In today’s bustling world, it can be easy to be so caught up in the daily stressors of life that we lose sight of what is truly important. Kelly Hart ’21 BSBA (Marketing) is living proof that it is still possible to make time to be involved in the community and excel in work and school—all while following your passion.
Hart moved from South Africa to Tucson with her family in the middle of her high school career. Though this was a difficult transition for her, she took the challenge head on: “America is full of exciting opportunities that I didn’t have before—including the possibility of going to college,” she says. “I am a first-generation college student, which made it a difficult, but exciting, process to navigate.”
In high school, she was a member of her local DECA chapter, where she got her first taste of the business industry. One of DECA’s events was hosted at the Eller College of Management, where she immediately fell in love with the “welcoming atmosphere of a college filled with students with big dreams.” From this experience, Hart knew she wanted be a part of the Eller family to study her passion in marketing.
During her college career, Hart has made it a point to take advantage of all the opportunities she has been given. She is an active member of “A Moment of Magic,” a program that takes students to volunteer at children’s hospitals, a part of the business professional fraternity Delta Sigma Pi, a board member of the Eller College Dean’s Council, and she currently holds two jobs as shift manager at Shake Smart on the University campus and a marketing assistant at Body Works Pilates.
In her sophomore year, Hart found that balancing these responsibilities with her studies was no easy task, creating unexpected challenges for her. “I soon found myself overwhelmed by everything I was doing and I lost sight of my goals,” she says. “During this time, I changed my major to Communication, but I was far from passionate about the new subject.”
Fortunately, Hart had her family and support from Eller staff to encourage her to follow her love for marketing, even when it felt overwhelming. Two advisors, Pam Perry, currently the interim associate dean of MBA programs, and Ann Pagel, interim associate dean for undergraduate programs, were more than willing to sit down with Hart over coffee and guide her to the best decision for her future, leading her to change her major back to her original BSBA in Marketing.
Currently, Hart is exploring the major to greater extents and is looking forward to possible summer internships in marketing. Life never got less busy for her after she changed her major back, though. What did change was her attitude towards her situation. She says: “I am still working extremely hard to balance my studies with all the organizations I am involved in, but now I am seeing the big picture and am envisioning what lies ahead for me. I know that I am going to love my future career.”
After graduation, Hart’s dream is to become the director of a nonprofit association. “I can say without a doubt that my experiences at Eller have pushed me to keep striving to achieve my goals even when it feels impossible to balance my many responsibilities,” she says. “I can’t wait to see where my Eller education will take me.”
Explore Eller undergraduate majors and find your inner overachiever.