Amanda Alley '08

How has your Hood education benefited you?

It has benefited me immensely. Hood gave me a well-rounded, liberal arts education. This helped me focus on what I wanted to do for graduate school and I received my master’s degree from a specialized college. I don’t think I would have found my specialty without having the opportunity to explore academically through Hood. Also, the professors there taught me how to be an open-minded and valuable citizen in my society—they don’t just teach you what’s already in the books.

How did your time at Hood prepare you for the future?

Hood taught me to take chances. It was a safe place to explore my leadership abilities as well as other academic and educational pursuits because there was always a mentor to help me do better next time if I fell on my face. They gave me strength and the independence that has helped me to be successful in my career and in graduate school.

What were your extracurricular experiences?

I was involved in so many activities, from STARs to the Latin Student Union, and these things taught me how to build community as well as become an expert multi-tasker!

Did you decide your major right away?

No, I started off as a marketing major. I took one marketing class during the second semester of my freshman year and on my first day in class I realized I had absolutely no interest in dealing with business! At the same time, I was invited to join an Honor’s Literary Theory class in which I almost burst into tears of joy looking at the very long syllabus. After my marketing class, I walked straight to the registrar and declared myself an English major.

What is your favorite memory of Hood?

There are way too many! But the one that sticks out the most is convocation of my senior year. Being at the front of the lawn made me realize what a big accomplishment this was for me and that I had actually made it this far! It was a bittersweet moment though, because I also realized that it had to come to an end too soon. But I think that moment made me really enjoy my senior year even more.

Who were your mentors at Hood?

Professor Gottfried and Ms. Pryor were both great mentors and writers. Also, Biz from the admission office was my supervisor when I was president of STARs. She taught me a lot about being a young professional.

What is your opinion on the value of a Hood education?

It’s priceless. Hood teaches you so much more than you pay for and can ever imagine. Frederick is also a great place to go to college!

What is your opinion on the value of a liberal arts education?

Having attended a specialized institution for graduate school, I can’t say how much I appreciate my liberal arts background. I am able to draw from other experiences outside of my specialty and that has enriched my work so much. Being well rounded is so important in our current society also.

What would you say to students applying to Hood?

It was the most challenging and rewarding time of my life. The environment as well as my professors, peers, community, co-workers and family expected so much of me and they didn’t let me get away with giving them anything but the best. I learned to work harder not only for them but also to achieve my own success and happiness.

What role has your Hood education played in your career?

Everything I learned there has made me a stronger student in graduate school and also a respected professional. There are so many times where I think, “Wow, something like this happened at Hood and I handled it this way,” or “I remember reading that obscure book in Sandona’s class; good thing I paid attention. Now I can shmooze with the VP at my job.” Going to Hood changed my life in so many ways and I will always be indebted to them for it.

Why did you choose to attend Hood College?

To be honest, I just wanted to get away from New Jersey! At the time, I knew I wanted to go away for college, but not too far. Maryland seemed like a great compromise. Also, my godmother, Mari Spina, graduated from Hood in 1986 and growing up I heard stories about how much she loved it. Most of her friends that I knew were also Hood girls! Fun note: when my mother was pregnant with me, she visited Hood for my godmother’s graduation!