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Developing Influence

August 2, 2021 Ali Pfeiffer
Holly Neeld Alumni

With a warm, infectious laugh and a sincere smile, it’s easy to see how Holly Neeld became a fundraiser. She’s engaging and understanding, with a genuine personality that you instantly feel you can trust. With an MBA under her belt, she’s ready to connect with donors at the College of Business where she’s recently been named Assistant Director of Development.

Holly enrolled at the College of Business in the full-time MBA program in 2019, nervous but excited.  She received her undergraduate degree in art history, French, and arts administration from Indiana University. Having done an entirely different program during undergrad and not having been in school since 2010, she was ready for a new academic challenge. “I did the MBA program because I very much wanted to go to graduate school. I was hungry to get back into school.”

The College of Business empowered her to find her footing quickly within its halls. “I really felt very welcomed by the College of Business. I was very fortunate, I had a scholarship that helped me pay for it. It was the first time I didn’t have to take out loans. That was a big, big deal to me.”

Holly completed her MBA degree with Distinction in September of 2020.  At the time, she was working for local non-profit Family & Children’s Place as Director of Development. She’d been in the fundraising field since 2016 and felt a pull towards working in academia. When the Assistant Director of Development position opened in the same building she had just finished her degree, she knew this was the fit for her.

“I knew being in a university was where I wanted to be,” she says. “I’m at a school that feels very much at home to me. I genuinely want to advocate for the college because I know how much good it did for me and how much good it can do for anybody who goes through here.”

As a recent graduate, she’ll have a unique ability to speak from first-hand experience as a student on how donors can influence the future generations of leaders the College produces. “The College of Business is such a robust and vibrant institution, and it’s continuing to grow. The wonderful academic experience I had here will be a huge asset in my conversation with donors.”

Holly is eager to start connecting with donors in person. She has the drive to succeed and is ready to demonstrate just how impactful her new degree has been. The College of Business helped elevate her education and career, and she’s prepared to return the favor through fundraising so more students can follow in her footsteps.

“Education carries so much value in your professional life, regardless of whether or not you work in the field you went to school for. It’s something no one can take away from you and it shapes who you are as a person.”

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