“Just do something,” Mackenzie Koeller (‘18) Encourages Incoming Students

No matter where you looked on campus last year, you could probably spot Mackenzie Koeller (’18). A member of Campbell’s Division I Women’s Lacrosse team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), spiritual life endeavors, countless honors societies, and 2017’s homecoming queen, Koeller had a foot in almost every area of campus life.

Koeller, a 2018 graduate from Cary,  earned a BBA in International Business, a Spanish minor, and a Master of Business Administration. Taking a much-needed break after graduation, she traveled to Italy for a few weeks before beginning her new job in the Career Foundations Program at the technology and manufacturing company, LORD Corporation. This program allows her to explore four different areas of the company within two years, beginning with six months in Business Development.

“I love the company I work for now,” Koeller said. “My dream was to find a company that has its global headquarters in the United States, but offices in different countries I could travel to.” LORD Corporation, headquartered in Cary but with offices in 27 different countries, seemed like a perfect fit. “I’m able to travel all around the globe as part of my job, so I can’t imagine working anywhere else,” she said, while adding that she would love “to continue working for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes lacrosse ministry, either full or part-time.”

That desire to stay connected with FCA was built on a foundation developed at Campbell. Koeller was deeply involved with Christian ministry while in school, saying, “I was a member of a Bible study consisting of female athletes at Campbell. We met every Thursday night to talk about life, sports, and the Bible. Those girls greatly impacted my relationship with Jesus and gave me the courage to share God’s love throughout Campbell.”

Koeller grew through her interactions with those female athletes off the field, but also through working together on the field. “I learned that no one can dictate how hard I work, it’s a decision I must make myself,” she said. “I learned how to use failure as a motivational tool. I learned how to rejoice in the success of my teammates. Most of all, I learned to humble myself. Stepping out on that field daily revealed so many of my physical and mental weaknesses.”

Not only were her fellow students and athletes instrumental in shaping Koeller for her future after Campbell University, but she also credits her professors for preparing her for her current career. Koeller said, “I’m able to apply what I learned in the classrooms at Campbell, but the professors helped me most outside of classroom walls. Class sizes are so small that my professors knew my name and who I was. I could stop by any given professor’s office at any given time to ask questions about school, careers, or general questions about being an adult. Those candid conversations and the advice those professors gave me were what prepared me for life after college.”

Koeller found her niche through athletics and spiritual life during her time at Campbell, and she encourages others to find their own area to cultivate, saying, “Just do something. The stress can be crippling, but don’t allow the pressure of the world to paralyze you with fear. Don’t spend four years wandering around aimlessly trying to ‘find yourself.’ I can promise you that you’ll learn much more about yourself if you fill your time doing something, anything. If freshman year you feel called to business, then find a business internship and go for it with all your heart. If you find you don’t like business, then try science. Or the arts. Or humanities. If you don’t take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves to you in college, you’ll look back and wonder what you accomplished over the past four years.”

Read more about alumni news and events at alumni.campbell.edu.