The Ohio State University at Mansfield

Alumni Conversations: Meghan Matthews

Our alumni at The Ohio State University at Mansfield have changed lives, traveled the world, and become great leaders in their communities. We sat down with Meghan Matthews, who graduated from Ohio State Mansfield with her Associate of Arts (AA) degree in 2014. She is currently the assistant director of annual giving, direct marketing at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill.

When did you attend The Ohio State University at Mansfield?
“I attended Ohio State Mansfield for two years. I earned my Associate of Arts degree and was able to transfer to University North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I now live in Durham, NC.”

What made you choose Ohio State Mansfield?
“Having grown up in a big city, I wanted to stay out of one for as long as possible. I liked the opportunities for growth at a smaller campus. Ohio State Mansfield had smaller class sizes, on-campus housing, and opportunities to receive work on-campus. I also wanted to make sure that wherever I went, I would not be plagued with too much student debt. The Mansfield campus had the right combination of environmental factors, while still allowing me to access everything on the Columbus campus and earn a degree from The Ohio State University.”

What did you like most about the campus/classes at Ohio State Mansfield?
“I loved my residence life! I made some amazing connections working at Molyet Village (on-campus housing), and I still maintain friendships with some of the people I had the opportunity to work with at the complex. My professors (specifically Dr. Steven Joyce, Dr. Dawn Kitchen, Dr. Mark Ellis and Paula Cohen) all pushed me and made me realize what my path could be for my future. My adviser, Fran Bowes, was my favorite college adviser, and I know I am not the first Mansfield student to say that she is amazing. She was always patient with me and encouraged me to try new things. I credit a lot of my career path decision to her advice, and I am so thankful for that guidance.”

What class had the most significant impact on you?
“I would have to say the most transformational and memorable classes I had the opportunity to take would have been Cultural Anthropology with Dr. Kitchen and The History of Rock N’ Roll with Dr. Ellis. Both of those classes taught me how to critically examine culture and history (two of my passions), which helped me tremendously in my career. Both of these classes gave me a foundation of human understanding, as well as how groups of people relate to one another on even the smallest levels. I continued to take similar courses after I transferred to UNC, and that’s ultimately why I ended up majoring in media studies. I found a deep interest in how people relate to one another through media.”

How has Ohio State Mansfield prepared you for your career?
“Much of my success can be attributed to my experiences working with Mike Schopieray at Molyet Village. I was able to move from office assistant to resident manager after one year, as well as work as a summer conference assistant. Those positions helped me with my communication and customer service skills. The close relationship I had with my professors and administrators benefited me greatly. I had the opportunity to ask a lot of questions and dabble in different topics at Ohio State Mansfield, which ultimately helped me realized what I wanted to study.”

What was your experience like getting a job after graduation?
“Once I received my AA from Ohio State Mansfield and transferred to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I got a job on campus within a month. My experience working at Molyet Village enhanced my resume tremendously and allowed me to build upon the skills I learned. Once I graduated from UNC, I landed a development/advancement position because of my work experiences for two great universities. I still have two former supervisors from Ohio State Mansfield listed as references on my resume. Dr. Kitchen also wrote me a few recommendation letters; one helped me gain admission to UNC! I am also grateful for the support network I still have at Ohio State Mansfield.”

Were you awarded any scholarships to help with tuition at Ohio State Mansfield?
“I was awarded the Access Challenge Scholarship. The scholarship helped me choose Ohio State Mansfield because it made tuition more affordable for me at the time.”

What advice would you give to a student studying at Ohio State Mansfield?
“I would tell them not to take anyone you meet on this campus for granted. It’s easy to tell students to get involved (which is true) - but I don’t think I realized until I left just how much each person I crossed paths with would impact my life. Every person you meet will have an unexpected connection with you. Every course you have will teach you something you didn’t know about yourself. You will remember something random a professor said during class one day, years later – so pay attention. Take a job on campus that challenges you, and get the most you can get out of it. Take the time to talk to your professors after class and get to know them.

Don’t take anyone you meet, anything you experience, or anywhere you go for granted. The Ohio State University at Mansfield isn’t just a school; it’s a starting point that can help you figure out whom you want to be and what you can do.” Alumni Conversations is an effort to capture the inspiring stories of Buckeye Nation. The transformative power of The Ohio State University is evidenced by our alumni each day. They are leaders in business, government, medicine, the arts, law and many other industries. They continue to learn and grow as they pursue their passions in Ohio, throughout the nation, and around the world.

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