AUM Alumni Q&A with Jacki Mayer
Alumna Jacki Mayer (MA, Conflict Resolution ’10) has over three decades in the for-profit and nonprofit business and is owner of Fireball Consulting in Fairborn, Ohio.
Jacki asserts that,“I love to help businesses grow and flourish. If it’s a start-up, I can help create the foundation to build on. If it’s an established business, I can help find opportunities for growth. Couple that with my extensive network of professionals in a wide variety of specialties and I can provide the support and advice you need.”
“At the heart of everything I do is collaborating with my clients. I want them to succeed, so they can count on me being honest, thoughtful and hopefully, throw some humor in there as well. Because in order to stay sane in business, it’s crucial to have a sense of humor!” Jacki added.
- What program did you complete while at Antioch University Midwest?
My time at Antioch began at Antioch College for my undergrad, then I left the College and entered the School for Adult and Experiential Learning to complete my Bachelors in Human Development and Management. After some time, I decided to go back to Antioch University to complete a Masters in Conflict Management.
- What role did the faculty and your classmates at Antioch play in furthering your education? How has Antioch’s mission of emphasizing social, economic, and environmental justice influenced your life and career?
The faculty and my classmates enriched the whole learning experience. What I admired about Antioch University is that the faculty understood the working adult and that being an adult student was challenging. I found the faculty and fellow students in my cohorts to be a great support system, the camaraderie that was developed helped to enrich the learning experience. Antioch’s mission did not influence my life and career as much but made me realize that the world is much bigger and complicated than I realized. That even one person can make a difference. My education taught me how critical thinking is at the core of everything.
- What are the most important skills or ideas you learned while at Antioch?
Professors don’t know everything, my classmates have different perspectives than I did and that you learn from those who have differing viewpoints. In order for the student to get the most out of an education from Antioch, the student needs to be engaged and speak up. You have to participate! It’s necessary to get out of your comfort zone to be successful.
- What are your future career goals and how did your experience at Antioch shape these goals?
I worked at Antioch for a while as the Director of Business Operations and Development at WYSO for a little over a year after completing my master’s degree. Afterwards, I decided to start own business. I felt that I could do what I love and use my experience in helping businesses and organizations grow. I’m an out of the box thinker. This makes some people uncomfortable, but allows me to see opportunities that others may not.
- What would you look for if you were in the position to hire new graduates from Antioch University Midwest?
Someone that is not only educated but utilizes common sense and critical thinking skills. People need to understand that you need to get out of your comfort zone to be of benefit to other people. You need to be true to yourself and the people around you. The ideal candidate must be a risk taker at some level because it’s these calculated risks that move organizations forward.
- How have you applied your Antioch education to your current career and experiences?
Practically every day. It’s one of the great things in the Conflict program. The critical thinking skills that I developed helped me to view the world around me in a different way. From the different circumstances people come from and how certain situations affect their lives. Everyone makes meaning of the world around them differently based on their experience. You need to have the ability to ask questions to further understand someone or take it at face value and sadly, make a snap judgment that may not be based in reality. There’s always more to the story. The program had a huge effect on me. My education really taught me how to use my big mouth to stand up for myself and other people. You need to be willing to say what needs to be said at some level, that’s where I come in as a consultant.
- What was your greatest accomplishment?
It would have to be starting my own business.
- What is the best advice you ever received?
Knowing your limitations. My father was an entrepreneur. I saw the highs and lows in business and life. It was nice to see my dad’s hard work and commitment payoff. Also, failure is just another opportunity to learn. Don’t let a negative experience destroy you but view it as more of an opportunity to move forward from that point.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
An Antioch University education has more of an opportunity for personal growth than anywhere else, in my opinion. You just have to take advantage of this resource and actively participate to evolve as a student or professional.
For assistance with your business planning, marketing, social media or just need some sound advice before proceeding into the unknown, contact Fireball Consulting at 937-657-6951.