From basketball to business and points beyond

Mary Clougherty ’21 is an undergrad of infinite interests. She came to Lehigh Business as a student athlete, recruited for bringing the same intensity and commitment to her learning as she does to the Lehigh Women’s Basketball Team.  With the “no-walls” approach to learning at Lehigh Business, she has found the freedom to engage her passions on the court, across the campus and around the world. 

 “Lehigh Business gives you lots of room to explore what you want and really pushes you to go beyond,” says Clougherty. “They do more than allow you to cross disciplines, they encourage it. They want you to challenge yourself, to break out of your comfort zone and get fully involved in everything the school has to offer.” And Clougherty has done that. 

Within Lehigh Business, she is pursuing majors in Accounting and Business Information Systems (BIS), and seeking to impact the world in significant ways that deliver value to both stakeholders and the society at large. She chose to pair Accounting with BIS to gain the critical understanding of big data that is essential to a successful career in business.

Exploring beyond business

Her innate curiosity about history and civilization led her to the College of Arts & Science as well, where she is pursuing a minor in Global Studies and gaining insights into international relations to broaden her world view. She has taken Law classes purely for the love of learning and her interest in promoting justice, and extended her knowledge with classes in predictive analytics and cloud computing.

Her Lehigh Business experience includes a wide range of clubs and activities. “Basketball is something I love. It keeps me disciplined and focused, but it’s not all I love,” she says. “I also love that Lehigh supports my values in academics and my interest in things other than basketball. I think Lehigh is the perfect fit for me because of how they value the student and not just their athletic performance.”

As a TRAC Writing Fellow, Clougherty engages with the larger campus community working with students on their academic success. She is part of the Junior Executive Advisory Board providing insights into ways the Lehigh Business experience can be enhanced for students. And as co-captain of TIDE, a club focused on Tackling Inclusion, Diversity and Equity, she works to foster inclusion in the athletic community. 

Building bridges, building skills 

Clougherty believes strongly in the power of business to build bridges and foster cultural connections around the globe. This summer, her selection as just one of seven Tauck Scholars will give her the opportunity to put that belief into practice. She chose Shanghai, China, for this prestigious merit-based international internship, where she’ll be working at an international firm studying business analytics. 

This trip will also have personal meaning for Clougherty, who visited China as a child when her family adopted her younger brother. She is excited to return for the experience of a lifetime. “This is something I definitely would not have had the opportunity to do were it not for this scholarship. I’m truly grateful to the university and to Lehigh Business,” she said. 

Clougherty knows what she wants for the future and knows that Lehigh Business is helping her get there. “I want to help connect business around the globe. I want to make people’s lives better off because of what I’ve done. And I think Lehigh Business is really setting me up for success, breaking boundaries into new spaces of learning, and really encouraging every student to lean on each other and their professors to improve as students and, even more importantly, as people.”