Notre Dame alum talks about what her high school alma mater meant to her college experience and to a possible future career.
Angela Adams, a 2015 graduate of Notre Dame Prep, is heading into her fourth year at Albion College in Albion, Mich. She also plays volleyball for the Britons, which, along with her time playing volleyball for the Irish, has helped, she said, make her college experience such a success so far.
"The entire student-athlete experience at Notre Dame was monumental in my transition to college and college athletics," she said. "The discipline, leadership, time management, and mental and emotional strength I gained from my experience in the volleyball program at NDP is the foundation I rely on and build off of as a student-athlete at Albion.
Adams said not only was her love for the game of volleyball sparked in high school, but her current competitive nature and drive came from her Irish teammates, the NDP coaching staff, and what she says was the endless positivity from the faculty at Notre Dame.
"All of this combined led me to my future at Albion," she said. "And for that, I am forever grateful."
We asked her about her past at Notre Dame Prep and her present at Albion, but we also wanted to hear about her future plans post-college. She was kind enough recently to spend a little time discussing all of this as well as whether or not her high school alma mater will continue to influence her future, a future that quite possibly might include a career in sports management.
Adams on how Notre Dame Prep got her ready for college (and life):
Academically, I felt extremely prepared going into my freshman year at Albion College. In some cases, the classes I took freshman year were easier than the classes I took in high school. I am thankful for the tough classes and rigorous workload that I experienced at NDP because without it, managing a full college class workload on top of volleyball practice, games, and travel would have been nearly an impossible task.
Finally, I believe that without NDP, I would not be the woman I am today. The people I shared that experience with became like family to me and it was the perfect stepping stone I needed to take me into college. I attribute a lot of my growth intellectually, spiritually and emotionally to Notre Dame. I am thankful to have such a wonderful alma mater.
On how she ended up pursuing a business-based college education:
I am a rising senior at Albion College, majoring in economics and management and double minoring in business and communication studies. I began my time at Albion by becoming a member of the Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management, which jump-started my transition into college and into the professional business world. The administrators of the institute are fabulous and continue to provide many opportunities for business students to learn about different fields and career options, grow as business professionals at networking events, and gain valuable work experience by completing internships for academic credit. After graduating from Notre Dame, I knew that I wanted to do something business-related. I had a passion for it and I was pretty good at it, too.
Over the past couple of years, I changed my major a few times; however, the changes were all in the business area. I wanted to gain a broader understanding of business as a whole through my classes and Albion does a great job of focusing in on each student's passions, goals, and aspirations, and strategically laying out their educational path to maximize academic growth.
In the spring of my junior year, I spent the semester off campus in Philadelphia through a program called The Philadelphia Center. This program is managed by Albion College and draws students from small liberal-arts schools in the midwest and Pennsylvania and brings them to Philadelphia where they spend an entire semester living in and exploring the beautiful city of Philadelphia while taking two classes and completing a full-time internship — all for academic credit.
The classes are taught by the faculty at the center and adjunct professors from the city. For my internship, I worked for the Urban League of Philadelphia, a non-profit organization focused on social and economic empowerment for the underserved communities in Philadelphia. I worked closely with the chief financial officer as a financial associate for the organization. It truly was a one-of-kind experience!
On what she's doing this summer:
This summer, I am currently working at the Flagstar Bank headquarters in Troy, Mich. I am a business analyst intern on the Mortgage Delivery Services team in the information technology department. I work closely with the chief information officer as well as the business relationship managers. Although drastically different from what I was doing in Philly, I am excited to be learning new skills outside of my financial services background and knowledge base. I hope to return to campus after completing this second academic internship with an even clearer vision of my future after college.
On her extracurriculars at Albion:
On top of my academics, I am an active member of the Albion College volleyball team. This upcoming fall will be my final season. In addition, I am one of the student athletic advisory committee representatives for the volleyball team and I work closely with other representatives from all the other athletic teams to coordinate volunteer hours and sports clinics. Furthermore, I am a member of the Phi chapter of Alpha Xi Delta on campus. As a sorority, we are actively involved in raising awareness for autism by fundraising for our philanthropic organization, Autism Speaks. Finally, I am a member of the student marketing committee, which works closely with the marketing and communication departments on campus and assists in promoting Albion College to prospective students and alumni.
