The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

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Hockaday Hosts HAARTS Assembly


Four Alumnae returned to Hockaday to share the ups and downs of their career in the annual HAARTS Assembly.

Looking out at room full of green blazers, four Hockaday alumnae returned to their alma mater to speak at the annual HAARTS assembly on March 4.  Students studied each panelist carefully, questioning if one day they too would become one of these successful businesswomen and return to Hockaday to share their experiences with a younger generation.

Hockaday organizes the HAARTS assembly every year to feature alumnae who have pursued careers in the arts and sciences. This year, HATS Off to HAARTS Committee chair, Candace Swango ’84, led the committee in their search for four panelists.

However, the selection process, beginning in the end of May, was a time consuming and difficult task with so many eligible candidates.

“It’s hard because you do research on hundreds of girls, and then once you get the lists down to 30 you do even more research to learn about each of their backgrounds,” Swango said.

This year the committee decided to focus on entrepreneurship, engineering and technology in the Silicon Valley. After narrowing it down, the committee selected four candidates: Ooshma Garg, Megan McClain, Melissa Spencer and Brooke Thompson.

Garg, McClain and Thompson all attended college at Stanford University. Despite the committee’s selection, Swango wished to see more variety.

“Next year I would like to see a more diverse group of colleges represented,” Swango said.

During the assembly, the panelists gathered in Hicks Auditorium to answer a series of questions from the Moderator, Fine Arts Department Lead Chair Ed Long.

The Panelists

During her junior year at Stanford, Ooshma Garg ’05 founded Gobble, a company which specializes in packaging healthy, gourmet meals kits designed to be easily cooked in one pan and in 10 minutes . Gobble delivers around 10,000 meals to families all over the west coast.

“Our mission is to create love through food,” Garg said.

Megan McClain ’04, another Stanford graduate, works as a mechanical design engineer for apple. Before her current job she worked on the Human Machine Interface team at Volkswagen, creating and experimenting with new prototypes. Now a member of Apple’s Interaction Architecture group, McClain works with a diverse team to brainstorm and build new features for future apple products.

She accredits a lot of her success to her time at Hockaday.

“Hockaday encouraged everyone to be the best and the brightest,” McClain said. “There was no reason to limit yourself.”

Melissa Spencer ’00, founder of Spencer Fine Jewelry, built her company after graduating from Southern Methodist University with an undergraduate degree in photography. Spencer designed a process to set pictures inside gemstones to blend her love for photography and fine jewelry.  She also creates designs on the computer and uses a three dimensional printer to create these pieces into a mold before she casts them in metal.

“Whenever I need inspiration, I often think back to some of the beautiful images I saw at Hockaday,” Spencer said.

Brooke Thompson ’95, senior director of User Experience at Walmart Labs, struggled to earn a position in her newly emerging field after graduating from Stanford. With the confidence she acquired from Hockaday she took a risk to pursue her field, but eventually received a position at Yahoo and then at Walmart Labs in 2014. Her job focuses on helping customers discover products, making informed decisions and feeling confident about their purchases.

“Life is a marathon, not a sprint,” Thompson said. “You have to take it day by day and break it down into something achievable.”

These featured alumnae, who once roamed the freshman hallways at Hockaday in their plaid skirts, are successful business women who are leaving an impact in the world around them.

– Amelia Brown – Asst. Sports and Health Editor –

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