My Bentley Story by Katelyn Goodwin
Alumnus/a, Madison, Wisconsin
Bentley has become more than just a university to the Goodwin family; now it's an institution and a link that keeps us together. My younger brother and I have very few similarities. He's blond-haired, blue-eyed, reserved, and athletic. I, however, am brown-haired, brown-eyed, loud, and built for comfort rather than speed. I received by BS in Aeronautical Engineering from RPI, he received his BS in Economics and Finance from Bentley. But when I it came time for me to move on from my undergraduate career and figure out what to do with my life, I took a page out of my brother's book and chose to pursue my MBA at Bentley.
As a Massachusetts native, I found comfort in Bentley that I didn't have during my undergrad time in upstate NY. I was able to live at home, have Dunks whenever I pleased, and was surrounded by family. The thing that was uncomfortable about Bentley, though, was how different I felt when I first started at my program. Being a "rocket scientist" isn't something that everyone achieves. I was proud of my accomplishments in engineering, but I felt very disconnected from my peers in my first semester. I felt that I was a nerd who didn't quite fit in with the charismatic cohort I was put in. But eventually, thanks to my professors and some of my peers, that being different from everyone else is exactly what is embraced at Bentley.
Over time I learned that being outspoken and having a different point of view is exactly what Bentley wishes to cultivate; you don't change the world if you behave the exact same way you always have. Change isn't made by maintaining the status quo. I didn't need to pigeon-hole myself into engineering or technology just because that was my background. After a year of pretending that I wanted to be in IT because "I'm an engineer and I'm good at database management," I realized that I instead wanted to learn more about management. And so I did. I took another page out of my brother's book: when he didn't like an elective, he didn't take it. It didn't matter how good he was at valuating companies; if he found it dull, he moved on to something that stimulated his interests.
In 2015 he and I both graduated from Bentley. In an effort to save our family from having to sit through two ceremonies in one day, I didn't walk in my commencement and instead sat in the audience and supported by brother on his journey to his degree. I had made this decision almost immediately when I started at Bentley. I figured that I wouldn't become close with anyone in my cohort (remember how I thought I was an alien surrounded by people who actually know somthing about business?) and that I wouldn't need to walk down the aisle in the funny robe to feel accomplished. But when it came to May of 2015, I felt different. I didn't wish I walked so that the spotlight could be on me and so I could get a handshake from Gloria while getting my diploma. I wished I walked so that I could have stood beside the wonderful, fascinating individuals that I spent two of the most impactful years of my life.
I didn't expect Bentley to become a pillar in my life. I thought that it would just be the place I took classes and the place where my brother did his undergrad. But it became so much more. Now I proudly say I went to Bentley, and I don't have nearly enough t-shirts to prove it.