Be present, live each moment to the fullest and be compassionate to yourself and others

My time in high school

Attended high school in the

Overall high school experience
9/10. I had a good time, great friends, lots of activities and sports and felt very safe and secure in my day to day life there.

Grades in high school
Mostly A's


Best subjects
English, History / Social Studies

Struggled with...
Math and science. AP Bio and AP Chem were really tough for me. As was AP Trig.

Favorite extracurricular
Sports / Recreation

Life since high school

Attended college / university at
UC Berkeley

Majored in
AP Bio and AP Chem were really tough for me. As was AP Trig.

Post-graduate education or training
MBA, Columbia School of Business at Columbia Unversity in New York.

Places lived in US
Massachusetts, New York

Places lived outside the US
Zurich, Switzerland

Current occupations / past occupations
Consulting in the life sciences industry.

Industries I've worked in
- Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
- Nonprofit

Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
Kind of. Definitely the critical thinking skills helps a lot in consulting. But most of my professional training happened on the job.

Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
Yes. I started in consulting and then joined a startup where I worked on the talent side. And realized, my true passion and interest is in helping companies think about their internal talent strategy and capabilities. My career has taken a turn that I never expected but I love what I do. 

A little introspection...

To me, being successful means...
To me, being successful means feeling fulfilled and happy personally and professionally on a daily basis. It means having accomplished my goals but also making the most of each opportunity I had.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
When I was leaving undergrad and starting my first job, success in my mind was all around professional success. Getting into a top notch well known consulting firm, being able to work with exciting clients and lots of business travel. But after three years of doing that, I was completely exhausted and realized that success wasn't about the job title or about the company or career ladder. It was about something more than that, something more fundamental to who I wanted to be and the kind of life I wanted to live.

My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
My greatest accomplishment so far, is working full time in an interesting global role, and having three kids with an amazing partner, my husband. It is probably one of the most challenging and also fulfilling times of my life right now! I learned that life can be totally unexpected, that you can't plan and control things and it is what you make of it. It's about making the best choices you can with the opportunities you are given. It's about being happy and content with what you have. Life is about the experiences you create and the people you meet. A job is a job is a shouldn't define your life but it should be something fulfilling that you do because you spend so much of your time doing it. 

My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
I'm pretty conscious about making clear choices each step of the way and making the best of the situation I'm in, so I try not to dwell in regret. But when I think back to my undergrad years, I do wish that I had spent more time exploring a broader set of disciplines and subjects instead of being uber focused on economics and business and getting that consulting job. Those four years of university are quite precious and so open for exploration - it's a very special time where one has a lot of freedom and opportunity to explore many many different things. My learning from that is how I'm trying to guide and coach my children. For them to explore everything and to follow the things that they enjoy doing. Instead of being overly focused on academics, grades etc. 

An unexpected event that changed my life and how it impacted me
A very unexpected event was moving to Zurich after marrying my husband, who is Austria (another very unexpected thing!). He got a job offer in Europe and so right after we got married and I graduated from my MBA, we moved to Zurich where we lived and worked for four years and where I had my oldest child. It was a life changing experience. I learned so much about the different cultures in Europe, I learned a new language, I learned a lot about myself and how adaptable I can be etc. It gave me a whole new set of opportunities professionally and really shaped my experiences once I came back to the US. It also broadened my views on the world and really made me see the US in different ways - made me appreciate many things about the US I took for granted but also made me see the challenging things about its culture and about living here.

This alumni is open to your questions and follow-ups.
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My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto

What use to be Verona Cafe in downtown PA (have no idea what is there now!)
[Map is showing what's there now...a restaurant called Reposado]