Jillian McDade wants to be a strong voice for inclusion at the business table.
McDade, who is studying human resources management, wants company leaders to understand that not all potential employees have a clear path to success. Some make their own.
A nontraditional student, McDade has a strong academic performance today — but that wasn’t always the case. She said she didn’t take school seriously as a young teen and performed poorly as a high school freshman.
As she got older, McDade realized the power of education and enrolled in night and summer classes — which she took while balancing a job — to earn her high school diploma on time. For her hustle, she also received a Turnaround Achievement Award from her high school.
A mother of two teens now, McDade — who began working at 15 and has continuously had a customer service-based job — decided to return to school and earn her college diploma to make a better path for herself and her family.
McDade is a Dean’s Scholar Award winner and a Beta Gamma Sigma business honor society member. She serves as the vice president of the Society for Human Resource Management student organization, which she’s helped expand by bringing her HR contacts and students together for events and other connection opportunities. And in class, faculty members have noted her willingness to help her classmates and bring her business perspective to the class discussion.
“In my two classes with Jillian, she has been a student I can count on to contribute and actively participate,” said Management Studies Associate Joy Beatty. “She offers thoughtful comments and shares her insights from her 20+ years of work experience.”