Flexibility is the best tool for an unpredictable future.

My time in high school

Attended high school in the

Overall high school experience
9/10. Outside of general growing pains, high school was a relatively good time in my life. I had a great group of friends, I got good grades, and was involved in sports and other extracurricular activities. Most importantly, I had a very supportive family who urged me to do my best, but taught me how to cope when I did not.

Grades in high school
A's and B's


Favorite subjects
English, Math, Physical Education, Visual Arts

Struggled with...
I struggled with some of the sciences. Ironically, I found learning a foreign language to be challenging, in spite of eventually going on to live abroad and fall in love with the language.

Favorite extracurricular
Sports / Recreation

Life since high school

I got into a good college, graduated, worked my way into a good job, then realized I was extremely unhappy. I hadn’t taken into account that there was more to life than just having a job. My physical health and mental well-being were suffering.

Attended college / university at
I went to UC Santa Barbara.

Majored in
I majored in art (with an emphasis in digital media) and minored in music.

Post-graduate education or training
I have taken courses in design-related software programs, html and css coding, and illustration for animation. I also have gotten licensed to teach several types of aerobic fitness programs.

Places lived in US

Places lived outside the US
Paris, France.

Current occupations / past occupations
I am currently a stay-at home mom, a Zumba instructor, and a part-time freelance graphic designer.

Industries I've worked in
- Retail Trade
- Information (e.g. Publishing, Film, Broadcast, Telecommunications, Libraries)
- Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (e.g. Law, Accounting, Interior Design, Graphic Design, R&D, PR, Advertising, etc.)
- Educational Services
- Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
- Accommodation and Food Services

Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
In some ways, yes. My education fostered an interest in various subjects that I ended up getting jobs in. However, I was not able to walk directly into a job in the field I studied. It took some additional training and a lot of self-teaching to able to work my way into a job in the field I earned my degree in.

Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
Yes, I went from working in customer service for luxury brands, to working in quality assurance for a game company to working graphic and web design. After that, I shifted almost completely to the physical fitness/nutrition platform.

A little introspection...

To me, being successful means...
Finding and surrounding myself with things that make me happy, and emotionally and creatively fulfilled.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
I used to think that being successful meant going to a good college, graduating and getting a good job that made a lot of money. I had no idea that there was so much more to life than to strive for. I got into a good college, graduated, worked my way into a good job, then realized I was extremely unhappy. I hadn't taken into account that there was more to life than just having a job. My physical health and mental well-being were suffering. And once I had my first child and found that I only had about 1.5 - 2 hours with him per day, I realized on all that I was missing out on. It was clear case of "money can't buy happiness," and that's when I made a change.

My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
Having and raising children. It made me realize how insignificant day to day problems are at the workplace, and how fulfilling it is to be able to watch your children grow, learn and thrive (and to have an active roll in it, too)!

My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
My biggest regret would be not having really explored my passion and then gone after a career that corresponded with that before settling down to have a family. I assumed that I would be excited to go back to work after having my first child, and that I would have ample time to maneuver my way into a career that was fulfilling. Instead, I left the workforce to spend time with my kids, and now find it difficult to find the time and energy to fully apply myself to a career change. My hope is that as my kids get older, I will have that time. In retrospect, though, I would have addressed the issue before having kids. 

Anything else you'd like to share?
Some of my best experiences since high school are from times when I stepped outside of my comfort zone or allowed myself to "live a little." I think the other thing to note is that if you spend your whole life worrying about what other people think, you'll never get to learn who you really are.

This alumni is open to your questions and follow-ups.
In order to protect anonymity, we will pass along your message and they can choose whether to respond.

My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto

I always liked hanging out at Cafe Borrone with friends in high school.