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'We Couldn't Be Happier with MCLA'

06/19/2013

Back in 2006, when her daughter, Rachel, first began to think about where she should attend college, Jamie Seklecki of Southampton, Mass., didn't know much about MCLA. But with both of her children now young alumni, she's part of the MCLA family.

According to Seklecki, with opportunities for internships and MCLA's high academic expectations, both Rachel, and her son, Michael, found jobs before they graduated.

Interested in sports, Michael served as a referee and an intramural supervisor for MCLA's intramurals program. Last summer, along with other experience he gained at MCLA, he landed an internship in the Springfield Falcons' marketing department.

Several days before he graduated, he learned he'd landed a job with Advantage Sales and Marketing as a retail sales merchandiser of Glaxo SmithKline consumer healthcare products for stores in the Boston area.  

Rachel works for Blackbaud of Charleston, S.C., the leading provider of fundraising and nonprofit software. After several promotions, she's now a support specialist for arts and cultural solution software. But she began her career with a position at Jacob's Pillow in the development office, where she used the Blackbaud software she worked with during an internship in MCLA's Office of Advancement.

Why MCLA?

Rachel, who graduated in 2011 with a degree in arts management, knew she wanted to do something with the arts, and that she preferred a smaller school. Although she applied to and was accepted by several other institutions, a visit to MCLA and a look at all the possibilities for arts and culture in the Berkshires made up her mind.

At first, Michael - who graduated last month with a degree in business and a focus on marketing management - wasn't sure where he wanted to attend college.

"He looked at quite a few schools, like Westfield State University and Keene State, but he decided in the end that he wanted to go to MCLA. He liked the smaller-sized classes," Seklecki said. "We were thrilled because it wasn't that far away, so it was nice and close to go visit them. And Rachel just had such a positive experience with the internships she did. We were just so happy with the opportunities."

Michael, too, loved his experience at MCLA.

"He met a lot of great friends that I'm sure will be lifelong friends. He liked his professors, he liked his business classes. He's also had a lot of opportunities," Seklecki explained. "Both Rachel and Michael formed great relationships with the faculty and responded really well to the smaller classes. It was a one-on-one experience."

What would she say to other parents?

"MCLA is a close-knit campus where students form great bonds with friends and relationships with the leaders in the school. And, I felt my kids were very safe, and that campus security was on top of things.  As a parent, I think you worry about your kids' safety when they go away, and wonder if they're going to get what they need, educationally. And they got all of that there.

"Most importantly, they left MCLA after four years with a great education, and that's why you send them. We couldn't be happier with MCLA."