Not only is it difficult choosing the right college, but it is also challenging trying to decidewhich fields of study to enter. My focus was on attending a Catholic university with a strong business program. I liked the concept of bringing one’s faith into the workplace. As we live in a culture that often takes God out of the workplace, I wanted to gain perspective on how to integrate my faith and my career.
Fortunately, my first roommate was a Catholic Studies major, and she persuaded me to take my first Catholic Studies course, The Search for Happiness. This led me to minor in Catholic Studies. The Search for Happiness far exceeded my expectations. We covered more material than I expected, and our discussions ranged from salvation history to human nature. It deepened my knowledge of humanity and further clarified the road that leads to fulfillment.
As part of Catholic Studies, I was invited to join a mentorship program called the Professional Leadership Formation program, an initiative of the Habiger Institute for Catholic Leadership. Through this program I was paired with a mentor who has and continues to draw upon her faith while working in the business world. My mentor is Nancy Utoft, who is currently the Director of Community Relations at The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity. During our first meeting, I learned that after graduating from college, Nancy worked in the corporate world. She took the skills she learned from her corporate position to the nonprofit sector before accepting her current position.
I recently have been debating between obtaining a corporate position after graduation or working for a nonprofit. Nancy has helped me gain perspective on both opportunities. This mentorship program has enriched my college experience. Nancy and I have met a few times over the past four months. We attended Cardinal Turkson’s lecture “Caritas in veritate: Good News for Society” together and met a couple of other times for approximately an hour to discuss opportunities in business. She has been a great mentor, sharing with me her insights regarding the business world. She has shown me how important it is to draw upon the core Catholic principles when making both personal and professional decisions regardless of one’s occupation.
I strongly recommend that St. Thomas students look into this school’s outstanding Catholic Studies program. It has broadened my perspective and deepened my knowledge of the faith, and I’m sure it would do the same for others.
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