“Explore your options and listen to your heart and your gut.”
Kathryn Hoffman grew up in a family of lawyers and always thought she would become one herself. “I realized that for my whole life the most natural things that come to me [are] being creative with my hands, working with my ideas. Just like that, I realized that being creative is a strong theme. It becomes natural, basically. And that’s how I ended up pivoting,” she explains.
Before joining the MSLCE program, Kathryn tried out various industries to gain exposure and experience. She worked as a teacher, a tech entrepreneur, a writer, and more. “I think that I finally come to understand that there’s more to life than just climbing the corporate ladder, if you will,” she adds. By being able to free herself from these expectations, she has created emotional space that allows her to grow more holistically. She has been pushed to think critically about her understanding of herself and what path she sees herself taking.
“I’m supposed to experience life differently. I’m supposed to experiment. I’m supposed to go do things that are nontraditional, and that is how I will discover what it is that I’m that to do,” she adds. Kathryn’s desire to experiment has been pivotal in shaping her skillset. It has allowed her to find communities she did not know existed, and she has adapted herself to be a part of them.
Through her whole journey, these communities have played a pivotal role in informing what she did next — starting from her family. “I’ve come from a family that has long encouraged higher education: ‘Put that in your portfolio, have a degree under your belt.’ That part of who you are, make that part of how you find success in life. Make that part of you, how you shoot for the stars, make sure that it comes from this foundational aspect of education,” she adds.
At the program, she feels like her aspirations have been validated. “This program has been very validating in the sense that you can still be a creative person, and you can still be somebody who’s got their head in the clouds and make a career out of it and find success.”
By Priyanshi Katare