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Small school reaps huge rewards, instructor finds

Angela McBride focused the first 10 years of her career on corporate America, climbing the executive ladder in marketing sales and making a name for herself. “I wanted to achieve even more but I discontinued my college education and later learned it was a setback for me career-wise. I felt it signaled the end of viable opportunities,” she reports.  

McBride was at a big university and found herself lost among the numbers and feeling she was not benefiting from the experience. But without her master’s degree, the jobs she was seeking were not within her reach.

“I had heard about Cleary; I was raised in Livingston County and graduated from Hartland High School,” so McBride gave it a try.

What a difference from the big school and in a great way, she was so happy to find. She quickly completed her bachelor’s degree and continued on to obtain a master’s in business administration at Cleary, remaining focused on the prize – landing that big corporate job.

McBride was interviewing for one of the big three automotive corporations when a Hartland High School classmate and associate professor at Cleary, encouraged McBride to apply for a teaching position at Cleary. “Kelly (Kelly Genei) said, ‘just try it for a year,’ and I reluctantly agreed. “I am in my second year of teaching and have a full load of six classes,” she laughs.

“I fell in love with teaching at Cleary! I am meant to be a teacher. I can bring real-life experiences into the classroom from my 10 years in sales and marketing, and I am thankful that I can use my knowledge to help other students.”

McBride points out that she has the benefit of being able to see Cleary from both perspectives – as a student and now as an instructor.

“When I was a student, I felt valued and understood; there always was someone who would go the extra mile to help me succeed. I felt the faculty genuinely cared about me, I received personalized attention, and I felt Cleary had mastered how to work with adult learners.

“Some people think a small campus has small benefits; they haven’t had the Cleary experience!” McBride exclaims.

“As an instructor, I am impressed with the students and how focused they are on learning and applying their knowledge practically. They really know what they are doing,” McBride finds.

During De-Stress Week, she volunteered for late-night study sessions in the Commons and enjoyed every minute of it. “Learning is fun, and I do my best to make it a fun experience for my students,” she reports.

“I am so glad I took this opportunity. I know Cleary is where I am meant to be. Corporate America can wait for me … and probably for a long time! Cleary is stuck with me!” she laughs.

She wants to add that she is working toward a national certification in yoga, requiring 200 hours of training. “Yoga has so many benefits for students and student athletes,” she finds. “I would love to teach a yoga class at Cleary.”

The quote on her Linkedin page says it all: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela