In my Leadership Theory class, we were asked to write an essay on the following prompt: where were you five years ago, where are you now, and where do you want to be in five years? In the past two years of grad school, I have constantly been thinking about where I want to be in June 2023 after I graduate, but this assignment made me realize I hadn’t taken any time to truly reflect on the accomplishments I have been able to achieve since just five years ago. Five years ago, I had just moved to Paraguay to start my service as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I knew I wanted to find a career path helping people overcome systemic barriers to live a happy, healthy live, but I really had no clue what exactly that would look like.
That takes me to where I am now: a short but bittersweet four weeks away from graduating from the Wisconsin School of Business with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, specializing in Arts Administration. I could not be more thankful for this experience, especially as the last MBA to graduate from the Bolz Center. In the past two years I have spent countless hours studying, finishing homework, facilitating workshops, and networking, all while falling in love with the arts all over again through numerous opportunities to participate and attend in a wide variety of local arts events here in Madison, WI – all thanks to the Bolz Center. From these opportunities, I have been introduced to some amazing people both in the arts scene and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) sector, and from those connections I was offered three amazing full-time job offers for after graduation before I even started my second year of classes.
I started my second year of grad school as a part-time Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion intern at UW Credit Union as well as a Racial Inclusion and Social Equity MBA Fellow through Marsh McClennan, all while managing class full-time, continuing my positions as the Communications Chair for Graduate Women in Business and President of the Artful Business Collective, and raising a new puppy (I couldn’t help myself). My classes this year have been more focused on the arts, managing non-profits, and social justice topics. In my consulting class, I have worked with my classmates to develop a fundraising and development plan for Friends of San Damiano, and in my non-profit board leadership class, I have collaborated with another classmate to work with the Board of Directors for Movin’ Out to find a board portal and enhance board organization to create a structure to enhance the efficiency of the board moving forward. I have been able to take what I learned in class in addition to the experiences, learned skills, and knowledge gained from the program and all that I learned directly to my work at UW Credit Union as well as my learning & development project for Marsh McClennan. Before I know it, I will be able to apply everything directly to my role after graduation as well!
Graduation is sneaking up. While I am very excited to graduate and start my new career, I am truly going to miss being a part of this program and find comfort in knowing that I will always have the Bolz network to support me. Outside of everything, being in the Bolz Center has helped me grow in my career; I have met many people whom I can now call great friends, found my life partner (a professional artist!), and personally grown into the leader I knew I could be. I am so thankful to be in a position where I can look forward to the next five years of my life, both personally and professionally, with a new, exciting outlook on life.