Saturday, January 12, 2013

MBA? Check. Job? Check. And Some Meaty Horizons...

I am a graduate, again.  A Master in Business, specifically in Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise. On December 15, 2012, 19 of my Cohort members and myself walked ourselves across the stage with new ambitions, lessons learned, pages turned, and even a new 8-month old adorable addition to the GSSE family.  It was a haul my friends, like running a marathon at breakneck speed (not that I have any idea what running a marathon entails).  I have a feeling this experience will take a while to fully develop and reveal its impact; there is no possible way to download the last 18-months in a few thoughts or paragraphs.  I still feel this was exactly the right program for me.  Having followed my own drumbeat for a very long time, it was such a privilege to work with faculty, staff, and teammates who truly celebrated differences and helped me evolve as a professional and a person.  A hearty thanks to the village who helped make this happen!  You are some damn fine people.

Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA graduates - Cohort 5
 Fort Collins Brewery donated some space so we could celebrate in style after the big walk.  Yet another perk of getting a Colorado MBA, the microbrewery scene.  The night carried on and professors, parents, and students celebrated our accomplishments...some until 3:30 in the morning (nice one Dad).

Thanks for the support friends!
Fitting gifts for a business graduate, a pen to sign an offer letter (thanks mom and dad), a business card holder that reminds me to get out and fish, and some sound advice from a fellow Peace Corps friend.

Really doin' it!
The best part of the entire graduation experience was that my Dad was able to come out and share the glory.  College is a big deal in our family and it wasn't just me that walked across the stage when they called my name.  Cheers to the Miller Clan :)  Dad showed up at 8am for coffee and some last minute ironing and dropped me off at the door of the auditorium since it was maybe the second time I'd worn heels in years.  Ouch.
Thanks for making the trip Dad!
I'm fairly certain I sold Dad on Fort Collins, not that he needed it.  Between the breweries, Old Town, and hiking, we did the Front Range right.  Looking forward to more family and friend visits out here; talking to you Emily Turza and Kim Ranly!

Just another day in on the front range
After the dust settled and Dad flew out, I took myself up to Leadville and Ski Cooper for some much needed reconnecting with friends and mountains.  Had a lovely beer pairing at the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse and got to snowboard opening day on some fresh flakes.  Even though it's at 10,000 feet, I always breathe a little easier up there :)
Celebrating opening day at Ski Cooper with all natural snow :)
Which is why I'm excited to say that I've decided to stick around Colorado for awhile!  My last semester of school was spent working with FishChoice, a nonprofit that helps businesses source and sell sustainable seafood.  They offered me a position and after evaluating other opportunities, it really wasn't even a question that I wanted to stay right here and make this project a reality.  Much, much more to come on that but most important right now is that I'm working with fantastic people on something I truly care about, food!
Working on what I love: food!
Holidays spent back in Ohio were fantastic.  Don't know when I'm headed east again so it was nice to relax, eat mom's food, and pet my dog.  On a final note about new beginnings, our faithful beast, Zeus checked out the day after I returned to Colorado.  He'd rallied hard for the holidays but after well over a decade on Miller's Happy Acres, he was ready to go meet the other 4-legged family members who have touched our lives.  Mom wrote a great blog about him and we continue to reminisce about the years of stories he amassed. 

Animals teach us a lot; forgiveness, compassion, unrelenting focus on the things you truly care about (tennis balls), and never to settle for kibble when you can train your humans to feed you from the table.  These are much more important lessons than anything we will ever learn in a classroom and I'll be carrying them forward into my 2013.  

Happy New Year everyone, let's go do some great things!

Zeus, the wonder dog

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