When Bay College became a part of my life I was feeling like the world had turned against me. I had been healing from shoulder surgery and had just received word from Northern Michigan University that I was academically suspended.
I was informed by NMU that I would not be allowed back into the University until I proved to the Board of Appeals that I would be a benefit to the institution. With that phone call, I had 24 hours to decide my own fate: I could try to find a job and face the prospect that I may not return to college, or I could enroll in Bay College and demonstrate academic success.
How did I get to this point? My college career started out as a disappointment to myself. I was an upcoming hockey player, had offers to play at several Division II and III schools with the prospect of Division I. My life was consumed by hockey, but my body was giving out on me. NMU was the last place in the world, next to a community college, that I wanted to attend. Over the next 4 years I battled health issues and jobs to pay for college and somehow maintain my GPA. Now I had a decision to make.
I decided to enroll at Bay College. Bay became my only hope of saving my academic career. Looking back on this, it was the best decision I ever made in my life because it saved my degree and opened my eyes to the possibilities in the smaller places in our world. Bay College gave me the ability to embrace, challenge, and look past my predetermined assumptions of what higher education was really about.
Bay was what I thought would be another one of my life’s disappointments. My first week was difficult; I felt humiliated that I was forced to attend this school. However, once my instructors reviewed the expectations of my courses, I knew that my classes would be a rewarding challenge. In my Principles of Selling class I was put into a group and tasked with learning about Marinette Marine. Through a lot of research, touring their facility, meeting with their management team to discuss their RFP process, and presenting our findings during our capstone project, I learned a lot about Marinette Marine, myself, my group members, and my instructor. That instructor helped me through my first semester and would become the reason why my view of Bay College changed. He taught me more in one semester than I learned or was willing to learn at NMU, and I wouldn’t fully appreciate everything until after I graduated.
At Bay College I reached the Dean’s List and would make it back into NMU. My first semester back would be the proving grounds; I had to prove I would be a benefit to the University. I did just that and was able to embark on the adventure of a lifetime in my final summer of college by spending it in Dublin, Ireland.
Dublin was my home during the summer of 2012. The time I spent there proved to be life-changing. My Irish coworkers opened my eyes up to the world at large and changed my view of our own country. While in Ireland I was tasked with organizing two tennis tournaments for the International Tennis Federation. The time went by incredibly fast, and the friends I made and the experiences I had will stay with me forever. The dialect I picked up has stayed with me and has influenced how I broadcast even to this day.
After graduating from NMU, I was offered a full time position with the Eagle Radio Group in Marquette. I am the radio voice of Marquette Senior High School Athletics covering hockey, boys’ and girls’ basketball, baseball, and softball, as well as Marquette Electricians hockey. I also spend my time in sales, production, and producing.
My academic life was anything but typical and it has made me a better person because of it. I truly think Bay College played an integral part in giving me the skills I needed to succeed both academically and at my new career. I am proud to say I am a Bay College Alumni.