Student Union Building
PO Box 444264
Moscow, ID 83844-4264
1031 N. Academic Way,
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
Written By Becca Johnson
It's difficult to be a well-rounded person and be successful in every endeavor. Sometimes, social activities fall to the side as one focuses on academics. Or some people balance academics and home life, but can't find time for behind activities that benefit the community. It takes a special person to master all three and make a lasting impact.
University of Idaho senior Mary Hourihan is that person.
In academics, she's top of her class. She was named a prestigious College of Business and Economics Graue Scholar – an honor reserved for the top academic achievers – in her freshman year. She also is in the university's Honors Program, and currently serves as the president of the Honors Student Advisory Board.
She is wrapping up dual degrees in human resources major and production operations management, and is part of the Davis Investment Group, which actively manages a portfolio of stocks. And she is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management, the professional club for human resources.
Hourihan has spent her last two summers gaining more experience through internships: one in the corporate development department of Coeur d’Alene Mines; and the other in the human resources department at Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Seattle, Wash.
“These were great experiences where I gained exposure to the real business world,” Hourihan says. "At Coeur, I participated in debt refinancing meetings with various banks and did financial analysis of competitor companies. Although we practice examples in class, it is great to make decisions that actually affect a business."
"I have found Mary to be a highly motivated individual, who continuously seeks learning opportunities," said Mario Reyes, her adviser and the associate dean of the College of Business and Economics. "What impresses most is Mary’s excellent work ethic that goes along with her desire to learn. She strives for excellence, and that commitment to excellence permeates the way people around her behave and perform."
For Hourihan, the most rewarding experiences at the university have been the college trips in which she participated to gain national and international experience.
“I went to Shanghai, China, for a week and took a class at the University of Shanghai in addition to touring local businesses and exploring the area,” says Hourihan.
Her favorite experience, however, was when she went to Chicago with the Davis Investment Group during her sophomore year. "While there, we went on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade and spent an amazing week in the financial district there. It made me realize that I wanted to add a finance major," she says.
"Rotchy Barker, an Idaho alumnus, spent the day with us; it was great of him to share his knowledge and expertise," Hourihan says. "We also were fortunate enough to meet Rick Santelli from CNBC through a chance encounter at the Mercantile Exchange. I am so glad I got to participate in this great opportunity.”
On the social side, Hourihan has been actively involved in the university's Greek community, and currently serves a president of her sorority – Alpha Gamma Delta.
"I was a Sorority Recruitment counselor for Recruitment 2008 and it showed me how alike all the houses really are and what amazing women there are in each of them," she says. "I’ve also held several offices in my house, participated in intramurals and philanthropy, Greek Week and Homecoming."
Her work for the Greek community has not gone unnoticed: she received the Most Outstanding Junior Award at Greek Awards last spring, and was named Most Outstanding Member of her sorority. She also served as bonfire chair for the 2009 Homecoming Committee.
In terms of giving back to society, Hourihan also is at the top of the class. She has been volunteering since high school. Even with her busy schedule and double majors, she has given her time both locally and abroad.
Hourihan co-led an Alternative Service Break last spring to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Her group of 11 honor students went for a week to help with flood relief.
“We bleached houses to rid them of mold, ripped out ceiling panels, mapped the areas to see where additional help was needed and did anything required of us,” Hourihan recalls.
Locally, she is a Girl Scout Troop leader for Moscow girls and has served as an assistant Destination Imagination coach for Lincoln Middle School in Pullman, Wash.
She also has volunteered for Relay for Life, Saturday for Service, Make a Difference Day, Soujourner’s Alliance Gala Night, Alpha Gamma Delta’s Mr. Idaho and Dodgeball Slam, and various other sorority and fraternity philanthropies.
“I think it’s really important to give back to the community that you are in,” says Hourihan. “It has been a great experience and I really love giving back in Moscow, especially, because this town has given me so much.”
Following commencement, Hourihan intends to study abroad in Chambery, France, at an international business school. On return, she hopes to finish her third degree – in finance – and gain real-world business experience before pursuing a master’s degree.