Venturing from the stability and comfort of a job in corporate America to an entrepreneurial venture can be risky, but it’s a risk that has paid off for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville alumna Melody McClellan. McClellan, or “Coach Melody,” graduated from the SIUE School of Business in 1993 with a bachelor’s in business with an emphasis in marketing.
“I used to walk from my house in Tower Lake all the way to SIUE, and I would just watch all the school buses pass me by,” said McClellan.
Once she graduated, her first step was to find a stable job in her field. McClellan soon landed a position as a pharmaceutical sales representative. She held the position for 18 years before she found herself with a new mindset regarding people’s health.
“People were not as healthy as they could be,” she said, “and I thought, ‘how can we do this better?’”
McClellan set out to do exactly that. She left her pharmaceutical position and earned her nutrition certification to begin exploring the world of health and wellness. Using her knowledge and skills in business and sales, she began building her own brand: Unwrap You. The health and wellness program focuses on workplace wellness, youth wellness and life skills, motivational speaking and executive coaching.
“When leadership is involved, and the workplace has a proper [health and wellness] culture, it helps everyone,” said McClellan.
As McClellan began building her program from the ground up, the pandemic hit. While this was a devastating and confusing time for most, the normalization of using the internet to connect with people and spread information helped to turn McClellan’s program into a global success. Unwrap You and its subsequent programs have reached three continents and 22 states, and McClellan is not done yet. She plans to continue traveling to spread her passion for health and wellness across the country and around the world.
Another of McClellan’s career highlights has been giving back to the community by hosting the Family Fun 3k Walk held in East St. Louis. This annual event raises awareness for childhood obesity and gives participants the opportunity to help support the cause both in person and virtually.
McClellan took a leap of faith when she left her stable corporate career, and she landed in a career full of passion, determination and success.
The SIUE School of Business is among an elite 5% of business schools worldwide that have earned the prestigious accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). This accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. Less than 25% of AACSB accredited schools also hold the accounting accreditation.
For the 16th consecutive year, the School of Business is named an outstanding business school by The Princeton Review: “The Best Business Schools: 2022 Edition.” The Princeton Review recommends the School as one of the best institutions in the U.S. from which students can earn an MBA. Nearly 29,000 alumni have earned degrees from the SIUE School of Business.