true stories - Alina Vargas

Alina Vargas MBA'21

I actually studied literature for my undergrad because I’m interested in words and storytelling. My dad said, ‘Do your undergrad in whatever you’re interested in. Even if it’s basket weaving.’ Then he heard my choice and said, ‘What are you going to do with a degree in literature?!’ The idea of getting an MBA came much later for me. But an MBA dedicated to that sphere—storytelling—is what got me interested in Integrated Marketing Communications.

It was a combination of personal experience and recommendations from those around me that made me choose St. Kate’s. I liked the idea of an all-women’s program focusing on empowering women to have strong voices and to stand in that female power. Its focus on women, social justice and creating a dynamic learning environment was exactly what I needed. St. Kate’s was a treasure of an experience.

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The admissions team was very good about sending ideas for grants and scholarships and I took advantage of those. I applied for a women’s leadership scholarship and got it. I received a leadership scholarship for women of color as well.

A lot of the students around me were strong women—very intelligent and always wanting to do better. The quality of work was super high. They are ladies who want to make a difference in the world.

My professors were awesome. Because my job at Medtronic was in the integrated marketing communications vein, it intersected with my projects, and I was able to bring value to them through my MBA courses. We did a brand audit in class. I chose Medtronic and was able to provide my learnings to the Medtronic brand team. They used some of my research! It was amazing to be committed to this company and bring value through my continued education. It was a beautiful mix of education and my day job. I ended up getting a job promotion last year and I do think it was from connecting my MBA program work with my Medtronic work.

I’d been told I should let people know I was getting my MBA, so I intentionally mentioned during my networking, ‘I’m getting an MBA at St. Kate’s.’ I made a lot of connections with others who went there. I credit St. Kate’s good reputation.


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