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Class Notes and Alumni News

Searching Through Paths to Success

It is reassuring to be certain. This is true in most things, and especially when talking about significant life choices.
It is reassuring to be certain. This is true in most things, and especially when talking about significant life choices.

The Graland Alumni Association is made up of over 3,000 individuals who are out in the world doing a wide range of things in their careers, volunteerism, and families. “What do you do?” is typically one of the top questions we ask when trying to get to know a person. What you do professionally matters for so many reasons, both practical and personal, and begs the question, “How do successful people find careers and pathways that matter to them?”

Zach Arthur ’06 has a journey littered with successes and failures. Originally he intended to go to medical school, following in the footsteps of several family members. But sometime during his sophomore year he began to have doubts. For a long list of reasons, Zach decided to transfer from the small private liberal arts college where he was enrolled back east and return to Colorado State University to study business.

“I was and am extremely lucky to have the support and trust of my parents,” Zach shares. “I talked through my questions and doubts with them and they trusted that I would find my way. It wasn’t easy, but knowing that they believed in me really helped, especially when I wasn’t sure about my next step.”

It wasn’t exactly smooth sailing from there. After returning to the states from his final semester abroad, Zach was again faced with the uncertainty of what step to take next. In addition to medical issues, family challenges and financial strains; this was the start of a two-and-a-half-year period where he worked 10 different jobs. “I tried it all. Sales, customer service, restaurants, whatever was going to help me pay the bills in the short term. At the same time, I took a lot of successful people out to coffee, asking questions and trying to learn as much as possible about the world outside of medicine.”

After this time of career exploration, Zach found a fit in the financial services industry with Mass Mutual. “I learned a lot about what I didn’t want to do and the value of failure and challenge through the process. With the support of my family I found work that draws on my strengths and an organization that supports the ethics I believe in.”

Zach talks candidly about the value of his Graland education in shaping the person he is today. “I owe a lot of my grit and determination to my time at Graland. My strong sense of self stems from the caring, challenging and nurturing environment I experienced from kindergarten through ninth grade.”
A Graland graduate, Kristin is a former fifth grade English teacher with a master’s degree in middle school education. She and her husband Joe have two children enrolled at Graland.

Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.