In the summer of 2018, I decided to attend law school. I thought this would allow me to be a generalist, and that I could specialize later in my career. However, following this path prevented me from gaining a deeper awareness of my goals. On the first day of orientation, our leaders asked each of us to answer the dreaded question: “Why did you want to come to law school?” Until that moment, I hadn’t faced the fact that I didn’t have an answer. When it came to my turn, I felt a crushing wave of imposter syndrome and said, “I didn’t know what else to do.”
I left law school after that first semester. For months I struggled to answer the question, “why wasn’t it right for me?” Eventually, I came upon a simple realization: I need the arts. Although I have been surrounded by creative people my entire life, the majority of my creative mentors are professional artists. However, feeling intuitively that my passion lies outside of the artist role, I found myself searching for alternative pathways to the creative sector.
Then COVID-19 happened. I started painting, baking, and finding any way that I could be creative. Despite the challenges of the time, I felt fulfilled. It was during this moment that I also realized that I wanted to be a Badger, like my dad. Growing up in the Madison area, I always felt connected to the city and I wanted to experience it as a student and young professional.
Finding the Master of Arts-Business: Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership program with the Wisconsin School of Business felt like a perfect fit from the start. Though my process was ‘conventionally unconventional,’ I secured an Applied Learning Placement with the Madison Symphony Orchestra’s Marketing Department, and I am currently transitioning into an expanded role with the organization that extends through June.
This program and internship opportunity have helped me to rediscover my interests and build upon my existing toolkit to find a career that I am passionate about. The professional and academic experiences that I am gaining through the Bolz Center are relevant to and complementary of my personal interests and professional goals. I have established a sense of direction and found my footing in the nonprofit sector. Most importantly, through my experiences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I have developed my appreciation for the value of intuition, patience, and creativity.