Alexandra Meise ’22
Why did you choose Bryant?
The main reason I picked Bryant was because I could major in one school and minor in another. I see myself more as a generalist than a specialist, so being able to go across schools and disciplines was something I was excited about.
How did you decide on team and project management?
I picked team and project management because of my Global Foundations of Character and Leadership course. I was put in charge of a team. It was a really messy team, especially when it was our first year and I didn’t know what I was doing, but I really liked it. Being more of an artsy person, a literature person, I liked the philosophical side of management. Management is about understanding people, hearing their stories, and bringing them together.
What are a few takeaways you learned from your major?
The number one thing I learned from my management classes is to listen to your team. Then pull from personal experience, because if you want people to be motivated, you have to give them a reason. It all comes back to making other people feel valued and getting them excited about the work they’re doing. Being able to trust your team is required for good management, too — to give up some of your power to your team.
Tell us about your honors thesis project.
I knew that I wanted my thesis to be literature-based. I was reading Frankenstein and then saw the stage production. It’s a really cool story, and it stuck with me. But I still wanted my thesis to have something to do with my major. I talked with my thesis advisor, Professor Jennifer Horan, and we came up with this idea of conflict being a big feature of Frankenstein. I thought, how does that work in teams? Combining management and Frankenstein was how I got to this different approach with a management case study.
It was my way of seeing how I can combine things that don’t go together. Maybe in a deeper sense, that’s how I see myself. I wasn’t necessarily the right person to do arts, and I’m not necessarily the right person to do business because I wasn’t very good with accounting and math, but I think I could still be a really good manager. So that might be a little Frankenstein-like, too. We are all these pieces that don’t really go together, but we work.
Why is it important for Bryant students to combine business and the liberal arts?
It’s something that I think is uniquely human — to be able to combine these different things and then be allowed to develop them. It’s what’s going to keep us creative and engaged in our work, too. That’s what Bryant is doing.
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