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Melissa Wallace

Melissa Wallace

Human Resources Specialist at Lindbergh Schools

melissawallace17@gmail.com

Majored in Business Administration

Graduated in 2015


Explain your career path

I did an internship in the Training & Development department at Saint Francis Medical Center during college.
After graduation, I did a summer internship in HR with Summit Distributing.
Then I worked for a ground-floor insurance company as their HR Manager for about a year.
After that, I started working in HR at Lindbergh Schools and have been here for the last several years.
I also am the Head Coach of the high school Cheerleading team at Lindbergh and absolutely love getting to the opportunity to work both in HR and Cheer!

What was your major at Southeast and how would you characterize the quality of that program to prospective students?

My major was Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resources Management. I loved the program. I felt like I learned so much about HR during college that was actually useful to me in my different jobs. Obviously, there were a few courses I was not quite as fond of that I had to take for the Business degree, but overall, I felt like I left feeling decently prepared to work in an entry-level HR setting.

Why did you choose to attend Southeast?

I chose to attend Southeast for several reasons. One reason was the proximity to home (St. Louis). Also, my college tour really sealed the deal for me. I was very impressed with the HR program, but above that, when I met with the Dean of the HR Program (Dr. Kevin Dickson), he ended up walking my mom and I over to the Rec Center since our tour had not covered that. I was blown away with the sincerity and kindness he showed me. I knew then that Southeast would be a place that felt like home.

Who influenced you most during your time at Southeast?

I think the person that influenced me the most during my time at Southeast was my cheer coach, Kodie Edmonds. I was so honored to be part of the cheerleading team at SEMO and learned so much about myself, life skills, and cheerleading from her. She pushed us to be great, but also made genuine relationships with us. As I look back, I realize how many things I do now in my work life or as a coach that are because of the values she instilled in me as a college athlete.

Share your best college memory.

I think my best college memory is being on the cheerleading team. That experience was unlike anything else and was truly the best time of my life. Cheerleading is my passion in this world and being able to say that I was a collegiate cheerleader means the world to me. I was so lucky to be able to experience things such as college game day, campus events/performances, team bonding and making new friends, open gyms, and those tough practices that push you to become better and achieve greatness.

If you were in Greek Life, the Honors Program or any other student organization, please tell us about that experience and how it impacted you.

I was part of the SEMO Cheerleading Team and that has been the best experience of my life. Being a collegiate athlete was a commitment. We had to succeed in school, weight train, practice, and cheer at games. The life skills I leaned from being on this team are invaluable. I learned how to have a team mentality, knowing that no one makes it by on their own and that we are all necessary to achieve success. I learned how to be a leader, how to have confidence, how to work hard and go above and beyond, how to manage my time and priorities, how to deal with conflict, and so much more. Being a cheerleader allowed me to be the best version of myself and 100% believe if I were not involved with this team at SEMO that I would not be the same person I am today.

What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Southeast?

I think the most important thing I learned while at Southeast was how much bigger the world is than what I thought. I feel like I was able to meet so many different types of people and learn things I wouldn't have otherwise just by being at SEMO. I feel like I learned how to be more open minded and more accepting of others who are different from me, which is so important. I really think SEMO allowed me an opportunity to grow into a better person overall.

Describe Southeast in three words.

Setup for success

What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?

I would suggest that you try to get internships and experience in any way you can. I had a really hard time getting a "real" job in HR at first because everything that was labeled as "entry level" would say they required "1-3 years of experience". Start planning for your career now, don't wait until you graduate!

Contact

573.651.2112
business@semo.edu
Dempster Hall 241
Harrison College of Business
One University Plaza, MS 5800
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701