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Kelly O'Hanlon (VC '09)

written October, 2012

Having graduated from Villanova College in 2009, Kelly O'Hanlon has been quite busy pursuing her future career and sharpening her hockey skills, but she always remembers her days at VC.

Kelly O'Hanlon is currently in the Rotman Commerce Program at the University of Toronto, specializing in management and concentrating in marketing. Her ambitious post-graduate plans are to work for a marketing firm downtown and eventually pursue an MBA or Law degree.

But it isn't all business all the time. When she isn't studying, Kelly dedicates much of her time to U of T's Women's Ice Hockey team. "Being a student-athlete is the most rewarding experience," she says. "While the schedule is demanding, it opens up opportunities that help you to grow and experience things that would not have been attainable before. We are on the ice 6 days a week and off ice 3-4 times a week." Of course, amidst all of the action are her classes! "While it may seem like a lot, it keeps you organized and busy. Your teammates become your best friends and they have the added bonus of having the same goals as you. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is willing to put the work and time into the sport."

Kelly's commitment to her team has certainly paid off, as they finished last season in third place in the OUA under the leadership of new head coach, Vicky Sunohara. "For a time this past season, we were ranked in the top 10 of the CIS for the first time in 3 years," Kelly explains. With U of T hosting Nationals this year, the team will have more chances to add to these accolades. "Our team is young, but with the experience we do have we should be able to put up a big fight in the OUA this upcoming season," she says. "As for me, I am looking to contribute both offensively and defensively. This year I led the team with 19 points and I am looking to expand on this for next season."

Kelly attributes much of her success thus far, as both an athlete and an academic, to the time she spent at Villanova College. Her thoughts about VC seem to still hold the same heartfelt sentiment that they did when she was a student at the school. "VC is an experience that helped to shape me into the person I am and will be," she says. "It gave me an opportunity to learn leadership and gave me a drive to succeed. This has translated both on the ice and through school. VC is one of those experiences that you take for granted until you look back on it and realize what a privilege it was to be part of the VC community."

The leadership that Kelly refers to was largely discovered through her involvement in VC's leadership program. "The most important thing I learned from leadership class was to take risks. I still remember the poem Mr. Hayes read to us, entitled "Risks," and its message has stuck with me. As far as an impact goes, Habitat for Humanity is still something that impacts my life today. I constantly find myself looking back on it and remembering what we learned, how we grew, and the experience as a whole."

Having contributed to so many aspects of VC's student life, Kelly encourages current VC students to get involved. "The most memorable experiences in high school come from joining the extra-curricular programs. The best thing you can do is find something you love and make the most out of the time you have at VC."

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