Alumni Reflections on 2020: Haley Benz (’19)

Haley Benz head shot photo

Haley Benz (’19)

What has been most difficult for you throughout this past year?

The most difficult part of this year was a major change in my professional industry due to COVID-19. Coming from the travel industry, furloughs and layoffs were inevitable during this time. Because of this, I had to make strategic plans about my next move for professional development.

What has been the most positive aspect of this past year for you, personally and/or professionally?

The most positive aspect of this past year was spending unexpected time at home with my family. When COVID-19 first shut down Boston, I was able to spend a few months working from home at my parents’ house. While nothing about the past year has been ideal, I’m so thankful for time spent watching movies and baking with my family.

How have you grown, changed, and developed throughout 2020?

This year, I’ve had the time to explore and develop where I really want to focus my professional path. This time has given me the opportunity to figure out what it is I want for myself, professionally and personally, and plan and implement the steps I need to get myself there. I definitely feel a clearer sense of direction after the unknown of 2020.

What lessons from 2020 will you take with you into the year(s) ahead?

Throughout 2020, I have grown through the support my network to understand my professional goals and take steps to get there. This meant informational interviews, virtual coffee talks and coaching sessions that have led to graduate school and internship opportunities for me. I learned that the advice of my network can help identify and open professional paths based on their experience. I look forward to helping others in the same way going forward!