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Best Years of My Life

March 13, 2019
By Deb Daley

“The first five words that come from my mouth when I talk about Mercy are ‘the best years of my life,’” said Megan O’Hara Hayes ’09. The Digital and National Sales Assistant in the Advertising and Sales Department at WOWT is grateful to Mercy for helping her find the best version of herself.

Ironically, she did not want to attend Mercy because both of her sisters and mother went to Marian.  Her mother insisted that Mercy would be a better fit. 

“After the first day I was content, and during my time there contentment turned into love,” she said.

Megan was also fortunate to able to talk with other relatives about the Mercy experience.  Her aunt, Colleen O’Hara Allsion ’65, went to Mercy and played Catherine McAuley in the Mercy Day Play.  Her grandmother, Patricia Murphy McGonigal ’56, also told her stories about helping to tile the hallways when the school was built.

While at Mercy, Megan played catcher and second base on the softball team for four years.  She loved to sing and became a member of the Concert Choir and Mercy High Singers.  She was also active in Campus Ministry, Theatre, and Speech.  During her senior year she played Judas in a one-act of Godspell, which did well in competitions. 

“When I was younger, I had trouble speaking in front of people. At Mercy I was able to excel on the Mercy Speech Team in Districts and State.  Mercy turned a weakness into a strength,” Megan said.

Megan studied Theology and English at the College of St. Mary.  She also played softball in college.  She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do following graduation but prayed for some sort of sign to lead her in the right direction.

“The word ‘advertising’ kept popping in my head, so I applied at a local promotional advertising company and eventually landed the job at WOWT, the third generation O’Hara to work there,” she added. 

In her current position, Megan assists with both the analytical and creative processes of online and television ads. 

“Because of Mercy, I’ve learned to push beyond my comfort zone, set goals, and reach higher and higher.  Of course, I use my degree in my current position but because of the confidence I gained at Mercy. I can push beyond my comfort level,” she said.

Megan tries to give regularly to the school and is a proud ambassador for the education she received.

“It’s easy to teach things from a book at any school, but at Mercy I learned so many valuable things that weren’t on a study guide. There is no cookie cutter or mold of a typical Mercy Girl, but the two constant components are confidence and compassion,” she said.