Discernment Leads to College and Career Change
A desire to use her education for the betterment of society is central to Annaleigh Mar’s academic career. At first she intended to accomplish this through nursing, entering Creighton as a College of Nursing student. But when she realized this was not her calling, she transferred to the College of Arts and Sciences and declared a psychology major and business minor.
Still, Mar wanted her future profession to be service-centered and discovered that a few business fields checked this box.
“The human and organizational behavior behind management drew me in, but when I learned about the social entrepreneurship option, I knew that’s where my interests aligned,” says the junior of her new major and track.
As a high school student in San Bruno, California, Mar volunteered with the Martin de Porres House of Hospitality in San Francisco. The organization hosted a mobile clinic called Street Medicine to provide wound care for guests experiencing homelessness. This experience has not only informed her current academic path but her future plans as well.
“I hope to eventually open a mobile clinic as a resource for pregnant low-income and homeless women,” says Mar.
Ignatian Spirituality’s Gift of Discernment in Action
Discernment is integral to Ignatian spirituality. Mar, a graduate of a Jesuit high school and now enrolled in a Jesuit university, relied on discernment to select a course of study and to make the switch from the College of Nursing to the College of A&S and eventually to the Heider College of Business. Upon reflection, she realized that her business courses, particularly Microeconomics and Legal Environment of Business, motivated her.
“The HCB curriculum made me excited and relit my passion for learning,” she says.
Still, it wasn’t a snap decision. Discernment is a process, and for Mar, one that included reflection as well as hours of conversation with her A&S advisor and HCB economics instructor, Tim Bastian, MS. They, in turn, connected her to people from their own personal networks so she could gain insights into the fields she was considering. Mar also sought advice from other professionals via LinkedIn, and after what she says was a “plethora of informational interviews, reflection and logistical meetings,” she enrolled exclusively in the Heider College of Business the end of her sophomore year.
Experiential Learning Opportunities
Since then, Mar has wasted no time augmenting classroom learning with internships. She is a former strategic partnership intern with Home Instead and currently serves as a data entry assistant for the in-home senior health care company.
This summer she will work as a customer relations intern for Werner Enterprises, joining a team that manages large cap companies’ logistics. Though she looks forward to sharpening her problem-solving skills, Mar is most excited to take advantage of Werner’s many professional development programs and events. She will be assigned a mentor in addition to her manager, shadow other teams within the company and participate in the weekly Lessons with Leaders sessions.
“I am a very hands-on learner, so I value the opportunity to apply classroom concepts to tangible business,” such as supply chain concepts she’s acquired in her management classes, says Mar. “I also hope to gain hands-on experience with CRM software” while at Werner.
Mar’s story is not uncommon. College is a time for discovery, for taking a variety of classes to see what resonates and changing or adding majors accordingly. Mar is grateful that she had professors and advisors who helped her explore the options to find the path she was meant to follow.
“You are allowed to change your mind, try something new and do a full 180 if that’s what feels best,” says Mar. “You are the only one who has to live with your decisions in the long run, so why not decide on what brings happiness, passion and excitement to your life.”