March 3, 2021 | By Alexis O'Connell | Back to blog

Throughout the past year, the top three most overused words (in my opinion) have been “unprecedented,” “Zoom,” and everyone’s new favorite word: “PIVOT”.

Almost one year ago, I was finishing up my third and final year at UW-Madison looking towards graduation in May and completing my BBA in Management and Entrepreneurship. Around the time, like all graduating seniors, I was also applying for post graduation jobs in hopes to pursue my dream career of arts administration in the theatre industry. On the day I was supposed to hear back from a job offer, March 13, 2020, it felt like the world shut down, especially theatres. Of course, that job opportunity didn’t pan out, like many other students who had internships and job offers rescinded due to the pandemic. While I was struggling with what I would do with my life in the time being, while everything felt so up in the air, I remembered a conversation I had with Becky Buckman several months earlier about the new MA in Business: Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership program at my undergraduate home, The Wisconsin School of Business. While I wasn’t originally planning on attending graduate schooling, I was very excited to make the decision to apply for the program just two days before the application was due! I think the beauty of this pandemic is that it provided time for many of us to evaluate where we are in our life. And with that time, it allowed us to make the changes in our life to get us where we want to be. One year ago, I didn’t expect my current self to be approaching graduation day for my Master’s program, but I am so thankful for the opportunity to pivot. Now, as I approach May twelve months later and almost another degree under my belt, I feel much more confident to enter the workforce and far better equipped than I was last year. With my business and entrepreneurship undergraduate experience, I feel like my education in the Bolz Center has been a logical next step that has prepared me for my future career far better than any other opportunity I could have pursued during this question mark of a year.

When at a pivotal moment in life, I have to remind myself that there may be hidden opportunities that I hadn’t considered before (when I thought I had a solid plan). I am so grateful that this program has allowed me to pivot into a more defined future with a deeper and richer education. When I look to the future, I look forward to a year of less pivot points, and many more opportunities to use what I have learned so far. So, here’s to the pivot, all its beauty, and the courage to embrace it!