Mary Lu Hare ’13
Service is at the core of Mary Lu Hare’s heart from working with her youth group at church to working as the Professional Education Manager of Scientific Sessions for the American Heart Association. Hare’s journey from customer service in luxury retail took a turn to a different kind of service into non-profit and public service work after taking classes at TWU. Her TWU education not only reshaped her career but gave her the critical skills needed for success. Hare says, “I am always shocked how often I use accounting and statistics in my everyday life. Those classes were incredibly challenging for me, and I use those skills regularly.” Hare graduated with her BBA in Marketing in 2013.
What do you enjoy about your current position/profession? I love getting to work in a field that is using science to influence change and health for all people. I especially love working with volunteers. Good, engaged volunteers make an organization successful, and in my job, make sure the science is shared in the best way possible. I love hearing their ideas and energy about how to present and teach new information and then helping them execute an event that really shows off and teaches and engages deep learning.
Why did you come to TWU? Right out of high school I went to OU for a music degree and quickly realized that was not the direction for me, so I quit college. When I finally decided to go back, I was working full time for Ralph Lauren in Dallas and needed a school I could get to from work, and where the schedule was flexible enough that I could take a full course load while still working full time. After meeting with admission advisors at TWU, I felt heard and that I would be able to work full time and go to school full time and neither would be held against me. It was almost like I was comfortable at school for the first time in my life. It was a life-changing decision to attend TWU, and one that I am grateful for daily.
How do you see your profession changing in the next 5 or 10 years? My profession is changing before our eyes in the time of COVID! With travel restrictions and the need to socially distance, we are having to adapt in person meetings where we focused on science, engagement and networking to virtual events that provide the same quality experiences in a very different platform. This has also caused changes in the medical landscape as the world looks to find a vaccine and determine how COVID impacts and is impacted by things like hypertension, stroke and cardiovascular events.
Did a TWU professor inspire you? Who was that and how was that person inspirational? Professor Pushkala Raman was just incredibly impactful on my time at TWU. I cannot give you just one example, because every time I went to class or listened to her speak, I learned something more. She is an engaging professor and challenges the way you perceive and think through things. She really influenced and encouraged my desire to switch my career path out of luxury retail, where I was working while in school, and focus on nonprofits and service organizations. She was a large inspiration for me going to get my master’s in public service from the Bush School at Texas A&M after I completed my BBA in marketing at TWU. I can directly link what I learned in her research class at TWU to the success of my research done in grad school. She also really taught beyond the classroom. While I learned important skills in her class that I apply regularly in my professional career, I learned a lot about working with others, how to engage in conversations and really listen to what is being said and implement into the work I do.
What advice do you have for college students hoping to succeed professionally? If you want to be successful professionally, remember that is not the most important measure of success. Your job — that pays the rent and bills — does not have to be the most interesting thing about you. It is one piece of who you are. I would encourage you to find a place professionally to work that you can grow and learn (from failure and success) in. Find a place that reflects the values you want to carry into life and that supports and encourages you. But remember that what you do outside of your “9-5” is equally important. You can make a difference in this world just by showing up to dinner with a friend, or by reading to your kids in the evenings or by singing in the church choir. When you find purpose and joy outside of your “job,” you will find that it also influences your professional life — and vice versa. Your job is one part of you — not all of who you are. And by remembering that, you become successful in showing up authentically in the world.
What characteristics do you look for when hiring people into your workplace? I love seeing people excited to learn and grow, willing to ask questions and try new things, and who want to be part of their team succeeding. I LOVE a good team — we all have unique skills and talents and passions, and when they come together you see magic happen!
What do you enjoy doing in your free time? While I love my professional job, I am very actively involved with the youth group at my church; those students are my favorite people in the world. I have a passion for working with asylum seekers at the border of Texas and Mexico. I have organized and participated in multiple trips to Matamoros, Mexico to work directly with these individuals as they wait and in the respite center in McAllen, Texas. I also am a contributor at Into the Well Health Collective, where I create content for Body Talk, a space focused on creating opportunities to voice and work through the pressures of “fitting in” to a prescribed shape. Our goal is to create a safe space to focus on how being our best and most authentic selves involves practicing self-love, acceptance and bodily self-care of our one, glorious body. I LOVE supporting organizations doing amazing work, and recently did a “virtual run” campaign where I was able to raise $250 in a week and we were able to donate to 5 organizations who are doing work to help their communities during this pandemic. I am self-described yoga fanatic and food enthusiast who loves talking to anyone about anything. I spend a lot of my free time doing hot yoga, kick boxing or going for a run right before going to eat burgers or tacos with my husband and friends. I spend a ton of time outside with my two rescue pups and my favorite place in the world to travel is Big Bend National Park.
Page last updated 1:24 PM, July 26, 2022