When Jackie Levy ’01 came to Mount Ida, she knew that she wanted to work with animals in some capacity. Now, Levy has found her niche at the VCA South Shore Animal Hospital in Weymouth, Massachusetts where she is employed as a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) and Certified Canine Rehab Practitioner (CCRP).

Classroom to career

Levy came to Mount Ida to complete her associate degree for vet tech, while working full-time in the field. Through balancing her coursework and career, she was able to maximize her learning experience outside of the classroom with applying real-world skills to her studies. As a result of spending the first eight years of her vet tech career at VCA Roberts Animal Hospital, she had the chance to do everything from reception to surgical tech to hospital management.

“Mount Ida gave me the foundation and experience I needed to become proficient as a vet tech,” said Levy. “Being an alumna means that I invested in my education and training so that I am able to develop my skills to the fullest. Ultimately, I see myself in a teaching position in the veterinary field.”

Deciding next moves

In 2010, Levy decided to go back to college to obtain her bachelor’s degree in vet tech. She found that continuing her education created opportunities for new interests. It helped her make the move to South Shore Animal Hospital full-time in 2012 to support their rehab program and management team.

“Don’t be complacent – challenge yourself and make sure you always have goals and things you want to learn,” stated Levy. “My proudest accomplishment has been my ability to practice in all my areas of interest. In addition to being a CVT, I am also a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) and CCRP, so I have been able to develop skills associated with special interests like behavior and rehabilitation.”

Fashion Merchandising and Marketing alumna Justine Lemoine ’08 had a longtime dream of working in e-commerce for the retail industry. Today, she is the Manager of Merchandise Programming at Rue La La, an exclusive online community that offers premier-brand sales from their online boutique, headquartered in Boston. Before landing her current gig, Lemoine also worked at The TJX Companies, Inc., Talbots, and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Balancing Business & Design

“The professors I had with real-life retail experience were a true inspiration for jumpstarting my career path,” stated Lemoine. “The balance of design and business classes within the Fashion Merchandising and Marketing program has definitely helped me excel in the analysis portion of my job, as well as the creative side of the position.”

As a Manager of Merchandise Programming, Lemoine is responsible for running the company’s residual inventory by collaborating with event production, merchandising and planning to create various events on the website. From her previous on-campus involvement in the Student Merchandisers and Marketers Association; she learned how to stay up-to-date on current fashion events and was exposed to other industry professionals.

Advice to New Graduates

“Have the drive and ambition to use the tools Mount Ida has provided you with, so you can get where you need to go,” added Lemoine. “Networking is a key element and it’s never too early to start making connections. Take the time at Mount Ida to get to know your professors and peers on a professional level because it’s always helpful to have an advocate when job searching.”

Lemoine’s proudest accomplishment at our college was receiving the Dorothea Taylor Memorial Award for History of Fashion and Costume during Senior Week. She is passionate about the fashion topic, which applies to her position. In the future, Lemoine hopes to continue working in the e-commerce side of retail and plans to grow her career to the executive level.

The next time you’re at Joan C. Edwards Stadium at Marshall University in West Virginia, take an extra long look at the sidelines. You might see sport management alumnus Jim Wenz ’12 who is a Facilities and Events Operations Graduate Assistant. Wenz handles the day-to-day operations of Marshall’s athletics facilities and performs game day operations for football, men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, tennis, softball, and baseball. He is pursuing his Master’s Degree in Sports Administration at Marshall University and plans to graduate in 2014.

Strong Athletics

Wenz’s love of sports and business directly impacted his decision to major in Sport Management at Mount Ida. But, his well-rounded college experience also came from our strong athletics with personalized attention and coaching. He stayed involved on campus by playing basketball (and was captain during his junior year), played on the football team during his senior year, served as Vice President of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and mentored as a Diversity Peer Leader.

“Sports helped me grow as a person and test my limits mentally and physically,” said Wenz. “Staying busy with these clubs and teams definitely helped me prepare to work in Division I athletics, while studying to receive my Master’s degree.

Career Networking

Wenz’s road to Marshall University was a result of networking with his former assistant basketball coach at our college. Through hearing about the opening, Wenz applied to the Sports Administration program at Marshall and was hired as a graduate assistant. Ultimately, in the future, he dreams to one day become an Athletics Director at the Division I level.

“People are willing to help you if you are specific about what you want,” stated Wenz. “Don’t be afraid to take chances and pursue opportunities that you will be presented with. Most of these opportunities only come once in a lifetime.”