From Daughter to Colleague

From Daughter to Colleague

“It feels different to be working with my daughter, but it's one of the most rewarding things I've experienced in my career,” says Tom Chandler, an architect for Schenkel Shultz Architecture, a firm with offices in Indiana, North Carolina and Florida. His daughter Michelle, a 2002 Saint Mary's graduate, is assistant director of business development at his office in Orlando.

“I was recently at Saint Mary's for Senior Dad's Weekend to visit my other daughter, Melissa,” Tom says. “The president of the College addressed all the dads at a breakfast and said, ‘Three things Saint Mary's graduates have in common are these: they are critical thinkers, self-confident women, and excellent writers.' I can see all of that in both of my daughters.”

While at Saint Mary's, Michelle participated in the Ireland program , spending one year studying abroad. “The size of Saint Mary's—just over 1500 students—belies the big opportunities there,” says Tom. “The College has so much to offer its students, and prepares them better than most to contribute to the world after graduation.”

Of his daughter-turned-colleague, Tom says he's proud of who she's become. “I've watched her go from a young woman just out of college, still finding her way, to a mature and capable leader and manager within the company. She is highly regarded here, and she's earned every bit of that respect.”

Tom says that, even though he is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Michelle never even applied there. “It wasn't the right fit for her. She was looking for something smaller and more personal.” He remembers that she decided on Saint Mary's when she visited campus and heard a panel of five current students talk about college life. “These women were articulate, smart, and engaging. After the talk, Michelle looked at me and said, ‘I want to be like that.'”

And so she is—just ask her father.