Ellie Heffernan ’15 ~ Beach Trips, Business, and Balance
A yearly vacation trek from St. Louis, Mo., to Gulf Shores, Ala., led Ellie Heffernan and her family right by the gates of Spring Hill College. During the trip during Ellie’s junior year of high school, Heffernan’s mother decided that the family should spend a day visiting the campus.
“I was actually annoyed at losing time at the beach, but it was the best decision I made in my life,” says Heffernan. “There was literally no one on campus, but I fell in love with the school. It was the first college I had visited; yet I told my parents that that this was the one.”
From her first few days on campus, Heffernan was pleased to find that SHC was everything she wanted in a college, and more. She found that everyone at the school was friendly and welcoming, from the faculty and staff, to the maintenance crew and public safety officers.
“Everyone cares about you and asks how you are doing. It also seems like the school is all smiles and that is extremely important to me,” says Heffernan. “There is so much beauty around me, in the people as well as buildings and landscape. Spring Hill makes me a happier, better version of myself.”
Heffernan, a business marketing and management major, intends to use the knowledge and experience she’s gained at Spring Hill College in a career selling surgical equipment and devices.
“Since high school, it’s been my goal to have a medical sales position,” says Heffernan. “Majoring in business seemed like a great fit, but I love science, so having a concentration in biology will give me an extra edge. It will help me be even more prepared for a future working in the healthcare industry.”
Heffernan decided to expand her horizons and spent a semester abroad at the Spring Hill College Italy Center during the summer of 2013.
“We did social justice and service work in the Balkans and in a village in the Italian Alps,” says Heffernan. “It was an incredible experience. I would recommend it to anyone. It’s a great mix of people, because that the program is not only open to Spring Hill students, but anyone from any college or university in the world.”
Now a junior at SHC, Heffernan is the current president of Delta Delta Delta, one of the campus sororities. She is also involved with Order of Omega, Student Alumni Ambassadors, and Sigma Beta Delta, the business honors society.
Dr. Steven Almquist, assistant professor of English and writing at Spring Hill College, has found Heffernan to be a student who exemplifies the SHC spirit. “Ellie was a student of mine during her first semester of her freshman year, and she is now a student in my ‘Intro to Fiction’ class,” says Dr. Almquist. “Although typically quiet in class, Ellie is wonderful. She has been active on campus, particularly in her sorority, and she exudes enthusiasm and positive energy. It’s a pleasure to have her as a student.”
Heffernan has enjoyed all of her courses at Spring Hill, and quickly found that the key to happiness in college is finding the perfect balance of work and play. “It’s knowing that school always takes priority, but that fun is important, too!” says Heffernan. “I was once told that in college, you can choose two of the three: sleep, grades, or a social life. I somehow manage to have all three, but I’ll admit that the sleep part is sometimes lacking.”
Heffernan lives her life by a few key philosophies, one of which is being open to everyone she meets on the Spring Hill College campus. She also advises freshmen at SHC to find a good group of friends, as these people become a kind of “family” away from home.
“I also tell myself that if I won’t remember something in three years, then there is no reason for me to stress about it today,” says Heffernan. “I live my life positively, because in the end, the only thing that matters is my happiness. I know that happiness is contagious and I want to make as many people happy as I possibly can.”
Currently, Heffernan is trying to find the perfect internship that will allow her to gain valuable experience in the business and/or medical world before walking down the Avenue of the Oaks for graduation in May of 2015.
Photo Credit: Kiva Talty