Sue Snyder never intended to open her own business. But, sometimes the best outcomes are unexpected.
Self-employed for 18 years as a piano teacher, Snyder says her first experience as a student at Montcalm Community College in the mid-1990s helped shape her career as a businesswoman and teacher, and brought her back to the college in 2006 when she decided to pursue her bachelor’s degree in education.
Snyder earned an Associate of Liberal Studies degree from MCC in 1997. While attending the college she realized that much of her coursework was in the business field, but it wasn’t really what she wanted to do.
“Once I got into the program, it was clear that I didn’t want a business degree,” she says. “Isn’t that ironic, since I’m now a business owner?”
However, Snyder says the experiences she had as a student provided a background for her future in ways she never imagined.
At the time, she was teaching piano to a few students. One of Snyder’s classes was Introduction to Business with the late Business Instructor Bob Campbell.
“We were walking down the hall, and jokingly I said, ‘You know, I’m not going to go into business,’” Snyder says. “He smiled and told me that everything I was learning I would use with my piano instruction. He was right. I increased my number of piano students dramatically at that point. It wasn’t so much what Bob said, but he confirmed my feelings about my piano business.
“I did use that degree,” she adds. “It was kind of a turning point for me.”
Snyder says that the relationships she had with her instructors at that time carried over when she returned to MCC 10 years later.
It was another turning point in Snyder’s life. Her husband had been laid off from his job and Snyder had applied for several positions only to find that she was either over qualified or under qualified for the jobs. A natural educator, she says the time was right for her to return to college to pursue her teaching degree.
After having such a good experience at MCC years earlier, Snyder says going back to the college was a natural choice for her before transferring to Aquinas College, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in education in 2008.
“There was no place else I would go. MCC was my first choice, and I still feel that way,” she says. “I made good relationships with some instructors and they really were powerful influences. It’s so positive when instructors invest in their students and really want to see them succeed.”
Today, she continues to use her degree and the business acumen she has learned over the years as the owner and operator of Posey’s Place, a high-quality, consignment store in Greenville that specializes in plus-size women’s clothing and accessories, as well as teaching supplies, children’s books and piano lessons. Named after her mother, who in retirement took on the character Posey the Clown, Snyder says the business is just another testament to the foundation she built through her college studies.
Snyder and her husband, Jeff, reside in Greenville. They have three children, one of whom attended MCC before graduating from Ferris State University.