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Melissa Doubleday ’96, son, Aiden, and Fiona love life in Chicago.

Building the foundation for success at Olivet College, Doubleday has used her liberal arts education to rise to the top of her industry, while never forgetting where her roots are anchored.

Melissa Doubleday ’96 recently received the 2016 Leading Edge Society Award from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices for her exceptional sales performances. In fact, Doubleday ranked in the top 7 percent in Berkshire Hathaway nationwide. She achieved this as a single mom living in Chicago, one of the most populated and competitive cities in the country.

With alumni as parents, Karen ’71 and David ’68 Doubleday, Olivet College was in the heart of Doubleday’s family her entire life. Growing up in Portage, she was familiar with living in a college town, but on the occasional drive through Olivet, Doubleday could tell there was something special about the campus. She fell in love with the quaint atmosphere of Olivet at a young age and promised herself that’s where she would also attend college.

When the time came for Doubleday to apply for college, her work was easy. She applied only to Olivet and quickly committed to attend. Her plan was to major in biology and pursue a Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine, but realized that while her love for animals was strong, her true calling was to work in a people-centered atmosphere. Settling on a communications and English major, Doubleday found herself at home in various teams, clubs and groups across campus, including the swimming and diving team, women’s soccer team, student media, theatre, International Club, Admissions Office and most prominently, the Soronian Literary Society.

“Pledging to Soronian was an amazing choice,” said Doubleday. “It was so important for me to align myself with a group of women who knew where they were going and represented themselves well. Overall at Olivet, I appreciated the diversity and inclusivity of the campus. There were truly people from all walks of life that created a great understanding of all people.”

After graduating, Doubleday was eager to enter the job market herself, but found her passion for communication actually made her an excellent recruiter. After numerous staffing and head hunting positions, both throughout the United States and Europe, Doubleday reached a point in her life where she was ready for a new challenge. Now living in Chicago with her son, Aiden, 14, Doubleday couldn’t ignore the world of real estate around her.

“I realized my skill set was a really good match for a real estate agent,” Doubleday explained. “With a little encouragement from friends and family, I took a leap of faith and earned my license. I hit the ground running and made connections easily. My time at Olivet helped me learn to be a chameleon and adapt to my surroundings. Since then, I’ve used that skill to tremendously benefit myself.”

David, Melissa’s father, served in the U.S. Air Force and later the Air National Guard. It was he who exemplified the importance of community involvement to Doubleday. She explained that while giving monetarily is important, volunteering with time holds an immense value as well “Building connections is what life is about,” said Melissa. “Do good to others and it will come back to you. The recipe for success is to surround yourself with hardworking people, set goals and stay positive.”

Doubleday meets up with her Soronian sisters frequently and tries to visit Olivet College at least once a year. “There’s always a sense of pride coming back to Olivet. It’s evident that the programs and student experience are ever evolving at the hands of today’s leadership. It almost makes me a little jealous of current students!”

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