Developing Leadership at MCLA


Joe Duncan '13 of Dalton, Mass., who graduated in May with his bachelor's degree in business administration, soon will embark on the next step to his career: graduate school.

This fall, he will begin work on his master's at one of the top business schools for accounting - UMASS-Amherst's Isenberg School of Management.

"MCLA was a great experience, and I'm very happy with the way my education took me to the next step," Duncan said.

A student-athlete, Duncan played baseball for the Trailblazers and was named to the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC) All-Academic Team three out of his four years at the College.

"The business course work isn't easy, but the teachers are willing to help you," said Duncan. "They're right there for you, and are easy to access."

According to Duncan, "Being a student-athlete was great. It taught me to budget time because you have practice and games on the road. You also learn leadership and teamwork in baseball, and that helps in the real world."

The best part of being a student-athlete, however, was that "so many people are there to help you along your way to getting where you want to go," Duncan said. "There are mentors all over the place in baseball - either the Athletics department staff or on the faculty. They can help you with whatever you need."

In addition, MCLA provides extra support to ensure our student-athletes do as well in the classroom as they perform on the playing fields and courts.

"The Athletics department started a study hall that runs five nights a week," Duncan explained. "You go to study three of those five nights that you choose. There are tutors available to help you study."

Duncan knows a thing or two about helping people study: He was involved for two years with Academic Support Services as he worked at MCLA's Center for Student Success and Engagement (CSSE), to help a variety of MCLA students with a number of courses - including those in accounting, microeconomics, financial reporting and chemistry.

"I had to learn ways to teach the kids that they could learn. Not all students learn the same way. So, I had to know the material and find a way to convey it to each person in a way they would understand," he explained.

A student leader on campus, Duncan also served as secretary of Delta Mu Delta, MCLA's chapter of the national honors society for business majors, and he was a captain and a four-year member of the intercollegiate baseball team.

As president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Duncan planned athletic games, fundraisers and community service events.

"We did events such as Special Olympics, Fan Days and Midnight Madness," Duncan explained. "Being president of SAAC, I had to put everything together, so that helped me learn leadership.

Due to his work with that organization, he was awarded the SAAC Presidential Award in 2012 because of the way he demonstrated "excellent leadership," and also for his scholastic achievement.

This summer, he's serving an internship for the third consecutive year in the accounting department at Crane and Company in Dalton, Mass. One day, Duncan would like to own his own accounting firm, or become a partner in an accounting firm. The opportunities he had at MCLA, he said, have put him on the right path for the career success he envisions.

"There are opportunities all over the place at MCLA."