In her current position as Senior Admissions Adviser at Penn State University's Smeal College of Business MBA Program, Ann (Weidenboerner) Mallison has become savvy in social media throughout the past 6.5 years while promoting the program through various outlets online.
"I’ve been building the social media presence of the program from the ground up in the past few years. It is exciting to be gaining followers and connecting with a wide variety of people on social platforms," Mallison said. "I enjoy meeting people from all over the world and hearing their stories. I also love the social media marketing piece."
In addition to formulating and implementing the Smeal MBA Program’s social media marketing strategy, Mallison also creates content for social media and advertising.
Another major aspect of her job is collaborating on the admissions decisions of MBA applicants and directing the Alumni Outreach and Alumni Relations for Admissions.
Mallison, 36, resides in State College with her husband and fellow St. Marys native Tom Mallison, along with their three children, Emma, Michael and Sam. She is the daughter of Andy and Teresa Weidenboerner of St. Marys.
Ann is a graduate of Elk County Christian High School and obtained a bachelor's degree in business, majoring in finance, from Villanova University. She went on to earn her MBA from Penn State, as well as a mini-MBA certification in social media marketing from Rutgers University.
After being a financial analyst and then earning her MBA, Mallison was asked to assist the admissions team in conducting alumni interviews while the director was out on maternity leave.
"I was working 10-12 hours a week from home. Each year since then the role and responsibilities have increased," Mallison said. "Three years ago, my boss asked if I was interested in social media, to which I explained that I had three young kids and no time. She informed me I was in charge of running our Visitation Weekend virtually on Facebook and that I had one weekend to get on and figure it out. That sparked an interest that has grown immensely."
"I never set out to work in higher education, admissions or social media. My advice to anyone is to be open to any opportunity, as you never know where it may lead," she added.
Among the challenges Mallison faces in her career are balancing her role as a working mother to three children and as a daughter to aging parents.
"The support of my family and the foundation of values and academics that I learned growing up," Mallison said when describing important factors in contributing to her career success. "Mrs. Buerk's and Mr. Snelick’s math classes at ECCHS led to my love of numbers and analytics. The sports I played in high school taught me about hard work and dedication."
She added growing up in a small town offered her opportunities to try many sports and hobbies, such as Pigtail Softball, bowling leagues, soccer leagues, cross-country and others. Mallison also taught CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) classes for one year at Sacred Heart Church, which is something she continues to participate in today.
"It also afforded me the luxury of being surrounded by my extended family. Living in a place with no family now, I realize how lucky we were to have grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family nearby growing up," Mallison said.
During her summers in college and on holiday breaks, Mallison worked at Northwest Savings Bank.
"That was my first exposure to working in business, and I enjoyed the pace and customer interaction," she said.
As for her future plans, Mallison said she hopes to explore Google+ and Pinterest this spring and summer when admissions season slows down.
Although she said most of her time is spent taking care of her family and her parents, Mallison enjoys reading, watching movies, going for an occasional run and social media.