From Asheville to Zambia, Cindy Threlkeld Makes a Difference

While many UST MBA alumni call the Twin Cities home, our graduates can be found in all corners of the globe.  Cindy Threlkeld, an Evening UST MBA alumna, has seen her career take her to more parts of the world than most people visit over the course of a lifetime.

A native of Iowa, Cindy pursued her undergraduate degree in Colorado before completing graduate degrees in Florida and then at UST.  Shortly after completing her MBA with a focus on nonprofit management, Cindy traveled to Botswana for her first of several overseas experiences with the Peace Corps.  Over the next 25 years, Cindy worked for the Peace Corps in Zambia, Guatemala, and Costa Rica.  She also worked for non-profits in Ecuador and the Philippines.

After many years living overseas, Cindy's career has brought her back to the United States, this time to North Carolina.  The Asheville Citizen-Times recently profiled Cindy, and she discussed her long and varied career.  Her experiences have prepared her for her latest challenge as Executive Director of MANNA Food Bank, which serves tens of thousands of needy residents in western North Carolina.

Although many MBA graduates meticulously plan their career progression, Cindy takes a different point of view.  As she stated in her interview with the Citizen-Times, “When you have an opportunity that presents itself — I do believe in synchronicity — and there is no reason not to do it, you feel something pulling you in that direction, go for it.”

People often associate the MBA degree with corporate careers in such fields as marketing and finance, and certainly an MBA prepares students well for jobs in those fields.  But Cindy's career demonstrates the versatility of an MBA degree.  Working as a Country Director for the Peace Corps, a Microfinance Program Manager for Catholic Relief Services, or the Executive Director of a major food bank requires expertise in finance, operations, and organizational management--all key components of the UST MBA core curriculum.

We're thrilled to count Cindy Threlkeld among our 17,000 UST MBA alumni and wish her much success as she continues to make a difference in people's lives in her latest professional endeavor with MANNA.