The Baldwin Scholars program was the start of a journey of curiosity and self-discovery that eventually landed me in London where I am currently the COO of a start-up in the property technology space called Lavanda.
Born in NYC, I spent the majority of my childhood in northern Virginia, and majored in mechanical engineering and minored in music performance at Duke. I have played the viola since elementary school and was section leader of the Duke Symphony Orchestra, and I am happy to continue playing on a consistent basis with the wonderful Kensington Symphony Orchestra in London. After studying abroad in Australia the fall semester of my junior year, I decided to pursue a career in consulting, due to my interest in problem-solving and passion for traveling that I discovered when I was abroad.
The fall of my senior year, I applied to many consulting companies and eventually decided to work for L.E.K Consulting, a strategy consulting firm in Boston. I spent the time in between graduation and my job start traveling Europe and returning to Australia. Part of the reason I joined L.E.K. was because it was a fairly small firm with a strategy focus but most importantly had offices all over the world. After working at the firm for about a year and a half, I got my transfer to our Sydney office approved and left the U.S. at the beginning of 2012, starting what has now become a fairly permanent expat status!
I lived in Sydney for 2.5 years, during which I also had a 6 month project placement in Manila. My time in Australia and Asia was a dream come true in many ways, furthering both my professional career and my independence. I became a capable and excited solo traveller, venturing out to countries and cities that I never had any knowledge of or interest in exploring before I left the USA. It was a life changing experience for me, but the consulting lifestyle was one I knew I couldn't do forever. In search of the next step, I applied to business school and made the decision to move to London to go to London Business School.
I've now been in London ever since August of 2014, feeling for the first time that I am comfortably settled in a place that I do consider to be the very centre of the world (sorry NYC). My two years in the MBA were eye-opening in ways I had never expected, and I am incredibly grateful for the amazingly diverse group of friends I have made as a result of the LBS program. I've learned that I am more of a risk taker than I ever knew, and after following a set path for most of my life (good high school, good university, consulting career, business school, etc.) I am now relishing the extremely nerve-wracking but certainly never boring and often joyously fun roller coaster ride of entrepreneurship and leading a growing business.
One of the best decisions of my life was deciding to apply to the Baldwin Scholars program. In retrospect, I can see that my journey to where I am now would never have been possible without the spark created by this program and the incredible network of women in it. I can not wait to see what we will accomplish as a group in the future.