Big dreams and inspiration: A profile of Isla Barlet
Victoria Hall, Staff Writer
Isla Barlet can often be found brightening up campus with her cheerfulness and sunny disposition. Barlet is a current senior at Saint Martin’s University and her major is business administration with a dual concentration in marketing and management. She is also the Vice President of the Business Club. Off campus, she is a proud dog mom to a basset hound named Cayenne. She enjoys hiking, camping, and has a newfound hobby of outdoor roller skating.
“I actually had no idea what I wanted to do with my life until I came to Saint Martin’s.” she confessed in an interview.
“During one of my first visits to the school, I met with my admissions counselor who took the time to sit down with me and go through all the majors Saint Martin’s offers. She was deliberate in helping me find the major that best suited me and incredibly reassuring throughout the whole process.”
She commends Ashleigh Withey, her admissions counselor upon arrival.
“Best of all, she was right. I’ve never once questioned that business is where I’m meant to be, and I’m so grateful for her guidance.”
Isla is in her final year at Saint Martin’s University, and anticipating the transition beyond college.
“I’m not sure exactly what I want to do with this degree; but then again, I’m not sure that I’m supposed to. Part of the excitement and freedom of graduating college is that transitional period where you can do anything, [so] you just have to take a step in any direction.”
She does plan to work in marketing, gaining hands-on experience before pursuing a master’s degree. She is passionate about furthering her education but believes applicable experience will help her make the most of a graduate program. For her next steps, she is considering positions with various companies, but is more focused on the experience she would like to have.
“I’d love to find a position as a marketing assistant somewhere small enough that I can make a difference, and big enough to have a set department where I can learn new skills and apply the ones I’ve learned here…what I really want is to work where I can develop myself professionally and work my way up the ladder. From there, who knows? I just hope that I will have the freedom and courage to go where I can make the biggest impact on those who need it most.”
When asked what advice she had to offer current students, she recommended networking.
“The most valuable [thing] that I’ve learned is the importance of networking. It really does mean everything. It’s so important to create a base of connections while you’re still in college. There are so many opportunities to build a strong foundational network.”
Her advice contained a caveat with true Benedictine spirit.
“These people can help you establish yourself in the real world; but it’s a two-way street. In networking, it’s almost more important to look out for others than it is to reach out to them for help. It really plays into our Benedictine value of community, which I think is why I feel so connected to this advice.”
Isla described her academic journey at Saint Martin’s University.
“[The] experience has completely shaped who I am professionally. I’ve learned so much in my time here that has extended far beyond my major to make me a more capable and compassionate human being. I’ve developed strong friendships with other students who share similar ideals and goals, as well as those who maintain polar opposites of mine. This community has taught me to view situations from perspectives wider than just my own.”
She also shared the impact her professors have made.
“I’ve established meaningful connections with so many of the professors in our business department. I’ve been offered jobs based on the recommendation of a professor who thought that I would be a perfect fit for the position. Other professors have personally invited me to events outside of school and shown me that they’re more than these two-dimensional figures we tend to view them as. Almost every single professor that I’ve met in our business department has genuinely cared about not only my professional development, but my growth as an individual as well. I could go on and on about the terms and concepts that I’ve learned – and they are important – however, I’ve found that the most inspiring aspects of my time at Saint Martin’s have absolutely been the people that I’ve met.”
Isla’s message to readers is, “It’s okay to not know what you’re doing. As long as you’re actively taking steps to get somewhere, you’ll find where you need to be. You just need to have a little faith, a strong work ethic, and an open mind. Everything will be okay.”