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Mary Hudson '17

Takes Two Dream Jobs in California


Surround yourself with people who reflect what you want to be. It’s a common mantra, and Mary Hudson ’17 was unknowingly following it when she chose to study at Simpson College.

Originally from West Des Moines, she was attracted to the small class sizes and the personal relationships she could form with her professors. What she found was a community of individuals that would care for and support her through everything.

“Throughout my time at Simpson, these professors supported my many changes of major and helped me recognize my strengths in each,” Mary said. “They have always believed in me and vocalized that to me.”

And Mary took that encouragement and paid it forward. Simpson College helped her realize her passion for volunteering, through Best Buddies, Stormathon and countless other opportunities.

“I loved being a part of the executive team for both Best Buddies and Stormathon and would love to have leadership positions in non-profit organizations going forward,” she said.

Even after Simpson, Mary is serving others. Four days after graduating with her degrees in psychology and music, she packed up everything and moved to Palo Alto, California to start working as an ABA behavior technician at Autism Learning Partners.

But one job isn’t enough for her. Mary is also a foundations music teacher at the Myriad Music School and Dance Academy. In fact, it was this exact tenacity and work ethic that landed her these jobs on the West Coast before graduation.

“What made me stand out the most, and what my two employers both have stated, is that I am from Iowa and that gives me a better work ethic than those in California,” Mary said. “To them, someone from the Midwest is driven and will always show up on time and follow through on what their job requires of them.”

It’s hard for anyone at Simpson not to be when campus is brimming with students with a thirst for knowledge.

“I was surprised just how many people had the same drive to expand their learning around me,” Mary said. “It is refreshing to be at a school where everyone is willing to open their minds to new knowledge.”

It all comes back to the faculty, staff and students working together to make campus a comfortable learning environment, allowing students to explore, make mistakes and grow. It’s what makes students not only smarter individuals, but better people when they move on to the next chapter of their lives.

“I owe a lot to my advisors here at Simpson and would never change my decision to come here for anything.”