I grew up in New York City with a family of artists (photographer, landscape designer/former fashion editor, painter, furniture designer) so I have always wanted to develop my own creative outlet. Since graduating in 2007 from Middlebury College with a psychology/sociology degree, I have worked in hospitality management for Andre Balazs
Properties and King & Grove Hotels. Through different roles at these aesthetically strategic companies, I discovered a strong interest in branding.
I am thrilled to join a program that can combine my interests in psychology/sociology and creative business development. In my free time, I love playing sports, singing, dancing, leisurely dinners and adventure.
Hannah’s Success Story:
Before starting the program, Hannah was a Restaurant Manager for HotelsAB. She is now a Strategist on the visioning team at Clark McDowall
How has the program affected your career path?
I entered the program as a restaurant manager for a major hospitality company and left as a brand strategist. I was tired of simply maintaining someone else's concepts. I wanted to come up with and develop big ideas that really meant something to consumers. But before the program, I was only given so much freedom to do so without the proven experience. SVA gave me the tools to build upon my gut instincts and to think through challenges holistically.
Honestly, it was a scary leap of faith because this is not a graduate degree with a formulaic path like so many others. That is mostly what drew me to it, but also what made me a bit hesitant. In the end, I know I made the right decision because these are lasting skills that can be applied to any industry or job opportunity - not to mention the confidence you achieve when you go out on a limb and it pays off.
What types of jobs do you feel qualified for after graduating?
We learned so much in the program that I truly feel limitless. I see this as a starting point to further developing both my strategic and creative capabilities. It's really about finding the next challenge that keeps the learning process alive whether within your current company or beyond.
What other career success have you had since graduating?
Generally speaking, when I tell people what I do, I have begun to see opportunities popping up. It's so rewarding after a year of working hard in a program as intense as this one.