Finding Her Future

Student Maggie Cowens uncovered her passion for business close to home.

When Maggie Cowens graduated from Cincinnati’s Archbishop McNicholas High School in 2011, she wasn’t sure what her future held. So, she started looking for affordable possibilities in her own backyard — and found UC Clermont just 15 minutes from her Amelia home. “I didn’t know I was stumbling on a diamond in the rough,” Cowens says. 

Once at Clermont, Cowens attended orientation as a nursing student, but quickly realized the field wasn’t for her. She switched to liberal arts, finishing her general requirements. It wasn’t until she took a class in retail and advertising that she found her calling. “Professor Jay Page made me fall in love with everything about marketing,” says Cowens, who quickly changed to a double major in business and marketing, taking 18 credit hours in one semester so she could graduate with both associate degrees at the same time.

Student Maggie Cowens in a UC Clermont classroom

“All these amazing things happened once I realized that and got on the path for business and marketing,” Cowens says. With the help of Professor Page, Cowens founded and is currently president of PACE, now the largest student organization at UC Clermont. PACE — which stands for professionalism, academics, character and experience — focuses on business and brings guest speakers from industry to campus to share their personal experiences, arranges visits with local companies and organizes an annual trip for members to Portland, Ore., to learn firsthand about the startup culture unique to the area. “We focus on bringing the textbooks to life,” Cowens says. “That's kind of our mantra.”  

For Cowens, the real-world experience didn’t stop there; not only does she work part-time in UC Clermont’s Marketing and Communications office, but she’s also a social media intern for Tom+Chee, a Cincinnati-based gourmet grilled cheese and tomato soup chain that won an investment deal on ABC’s “Shark Tank” in 2013. Following her graduation with a bachelor’s degree in December — which she will have completed at UC Clermont and UC East, never setting foot on Main Campus — Cowens plans to continue working in social media and digital marketing. “I think it’s very prevalent in today's world,” Cowens says. “Every company now has to have a social media manager or digital marketing manager because that’s where we're headed. I enjoy making that creative content for a company.”

From her uncertain start, Cowens has carved a path to future success that started when she stepped foot on UC Clermont’s campus — and began discovering her true passion. “It’s OK to not know what you want to do with your life right away,” she says. “Clermont was the perfect place for me to figure out what I wanted to do and who I am.”

This story was originally published on 11/1/2015.