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Jacey McDonald has learned there’s more to obtaining a business degree than just learning material for the sole purpose of passing an exam.

The East Central University business administration-marketing student, from Blanchard, has recently been picked to be a part of ECU’s prestigious and exclusive Business Scholars program, for not only her solid academic achievements, but her ability to show leadership skills in a manner of being an extension of the university’s faculty through the Harland C. Stonecipher School of Business.

“My experience in the Stonecipher School of Business and in my major coursework has taught me to listen, to learn and retain knowledge that will be beneficial to me in my future career,” said McDonald. “I believe that this skill will benefit me immensely in my professional life because listening to people, conditions and surroundings is an important quality in a respectable employee, a good coworker and a successful businesswoman.”

McDonald was groomed for this opportunity after being involved in the ECU Freshmen Business Scholar Program and Business Leader Association as well as being a student worker on campus. She was also chosen to be an accounting coordinator at the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce in February.

“The knowledge I gained in my introductory accounting classes, helped me in this position,” McDonald said. “I was able to apply the information I learned about payroll, taxes and basic accounting concepts throughout my time as accounting coordinator. In addition to the knowledge I gained from my accounting courses, I was able to apply what I learned in foundations of business and financial literacy to help me excel in my work environment in which I worked closely with business professionals and the community.”

In becoming a Business Scholar, skills are developed in being an event volunteer such as assisting with career fairs, professional trips and student/faculty recruiting activities. Additionally, these students are department hosts or hostesses for professionals who visit the programs and for prospective students visiting campus. They also serve as mentors, providing

leadership for the Business Leaders Association (BLA) student organization and working with the younger ECU students in the Freshmen Scholars Program.

Students must have at least a 3.50 grade-point average before entering the program and must maintain at least a 3.25 each semester to remain in the program. They must also be active in BLA by attending meetings and holding positions of responsibility. Besides being on campus for two or more years, the business scholars must be able to volunteer for special projects in the School of Business, participate in the Dean’s Leadership Council, be willing to travel during assigned trips and, once they graduate, give back to the program after graduation as Alumni of Business Scholars.

Community service is a big part of being a Business Scholar. Last fall, McDonald spent the break volunteering with Trinity Baptist Church at Day Spring Villa Women and Children’s Shelter for Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence. Through the volunteer efforts, deep cleaning, sorting donations and yard work were performed, according to McDonald.

“While these efforts alone were very rewarding, the best part of the weekend came when our group prepared and served a restaurant-style meal to the women at the shelter and had a fun picnic with the children,” said McDonald.  “The night ended with singing and dancing. It was truly special because it was an experience that the women and children had not been able to have for weeks, months or even years. The smiles on their faces and pure joy they expressed was one of the most rewarding things I have experienced. Giving back, in any form, is something I hold of great importance in my life.”

McDonald’s plans are to seek a marketing career in the professional sports industry, particularly with the NBA, NFL or MLB or any team falling under any of those three leagues.

“I want to work in the professional sports industry because it is a fast-paced and opportunity-rich industry with a high-growth projection,” McDonald said.


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