Faculty Stories: Mary Carlson

Mary Carlson

Program: Business/Management/Marketing

Mary Carlson’s childhood was all about her family’s business – a janitorial supply company in Chicago that her father operated.

“It was a great experience growing up in that atmosphere,” she said. “They had the initiative to work hard and to get ahead. But I felt my Dad could have done even more if they positioned the company better, so I went into marketing.”

Carlson worked as a marketer for a variety of large companies: at PACE/CTA in marketing transit (UPASS, Visitor Pass, VanPool Incentive Program) and at Nestle Purina PetCare Company as an Account Executive/Team Safeway and Category Analyst for Safeway and Albertsons Team. 

She started teaching economics and business part-time at Moraine Valley Community College and Robert Morris University before coming to College of DuPage full-time. 

“I had a flare for connecting information in a visual way so that it enhanced overall productivity,” she said. “I felt that educating people, whether from a corporate or academic environment, made a bigger impact. I hope that my students gain a better understanding of the material and how they can use it succeed in their academic and professional goals.”

Carlson finds inspiration in her students’ stories.

“I like to hear how they transitioned from where they were to where they are today,” she said. “Certain people come into your life, whether it’s for a few seconds or for a semester for several years, and they can help you move forward. While I don’t expect to make a huge impact on my students, I do believe it’s all of us working together that can make the biggest impact on a person’s life.”

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