In the Spotlight: Shauna McQuillen '01

Although business classes eluded this business executive while she was on campus, Shauna McQuillen ’01 packed a lot of experiences and memories into her four years at Lycoming.

1. What made you choose to attend Lycoming College?

I visited so many schools in my college search — from large public universities to smaller regional colleges. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was looking for. However, the minute that I stepped foot onto the Lycoming campus it “felt right,” and once I had my overnight visit I knew that Lycoming was in my top two schools. The psychology classes that I sat in on were taught by professors (thanks Dr. Ryan & Dr. Hakala!) and not grad assistants, everyone on campus made me feel welcome, and the students were genuinely happy. The admissions team helped to seal the deal for me through their personal touch and caring attitude. They made me feel important and like I wasn’t just another applicant. They worked with me and my family to make coming to Lycoming possible.

2. What is one of your favorite memories, classes, professors or activities while attending Lycoming College as an undergraduate student?

I packed way too many memories with way too many amazing people into my four years to pick just one. That is the beauty of a small school — you get to know everyone and be a part of as little or as much as you choose. As someone who was involved in everything from Greek life, to Student Senate, to band, and then worked on campus both as an RA and doing research for the Psych department, I got my fill of amazing experiences. I enjoyed every minute of Lycoming — from my small classes with professors who cared, to staying up late with friends creating memories that I will always cherish.

3. How has your education at Lycoming College influenced or helped you in your life and career?

I am sure this has been said a million times, but having a Liberal Arts education has helped me to see the world through a very well rounded lens. My education at Lycoming taught me to critically look at situations from a variety of perspectives, which serve me well as I work with people from many different backgrounds. I also attribute having such a well-rounded undergraduate education with helping me be successful in a field in which I didn’t major. In fact, it wasn’t until I completed my MBA that I took a business class! Personally, Lycoming has influenced my life through the friendships that I forged during my four years on campus. There is something so magical about living, learning, playing, and growing with a community of your peers for four years. The relationships that I made at Lycoming will be with me for my entire life!

4. What is one or two of your proudest professional or personal accomplishments that occurred after graduating from Lycoming that your education really played a role in?

I have had a very exciting professional life since leaving Lycoming that has spanned five states and over 10 promotions in the last 16 years! Most recently I left PepsiCo where I worked for 12 years, the last five as an executive, to take on a bigger role with Estee Lauder’s Aveda brand.

5. What piece of professional advice would you give your fellow Lycoming alumni?

I don’t know that I am in a position to give professional advice when I see how successful so many alumni are after leaving Lycoming — Lyco grads are doing BIG things in the world! I think if anything, I would share personal reminders to always remember what is important in your life. Devote your energy to the right causes & projects. Do not worry about things that are meaningless and drain your energy — give that energy to the people and places that deserve it. Time has never felt so finite as it has since becoming a new mom, the months and years are going so fast. I want to always challenge myself & my fellow alumni to place time and resources in meaningful places.