Bronco Spotlight: Ariel Palau

Ariel Palau

MBA, 2020

Undergraduate Academic Advisor, School of Music - Western Michigan University

My job is to help the School of Music students navigate through their curriculum and ultimately earn a degree.

Which of your skills had the biggest impact on your success?

Open mindedness. This helped greatly not only with the courses that are required for the MBA but also the interactions with fellow students and professors in this program. Everyone brings something different and unique to the table in this program - rarely do you meet two students coming from the same place or having the same experiences/backgrounds.

What experiences impacted the choice of your career path?

My previous degrees (Bachelor of Music and Master of Music) and my previous work experiences ultimately led me to where I am today. After finishing my master of music I realized that I did not want to be the orchestral musician that I originally set out to be. I landed a position in Human Resources, learned a lot, and ultimately knew that there were aspects of that job that did not jive with me or my personality. I took what I liked from that position and left what I didn’t in my transition to working at Western’s Office of Admissions as an Admissions Counselor. Ultimately, I wanted to get back into a School of Music to help the student population that I was once a part of and luckily this academic advising position has done exactly that. A yearning to learn new things as well as a more ‘go with the flow’ attitude has really helped me grow and expand as a person both in and outside of my career.

What advice do you have for others pursuing a career similar to yours?

It’s cliché, but don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. If you are determined enough, you can make anything happen.

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