Spalding will celebrate graduates from the classes of 2020 and 2021 during Commencement, June 3-5, 2021. In the leadup, Spalding is featuring graduates from a range of academic programs. Today’s featured graduate is Haley Nestor, who earned the degree of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2020 and who just began her second term as President of the Student Government Association. She is currently enrolled in Spalding’s Master of Science in Business Communication program. She is also a former track and field and cross country athlete.
Which years have you attended Spalding University, and which degree are you earning?
I began my journey at Spalding in 2017 and completed my bachelor’s in business administration with a concentration in finance and a minor in psychology in 2020. I loved it so much, I came back for my master’s and will complete that at the end of 2021.
How do you feel about your accomplishment of completing your degree and graduating?
To me, I am taking away so much more than just a degree. When I graduate, yes, I will have a degree. But I will also have great friends, great connections with effective leaders, a fiancé who I met at Spalding, a father-figure who was once my coach. I am extremely blessed to be at this point in my life. The hard work is finally paying off, and I couldn’t be prouder of myself and excited to provide for a family one day.
What was it like to finish your degree during the pandemic?
I have an unpopular opinion about finishing my degree during the pandemic. For me, the pandemic helped me hold myself accountable more. There are many lessons you learn during your college career, accountability being one of them. The pandemic forced many students to be held accountable and stay on top of their responsibilities. The pandemic also forced me to connect with individuals on a totally different platform and made me so resilient to what life wants to throw at me. The pandemic made things more challenging, but at the end, it made me resilient, and it made Spalding University resilient, and that is a great thing.
What is something specifically about your academic program that you liked or that stands out about Spalding’s program/system that may not be the case at another school?
Something that has always stood out to me is the fact that Tori McClure is the President. I love being a leader, I love being able to help and advocate for students, staff, and faculty. To see a woman be such an influential and effective leader has led me to where I am today. I was told in high school that women cannot be successful in the business world or be taken seriously as a leader. Seeing President McClure work and being able to have great conversations with her showed me that is not the case.
Describe something you have done or accomplished at Spalding that you are proud of:
By the time that I graduate from Spalding with my bachelor’s and master’s, I will have served in student government as a Senator, Secretary and two-time President of the Executive Board. This is something that I am proud of because a goal I live by is to leave something better than the way you found it. I love that students, staff and faculty have been able to count on me to be an advocate for them. It has been the leading factor in choosing to pursue an MSBC in Organizational Leadership, and it will continue to be the leading factor in developing myself as a leader for the rest of my life. During my time at Spalding, I was able to be a part of the Cross Country and Track and Field teams, SGA and Residence Life, while maintaining a full-time job and being a full-time student. I am proud to become a Spalding alumna. My time at Spalding is something that I will forever remember.
What has been your favorite thing about attending Spalding, and why?
My favorite thing about attending Spalding was meeting my fiancé. I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was during his Engage event when I was a Resident Assistant (RA) volunteering to help with the Rock, Paper, Scissors battle. After many rounds of Rock, Paper, Scissors – I won, of course – I knew his smile and competitiveness would be one that I wanted to remember forever. I never expected to find the love of my life so early in my life, but I have been so fortunate. Spalding will always have a special place in my relationship and in my life. Another great person I met at Spalding was our former cross country coach, Bradley Sowder. He will be the one who marries us when the time comes, and to meet someone who we trust to guide our marriage is so big. I am so blessed to have found these wonderful people at Spalding.
What is something personal about your journey to graduating from Spalding that people may not know but that you’d like to share and that you are proud of?
When people see me or my accomplishments, they have always believed that I was a 4.0 student and have everything figured out. What people do not know is that Spalding offers a great resource that I took full advantage of. I was able to do a full assessment of my mental health, learning ability and more. I found out very early that I struggled with my vocabulary, retaining information, sleep, anxiety, etc. I did not start out figuring everything out, and I still do not have everything figured out. But there are people at Spalding that you find who will have a huge impact on you and keep you on track. I have had many conversations with professors on how I can better retain information, whether that was recording lectures, staying after, going to study groups, etc. I have had conversations with people who have told me to slow down and to enjoy the moment. I have always said that life is all about connections, and Spalding has brought me great connections. I can say that I have never failed a class, and I have made it to the Deans list more than once. At the beginning, I did not think college was for me, but once you find the people who want the best for you as much as you do, they really do make an impact.