Shy Student Blooms to Excellence

OAKLAND COUNTY, Michigan – Start Here…Finish Here. You may have seen it on billboards across Oakland County this summer. Student Alexandria McGill gives it meaning.

The Oxford, Mich. resident completed her degree this summer at Oakland Community College. She says she entered OCC “very shy and wanting to save money” while starting her dream in veterinary medicine. As an OCC student, one of her classmates suggested she join student government; later, OCC instructor Mike Robinson recommended she consider signing up to be a student ambassador.

Alex McGill“I wanted to get more involved in student activities and leadership but I felt awkward just showing up,” says McGill. “Now I tell students, don’t be afraid of anything! Just go in, take advantage of as many opportunities as you can, and if you are confused, just ask somebody – a counselor, professor or campus dean – you’ll thank yourself in the long run!”

McGill followed her own advice and attended an OCC spring student-leadership summit hosted at Oakland University’s Honors College. The event provided her extra exposure to the University and interactions with students and staff.

“I work part-time at a veterinarian hospital and didn't really think about honors’ college as my next step. I was just very focused on transfer and getting into vet college,” she said. “What I found out is this was my best next step! With my OCC experience, I could finish at Oakland University’s honors college at no additional cost, no extra time to get through and with much greater opportunities.”

According to McGill, staff at the leadership event encouraged attendees to be a part of the new campaign. She found her GPA and OCC leadership experience made it easy to finish one step ahead.

“Getting involved in activities is an essential part of the college experience. You can grow in so many ways,” said Robinson. “It’s something many students forget when going to community college. OCC offers activities and opportunities to grow in more than just academics to cultivate real world skills and open new doors.”

“My achievements are because of my experience at OCC. I blossomed here. Finishing at OU’s honors college has opened up possible study abroad opportunities, more academic rigor with honors classes and greater potential as I work toward my dream of becoming a veterinarian,” said McGill.

On her list for finishing at Oakland University: traveling and working with exotic animals while studying abroad. Being a shy student entering OCC is clearly in her rearview mirror.

About OCC - With multi campus system in Oakland County, OCC is Michigan’s number one transfer institution, offering nearly 100 excellent degrees and certificates. The College empowers academic and developmental experiences, allowing students to reach their full potential and enhance the communities they serve. More than a million students have enrolled in the College since it opened in 1965. Learn more at


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