Meet MCC Alumna Sarah Spohn

 

From an early age, Sarah Spohn was a very driven student.

 

During high school she decided to get an early start on college by enrolling in dual enrollment classes at Montcalm Community College.

 

“I loved the idea of getting credit for both high school and college in one class,” she said.

Sarah Spohn

Sarah Spohn

After graduating from Lakeview High School in 1997, Spohn decided to work full-time and attend night classes. However, life had other plans as it took her down the different path of getting married and starting a family. Although Spohn loved attending classes, as a new parent, she decided to make her children her priority and became a full-time mom.

 

“Like many parents, there are things you give up or go without so your children can have what you find important,” she said. “This put college on the back burner for many years but there was always a longing inside me that never went away, nagging at me to go back to school.”

 

After 20 years of tending to her family, Spohn made the decision to go back to school and finish her degree. With the credits she had already earned, it was possible for her to begin where she left off and get back on track to finish college.

 

“MCC was able to apply the credits I had earned years ago, and the counselors were able to help me plan a schedule that worked for me,” she said.

 

With five school-aged children, some of which were dual-enrolled at MCC, and her own packed schedule as a full-time student, Spohn’s life became even more demanding. However, Spohn said MCC’s online resources helped her find balance in her busy schedule.

 

“The technology now is amazing – you can create and change your own schedule online; drop and add classes; view time, teacher and day options; and even see what books are needed for each class,” Spohn said. “This, along with online class options, made it much easier to work around the rest of my life.”

 

Along with the help she received from MCC to work around her personal schedule, her husband was a big supporter in making her studies a priority.

 

“Fortunately, I have a very supportive husband who often made up the slack while I poured myself into my studies – I am so grateful for the love and support of my family,” she said.

 

Although Spohn initially was working toward a business management degree at MCC, she decided to switch her track to accounting. This did not make the challenge any easier as classes got tougher and her life became more occupied. However, with her strong study ethic and motivation, Spohn was able to finish all her classes with A’s.

 

In 2018, Spohn, of Sidney, earned a Liberal Studies Certificate with high honors, an Associate of Science & Arts with high honors and she completed all her basic educational requirements under the Michigan Transfer Agreement. In 2019, she earned an Associate of Applied Science in Accounting with high honors.

 

“It wasn’t very easy, and I did sacrifice a lot, but I did achieve that goal. I had waited so long to go back to school that I wanted to be the best student I could,” she said.

 

Due to her hard work and outstanding achievements while at MCC, Spohn was selected for a summer internship at Sidney State Bank, working in the Bookkeeping and Operations Department. This internship developed into a full-time job and she began working as the Financial Analyst and Human Resource Generalist at the bank.

 

After graduating from MCC and continuing her work at Sidney State Bank, Spohn decided to go back to school once again and get her bachelor’s degree in business management from Western Governors University.

 

Spohn recently joined the Peterson McGregor & Associates Insurance Company team as an account manager. With the experience she gained at Sidney State Bank and the skills she learned at MCC, the company’s new expansion to Grand Rapids became a great opportunity for Spohn to embark on this new journey.

 

“This is a great opportunity for me to utilize all the knowledge and skills I acquired at MCC and Sidney State Bank,” she said. “I look forward to bringing our clients a great experience in employee benefits.”

 

Spohn said her foundation from MCC allowed her to discover more about herself and spark a fire for her education and future.

 

“It is easy to stay in your comfort zone and just accept what is, but that longing to do more, to be more, will always be there until you do something about it, and MCC is a great place to start,” she said.

 

For current students or anyone thinking about returning to school, Spohn has some words of encouragement.

 

“Although it may be a challenge and you might have to give up some things you enjoy, it will all be worth it in the end,” she said. “Yes, there are times you have to do homework before bed instead of watching a television show but sacrifice always precedes success.”

 

When she is not working, Spohn enjoys spending time with her family, playing cards with her grandmother and being very active outdoors. She also enjoys helping as the treasurer at her church, where she can apply her accounting skills.

 

Spohn’s story is proof that no matter what stage of life you are in, there is always room for growth and room to make a better and wiser version of yourself.

 

“A person can do anything they put their mind to – take the kids to school, complete your coursework, make dinner, and still make it to the band concert. Maybe I am not the only one who will be better because of my education,” she said.