Career Success Stories
Career Success Stories: a series where we highlight career paths of University of Utah students and alumni. In these stories we share challenges and triumphs of our students to empower members of our community as they embark on their own journeys.
By Kayla Turbyfill
Today we will be highlighting Carla Grimaldi in our Career Success Series!
Carla Grimaldi is a very impressive alum of the University of Utah. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science with an emphasis in International Politics and a Bachelor's in International Studies with an emphasis in International Business, Trade, and Commerce at the U. She then went on to receive her Master's in Management at the IE Business School in Spain. Carla is a very driven, passionate, energetic person who is now living in Brussels employed as a Communications Intern at the United Nations in their Environmental Program!
A Journey to Find a Best Fit:
After completing her undergrad at the U, Carla started her journey working at Morgan Stanley as an Account Specialist. She was recruited into the role and enjoyed getting firsthand experience in finance. When she decided to pursue her Master’s degree, she applied for a Fulbright Scholarship to help her pay for her graduate program. She was not accepted into the program and felt really discouraged, so she sought help. That was when Carla began utilizing the Career & Professional Development Center. She worked on her admission and scholarship essays as well as prepared for the admission interview with one of our Career Coaches. With the support and encouragement of our staff, Carla applied for the Master's in Management Program at the IE Business School in Spain, one of the most renowned business schools in Europe. This school and its program seemed out of reach, but Carla made it! Her advice is to,
“Apply for scholarships! And use your resources!” She said, “there are so many
just waiting to help you. Use those connections –they are there for a reason.”
This is true! Even as a U of U alum, Carla was able to overcome her defeat in Fulbright and find a new path forward with the support of the CPDC. She applied for other scholarships within and outside of the IE Business School and found her way to a program she loved.
A Challenge Along the Way:
Like many others, Carla’s plans were changed by the rapid decent of COVID 19 and its disruption. She needed to come home to the US from her Master's of Management Program in Spain for a year while the pandemic raged. She struggled with coming home and felt like she should have just “stuck it out.” She spent a lot of time kicking herself for taking the time away from her program, but ultimately decided to defer for a year and go back when it was safe for her.
“If you have a gut feeling of what needs to happen, then go for it. For me, it’s been
because of this gut feeling that I’ve had to push me where I want to go, even
if there are people saying don’t do it. Just go for it!”
Listening to her gut, and taking advantage of the time at home, Carla found herself immersed in different hobbies to pass the time. She was “forced to go outside” when she hadn’t really enjoyed the outdoors that much and fell in love with nature and sustainability. She said,
“It may take time to find your passion, but it’s worth it. This newfound passion
sparked something in me, and, for me, it all connects. My passions all connect,
though it might not make sense to others.”
Carla decided to proceed with a career with a focus on sustainability. She was very excited about finding a path where her intersectional interests and desires met. She never really imagined ending up in a place like the UN, but following her gut and finding a love for nature and protecting the planet lead her to where she was meant to be.
One Takeaway from Working with the CPDC?
When asked what her takeaway from her time with the Career & Professional Development Center was, she said,
“It just takes someone –anyone—to believe in you. That makes the difference.”
Carla expressed gratitude to her Career Coach, Olga Kingsbury, and admiration for the support and community she was able to find in our space and how empowered she felt to have someone in her corner, rooting for her. To find someone who can encourage you, lift you higher, and help you find a path really does make all the difference.
Carla Grimaldi is a great example of someone who pursues their dreams and seeks support when they need it. She listens to herself and prioritizes her needs while also striving for excellence. She utilizes the resources around her to achieve new heights and takes pauses to be curious and to grow. It was a pleasure to work with Carla and we wish her luck on her new adventure in Brussels!