AEP Alumni Success Stories
Margaret Swanson (2009)
- Buffalo, N.Y.
- Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Communication Studies
- Internal Auditor, Superior Group
Upon graduating from Niagara University in 2009, I worked as a retail store manager for the College Division of Barnes & Noble until 2011 at which time I returned to school to pursue a master’s degree.
I finished a master of public administration in human resources in 2013. While pursing my master’s full-time, I also worked full-time as a bank teller for Susquehanna Bank.
After completing my master’s, I went to work for a small nonprofit until I ultimately ended up with Superior Group as an internal auditor. My current position utilizes my HR background and degree.
How did AEP help you as a college student? Did AEP prepare you for the major you ultimately declared?
By meeting with my AEP advisor, I was able to discuss my interests, strengths and goals without feeling like I was being “sold” a particular major or career choice. I was encouraged to take courses that were of interest to me that may or may not have led to my final major of choice, communications studies.
The opportunity to take other classes outside of communications gave me a different perspective of my major courses in the end. One of the biggest things that my advisor explained to me was that, even if my major didn’t become my career field, the skills and knowledge I gain from studying something I found interesting would follow me in any career I chose.
How did Niagara prepare you for the “world of work” (i.e. key coursework, internships, clubs, etc.)?
Niagara University prepared me for the “world of work” by requiring me to use my problem solving, creative-thinking skills and my ability to work with others. Niagara isn’t just a school where you learn the method; I was given hands-on experience and practical application. Most of my classes required problem-solving skills and creative solutions. I have used these skills in most of my positions, as well as in my graduate studies.
Any fun professional tidbits?
One of the personal highlights of my undergraduate studies was taking the Film and Culture class (CMS 353 – yes, I still remember the course number). The look on people’s faces when I tell them that the class was an analysis of culture fears by screening sci-fi movies is priceless. I often use it as an ice-breaker when I’m at business meetings.
Who would have thought that a junior year class at Niagara would have ended up being the way I met most of my colleagues seven years later?!