Career Ready: TCU Class of 2021 Already Making an Impact

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Mary Claire WilsonAnother graduating class of Horned Frogs is ready to change the world for the greater good. Finishing strong amid a pandemic, members of the class of 2021 have proved their resilience and grit, skills valued by potential employers. The TCU Center for Career & Professional Development shines the spotlight on a sampling of TCU’s amazing spring class of 2021, who share about their time on campus and what’s next for their careers.

“We have seen significant changes from the traditional recruiting processes and hiring timelines this year,” said Mike Caldwell, executive director of the TCU Center for Career & Professional Development. “Throughout this process, TCU students and grads have adapted quickly and effectively, successfully demonstrating their career readiness skills.”

From the Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences:

Mary Claire Wilson
Dallas
B.S. in nursing, minor in Spanish for healthcare professions
Incoming emergency department nurse resident, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C. 

What brought you to TCU?
MCW: I honestly thought I would end up at a school very far from my hometown of Dallas. Because TCU had a nursing program and I knew that I wanted to major in nursing, I decided to visit campus at the beginning of my senior year of high school. As soon as I stepped on campus, I felt the incredible warmth that most people feel when they first visit TCU. I loved the community, the smiling faces and the idea that I could be a part of it. I have never once regretted my decision!

What have you enjoyed most about being a Horned Frog?
MCW: It sounds simple but I really think that I have loved just getting to experience day-to-day life as a Horned Frog. TCU really is about the people. Whether it be in the classroom, at a Saturday night football game or on a walk to class, I can count on friendly people. I may not know someone, but they will say hi, smile or wave. The extroverted nature of TCU has pushed me out of my shell.

What are your plans after graduation?
MCW: I will be moving to Washington, D.C., and starting a nurse residency position at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in the emergency department.

How did TCU help prepare you for your future career?
MCW: Every single professor I had at TCU impacted my experience. Having passionate and dedicated teachers not only makes me excited to be a nurse, but it makes me want to be the best nurse that I can be. They challenged me, stretched me and forced me to be a confident nurse. I have many teachers who go above and beyond the simple description of a college professor. They don’t just want us to succeed in school, but they also want us to be mentally and physically well. I also owe a lots of thanks to the TCU Career Center. Since freshman year, Mrs. Duvall has helped me prepare to be a professional.

Was there any particular experience that was especially helpful?
MCW: As senior nursing students, we take a public health lecture course, along with a public health clinical rotation. Both the classroom and clinical component had a profound impact on me. Dr. Carol Howe and Dr. Gina Alexander proved the point that public health nursing is way more than just the health of the community. Public health nursing is about proactive thinking, social justice and patient advocacy. I will be a better nurse because of the public health integrated into the curriculum. It got me thinking about my future career plans and the possibility of being involved in research or advocacy at the governmental level.

Were you involved in any research during your time at TCU?
MCW: I was involved in research during my Junior II semester in Dr. Pam Frable’s research class. We ended up formulating an evidence based practice project, championed on the idea of a new mentorship program for Harris College students. The program made it into practice and is now a focus for a Senior II clinical group. I enjoy research because of its methodical nature.

What makes TCU so special to you?
MCW: It sounds cheesy, but TCU is the place where I really feel like I became myself. I am leaving TCU a completely different person than I was three years ago. It is the place where I met my friends for life, the place where I fell in love with being a student. No matter where I go, I will always have purple blood running through my veins! I would do anything to have four more years.

Anything else to add?
MCW: Thank you to every single teacher I had at TCU. You are the heart and soul of this school, and we are so lucky to have you guys to look up to!

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