Alumni: 81,000   Students: 17,500

Mary Dahl ’96

Mary Dahl ’96

Mary Dahl ’96
School of Management Program Assistant
University at Buffalo

Why did you choose Empire State College? What do you think is the best thing about the college?
Mentor-based individualized attention. Learning is family friendly, supportive, customizable, challenging and fun.

How did Empire State College help you shape your personal and professional goals?
My degree has been the catalyst I needed for professional opportunities during my thirty years at the University at Buffalo and continues to factor in as I move into the next phase of my career.

What is your career highlight or proudest career moment to date?
I recently published my first book and started my writing/coaching business which continues to evolve as I transition into an entirely new and exciting life experience (sometimes called retirement).

What advice would you give to a current Empire State College student?
Keep going, and enjoy your unique experience. Learn all you can from your mentors and take advantage of the flourishing alumni network you will be welcomed into when you graduate. I’ve met fellow alumni in surprising places and circumstances, and we always have great stories to share about our positive ESC experiences.

Anything else you would like to share with fellow alumni and students?
When people ask me about Empire State College, I always tell this story. I was juggling full time work, 18 credit hours, raising a three-year-old daughter and pregnant with my son. One night I was making dinner while mentally preparing my latest homework assignment when my daughter interrupted my thinking with a temper tantrum in the middle of the kitchen floor. Dinner boiled over onto the stove and I surrendered out loud, “I can’t do this anymore. School will have to go.” My phone rang and I picked it up for escape. It was my ESC mentor calling to make an appointment. I burst into tears and told her I couldn’t continue. She calmly told me, “Of course you can, and you will.” And I did (on time) thanks to her encouragement and the flexible options of Empire State College.