At the recent annual faculty dinner hosted by our gracious alumnus Robert “Kuppy” Kuppenheimer ’69, speaker Sharron McCarthy ’87 shared her experiences in business.
As I reflect back on her talk, it occurred to me that many of our graduates will share some common experiences with her and would do well to follow her advice to “be prepared to work hard/smart and go over and above [the requirements].”
Sharron was the first person in her family to attend college, a goal she set while she was in elementary school. Upon entering college, she realized that she was going to have to pay for college herself and spent her first year commuting.
Upon graduation, like many of our students, Sharron advanced quickly in her business career while demonstrating her talent in sales (an area she encourages students to consider). She quickly moved up the ranks to a Sales Manager position at Worcester Magazine.
When she moved on to the Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Massachusetts, she became the first woman to hold the position, and at 28 was supervisor to employees whose average age was in the 50s.
In the number of years since then, as President of McLean Communications, Sharron continued to be a trailblazer in the publishing field, launching a new magazine and web design company, and expanding the company’s business networking events.
In 2012, she experienced what she describes as a “crash course in acquisitions” when her company, McLean Communications, was purchased by Yankee Communications. Through all of these experiences, Sharron has demonstrated her mantra: Be willing to step out of your comfort zone. This is advice that would do well for all of us to follow.
Whether it is advancing in a career, taking on a new position, starting a new business, or experiencing a buyout, Sharron is a terrific example of what a solid business degree can do for our students.