You Can Be Determined - Noelle Mandery (‘21)
You Can Be Determined - Noelle Mandery (‘21, Accounting)
Noelle is the founder and President of Bentley’s Women’s Club Hockey team. She hails from Long Island, NY and has been passionate about hockey her entire life. Noelle was determined to play hockey any way she could, even if that meant playing on a Men’s JV hockey team in high school. Noelle was determined to make the Women’s Club Hockey team a reality before she even started at Bentley.
When I step on the ice, the feeling is indescribable. I would do anything to continue to play the sport I love.
Noelle has always loved the sport of hockey, even when it was not the easiest. She reflects on the first time she ever went skating, covered in elbow pads, wrist guards, knee pads, and a helmet. Every three steps she would take, she would fall, get right back up, walk three steps, and fall again. Noelle was determined. Her dad inspired her to play since he is a hockey player himself, while her mom was sad that she lost “her ballerina.” Her mom soon was able to see the determination and enthusiasm that Noelle had for hockey. Noelle played travel hockey on an all-Women’s hockey team but was the only female playing on the Men’s JV team at her high school. On the ice, Noelle was seen as another player on the team, and not just “the girl.” No different from any other player, she became used to being checking into the boards just like everyone else. At her first JV game ever, a player came from behind her and pushed her so fiercely into the boards that she separated her shoulder. Noelle played the rest of that game with the injury. She was not fazed by the roughness; it was just a part of the game that she loved. She never complained and wanted the opportunity to play the game no matter what. Although she was able to play her sport, the team aspect was not always the easiest. The boys had a separate locker room and she felt like she sometimes missed out on the comradery that comes with the sport.
You must have a certain mentality. You cannot do it all by yourself. Hockey is a team sport where you need communication, trust, reliability, and accountability.
Noelle found the comradery that she was missing out on out on at Bentley. While her travel teammates were choosing what colleges to attend in the fall Noelle shares that many of them wanted to become physical therapists, nurses, or teachers. Noelle believes that the women who have an interest in business and hockey are a part of a niche group. She was able to find others at Bentley who fit into this group. Before the first day of her freshman year Noelle was already in contact with the Athletic Director and SP&E to find a way to play hockey. “This would not be the end of my hockey career.” It was a lot of work, but she had great support from SP&E and a fantastic and dedicated board of fellow hockey enthusiasts to make their dreams a reality. The new arena could not have come at a more perfect time either. Noelle and her teammates needed to recruit players and a coach. “I had been thinking about this concept for so long. I am so happy I have been able to help others have the chance to play.” Noelle will never forget February 21, 2018, the day she received approval for the Women’s Club Hockey Team. By the end of Noelle’s freshman year they were able to practice in the arena. “I just took a long, deep breath once I stepped onto the arena ice, it was very surreal.” On September 28, 2018, the first Womens’ Club Hockey game was played at Bentley University. With her small team of 12, which only leaves 2 subs, they stayed determined to compete and make this chance worth it. Exhausted during games, they would never give up even while playing against well-established clubs as large as “small armies” and tie them in overtime.
Being approachable while thinking critically and ethically is essential to working with others to start a student organization.
Noelle is determined, but she is also a dedicated and humble leader. “We are a team. I want to be a part of the team, not just the Captain or President. I am just a player.” Noelle’s goals for the team in her final year at Bentley are to grow the size of the roster and to have a successful transitioning of leadership, since she has been the President for 4 years. Noelle feels though, that her experience playing hockey and her academic studies at Bentley are linked. “Both hockey and my academic studies require good time management and discipline.” This summer she will be interning with Deloitte in Risk and Financial Advisory. When she graduates, she still wants to be playing hockey. Her advice for someone hoping to start their own club or org is, “If there is something you want to do, and you have strength and determination, then go for it. Develop a plan with actions to get where you want to be. SP&E is here to support you, and Bentley is here to support you too.”