Alumni


Want a way to stand out from the crowd when it’s time to look for a job?

Consider a study abroad trip. Students who study abroad find a job twice as fast as those who don’t and earn $7,000 more, according to 2012 studies.

NMC Flight Instructor Abigail Smelzer as a student on a 2011 trip to the UK.

NMC Flight Instructor Abigail Smelzer as a student on a 2011 trip to the UK.

Moreover, in a global economy employers increasingly value study abroad experiences, but relatively few students take them, according to the Chicago Tribune. NMC Flight Instructor Abigail Smelzer is one who did and saw it pay off in her job hunt.

As an aviation student at NMC, she visited the United Kingdom in 2011 and South Africa in 2014. Steve Ursell, Head of International Aviation at NMC, said those trips gave Smeltzer an edge when the department was looking to employ flight instructors in August 2014.

“Her experience in both the UK and South Africa certainly assisted her in gaining a flight instructor position at NMC because we have a very active international program,” Ursell said.

“Because I went on the trip as a student, now I understand the whole point of what the international program is about,” Smelzer said.

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From Belarus to NMC: Alena Hontarava

From Belarus to NMC: Alena Hontarava


Posted on May 29, 2014

“I believe in reciprocity, and the power of education. If there are ten people who can give a little at a time, this small gesture will add up and make a difference in a student’s life. This is why I give to NMC. Because it makes a difference.”

Alana HontaravaHow did you get to NMC from Belarus?

My family moved to Florida from Belarus when I was 20. I wanted to go somewhere different for college and was drawn to Michigan given the abundance of water. NMC became the perfect fit as it is positioned directly on Grand Traverse Bay.

What’s your NMC story?

My time at NMC was very positive. What a wonderful community of caring people! The abundance of outdoor opportunities to hike, enjoy the water, and enjoy the culture downtown were definitely complimentary pieces to academics at NMC. Faculty and staff cared deeply about my academic success and I was able to make long-lasting friendships. The faculty taught me to love learning and care about the local community.

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From NMC to President of TALENT 2025

From NMC to President of TALENT 2025


Posted on Mar 27, 2014

Kevin StottsKevin Stotts enrolled at NMC in the early 1990’s and the decision was very easy.  He attended three different high schools by the time he began his senior year in Traverse City and wasn’t thrilled with the idea of moving again.  He was also unsure of what he wanted to study in college but knew he had a passion for history and politics.  The tuition at NMC was affordable and he felt that he could further explore his academic interests and hopefully save a little money before transferring to complete his bachelor’s degree.

Kevin noted that the faculty at NMC were outstanding, but two in particular stood out – Al Shumsky and Stephen Siciliano.  “I wasn’t a great writer when I entered college and Professor Shumsky was a tough but compassionate critic who helped me immensely.  Dr. Siciliano had this amazing way of teaching history through stories and he fueled my love of the subject that continues today.”

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From NMC to Salamander Technologies

From NMC to Salamander Technologies


Posted on Feb 26, 2014

Longin_KlocLongin Kloc (Class of 1999) was pursuing a dream to be a firefighter in Illinois when a friend he was dating, a native of South Boardman, Michigan, mentioned that NMC had an excellent program in visual communications.

He came to the quick realization that a disproportionate percentage of firefighters were volunteers and therefore decided to move to Traverse City to tap into his creative side enrolling in the vVisual communications program at NMC.

Longin shared that all his education funneled through NMC.  If it wasn’t for NMC, he likely would not have completed a bachelors and MBA at the University Center given his desire to stay in Traverse City for personal and professional reasons. Longin is currently the General Manager of Operations and Director of Marketing for Salamander Technologies in Traverse City.

Salamander provides first responders and emergency managers with the tools they need to manage incidents by offering a superior auto ID system that accounts for all personnel, verifies responder identities, and enhances situational awareness at an incident, emergency, or field event.

All my education funneled through NMC.

Longin had a wonderful experience as a student at NMC.  He looks forward to getting more involved with the College assisting students with internships and has had the rewarding opportunity to review Visual Communication’s capstone portfolios.

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Autumn Gillow is the Vice President of Commercial Banking at JP Morgan Chase.  

Autumn GillowWhy did I choose NMC?

First off, I was a very young mom.  I had my son (Kaden) when I was a sophomore in high school and we lived with my parents while I attended NMC.  My mom actually stayed at home with Kaden while I went to school and worked.  I think only now, as an adult with my own teenager, do I fully appreciate the support my parents gave and how critical it was to my obtaining a degree.

NMC Legacy: Three Generations

In addition, my siblings and I all paid for our own college so being able to pay cash for the first two years at NMC made a lot of financial sense.  In fact, my Dad attended NMC before going to Ferris; my brother before transferring to Western, my sister before transferring to MSU and my other sister before transferring to U of M.  We all majored in Finance.  My son will start school at NMC in the fall.  Three generations!

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