni
After working part-time while her children were young, this married mother of two is not only excited for her youngest to start kindergarten in the fall, she’s also excited to start a new chapter in her life. Lakeshore Technical College’s May 2020 graduation student speaker Mary Mallegni anticipates returning to the workforce full-time in fall, putting her associate degree in Accounting into action.
After making the dean’s list every semester, and serving as president and secretary for the college’s Business Professionals Association, she is ready to join a field that first sparked her interest almost 10 years ago.
“I’m excited to take my new skill set back to work full-time, in the type of position that will allow me to work when my children are in school and be a more active member of my family,” says Mary.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Mary remains very positive about the future for herself and her fellow graduates. “At a time when fear can be so powerful and block out other things, we need to push it away, not be afraid, and not sell ourselves short,” she says.
Faculty members are not surprised to hear her express such a positive attitude. According to those who nominated her for the honor of student speaker, “Mary is a phenomenal student and tremendous leader. She brings her positive energy and inquisitiveness with her to whatever she is doing.”
Traits like those may stem in part from Mary’s previous education and work experiences. Mary holds a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management, an associate degree in Culinary Arts, and worked for 12 years in the hospitality industry.
While working in hospitality leadership roles, components of Mary’s responsibilities would remind her of the accounting class she took while pursuing her bachelor’s degree. Mary says she loved that class, though was half-way through her degree at the time, and wasn’t “brave enough” to make the change. After the birth of her second child, she talked with her husband about stepping away from the workforce and returning to school. Together they agreed it was time for Mary to follow that passion that had never left her, and she enrolled in the accounting program at LTC where she started the fall of 2016.
Shortly after, Mary was offered a job she couldn’t resist, and set her studies aside. That job didn’t work out as expected. Almost a year later, her husband reminded her how happy she was during her one semester at LTC. “I think this was my biggest leap of faith, but with my family supporting me, I went for it,” Mary says about her return to LTC, where she became actively involved in the Business Professionals Association.
Mary competed in five events at the state Business Professionals Association competition this spring. Her organization of her Financial Analysis team especially impressed her instructors. They say she created a game plan and helped each team member blend their portion into a smooth presentation. Her efforts were well worthwhile – her team qualified for the national conference in that event – and she qualified in her other four events. It was disappointing for all involved that the conference was not held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mary’s primary message to members of her graduating class focuses on three points: do not be afraid of the path you are on or the path you want to take; do not be afraid to continue learning; and do not be afraid to dream.
Mary is certainly practicing her own advice while taking a new path down the accounting road.