On how she narrowed her career choices in business:
Like I mentioned before, for the majority of my college experience up until now I was very indecisive as to which specific business-related field I wanted to go into after I graduate. I bounced back and forth between accounting, finance, marketing, etc. Again, I knew I loved business, but which specific field in business was still very unclear to me until very recently. At the end of May, I attended the 2018 NCAA Career in Sports forum. This was a conference where 240 selected student-athlete applicants from all three NCAA Divisions came together to learn about the possibilities of a career in sports. To apply to this forum, I had to be nominated by Albion’s associate athletic director and senior women administrator, Melissa Walton. Once nominated, I could apply to attend this event. I was ecstatic when I found out I was accepted to the forum at the NCAA national office in downtown Indianapolis. It was a four-day conference where a variety of athletic administrators from around the country, NCAA employees, and interns and graduate assistants came to speak about their experiences in athletics, explain what their specific roles entail, and provide advice to 240 aspiring athletic administrators. This forum was quite literally life-changing for me. Hearing the personal stories and roles and responsibilities of the speakers as well as networking with fellow student athletes turned a light bulb on in my head. I had an “aha” moment and everything came together as to what I want to pursue after graduation. A significant portion of the forum focused on “your why,” as in, why do you do what you do and why do you want to do what you do. This really helped me piece together my goals.
On being a positive role model for other student-athletes:
After graduation, I want to pursue a master's degree in sports administration and eventually work my way up to being a senior women’s administrator (SWA) on a college campus. As I reflected on my experience in Indianapolis as well as my career in athletics, both at Notre Dame and Albion, I determined that my “why” is that I truly want to be that positive role-model to women and student-athletes just as the many athletic administrators I have experienced in my career were for me. From Coach Wroubel, Mrs. Carlson, Ryan Minarik, JR, and Lenny at Notre Dame, to the coaching, athletic training, and athletic administration staff at Albion, I have been blessed with working with some amazing individuals in athletics who have guided me and shaped me into the woman I am today. I want to be that positive role model and mentor for someone in the future. That is my why.
On how her education at Notre Dame Prep and Albion is shaping her future career aspirations:
I believe I am a logical and critical thinker, have the ability to strategically prioritize tasks and effectively manage my time, and I believe I'm mentally and emotionally tough. I also think I'm disciplined and work very well in a team setting. I have acquired all of these skills and strengths from the education I received at NDP and Albion and my continuous involvement in athletics. I am confident that these skills will help me throughout my future career in athletics. I am so excited to see where life takes me after graduation and beyond.
On what she misses about high school, including her teachers at NDP and a very special retreat:
Although it was probably the hardest class I took at NDP, I really do miss AP calculus with Mr. McCaskey. He was a phenomenal teacher for me. He always knew how to simplify the material in a way that was easy for me to understand. Photography with Mr. Devine was also one of my favorites! He introduced me to photography and I was immediately hooked. It is my creative outlet and I love it. I am thankful for him for being such a great teacher and mentor. Also, photography class is where I met one of my best friends to this day, Olivia Juliani.
One of my favorite highlights from Notre Dame is my time in the athletic department as a part of the Irish volleyball program. Although winning states my junior year was an experience I'll never forget, the friendships I made along the way with my teammates are one of the best take-aways from Notre Dame. I am still very close with the girls I played with and I'm forever grateful to the program for bringing us all together. Those girls have become like family to me. We are almost four years out and we still get together on breaks and holidays. It makes my heart happy that I met such a group of wonderful women. By far, my favorite memory!
Lastly, I really miss Kairos. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I am so thankful that I got to do it at ND. For me, Kairos helped me grow in my faith and spirituality in ways that I did not know were possible. My eyes were opened to the immense love of God. Kairos really puts life into perspective. I wish that everyone could experience Kairos first-hand. A big thank you to NDP faculty and student leaders for making that experience happen.
On remembering and giving back to her high school alma mater:
I believe that staying in touch and giving back to any organization that I was once a part of is extremely important. I will forever be proud to have attended such a wonderful school. It has provided me with countless memories and close relationships as well as an unparalleled education. I believe that it is my honor to give back in any way that I can throughout my life. I appreciate everyone and everything about NDP. In the future I will continue to give back in the ways that I can because I want the current and future students and families at NDP to have what I had: the best and most well-rounded high school experience possible.
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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at www.ndpma.org