Hi there! My name is Alexandra and I hail from the “Land of Enchantment,” better known as New Mexico. From the breathtaking sunsets over the mesa, to the delicious plates of beans, rice and chile, my home is a special place. It has also had a profound impact on my career trajectory. New Mexico’s beautiful scenery and rich culture was always tainted by the poverty and inequity that pervaded our state, and I wanted to become part of the solution.
A few years ago, my desire to become an expert problem-solver led me to the Harvard Kennedy School, which has the official slogan of: “Ask What You Can Do.” When I first enrolled in the Master’s in Public Policy program at HKS as a U.S. Latino Leadership Fellow, I knew I wanted to learn how to become a change agent for underserved communities, but my path to this end-goal was anything but clear. However, the next two years were transformative – and they ultimately led me to Blue Garnet!
During my time at HKS, my path gravitated to social entrepreneurship: from working for social impact focused EdTech startups, to interning for an impact investing firm. Nearing the end of that journey, my discovery of Blue Garnet occurred pretty serendipitously. I remember that day vividly: the former governor of Cochiti Pueblo was visiting the Kennedy School, and I had the opportunity to meet with him one-on-one. During that conversation, I shared my long-term career goal of becoming a social entrepreneur and starting a business devoted to social impact. He left me with these parting words: “Make sure that what you do in your professional life never strays from your personal values.” That same night, I logged onto my computer and googled: “Social Impact jobs in Los Angeles–” as I knew I’d be moving to the Golden State soon. The first result that came up was a Senior Associate position at Blue Garnet!
I chose to work at Blue Garnet for several reasons. First and foremost, I knew that the role would not only align with my personal values but allow me to practice them each day! From my first interview, I felt like I could be myself around the BG team members. Throughout the interview process, I appreciated BG’s emphasis on understanding the unique strengths of its team members and respecting them as “whole people.” Lastly, I wanted to learn from the Founders, Jenni and Way-Ting, about the ins and outs of running a social enterprise!
I’m amazed at how much I’ve learned during my first couple months at BG:
- Blue Garnet puts just as much emphasis on its process of doing things as it does on the content, or the work itself. The idea is that investing time into setting up an efficient process will actually improve the content itself, too. I’ve been able to apply this theory not just to work projects, but to my personal life as well!
- We always create at least three learning questions when embarking on a research or evaluation project – and oftentimes even sub-questions! It’s amazing how not only having an objective, but specific questions, maximizes the focus of our work.
- BG takes a very collaborative approach to consulting. I’ve had to un-learn language like “present my findings to the client,” which implies a one-way communication stream. Instead, we “discuss our learnings” and collaborate with our clients to reach the ultimate solution. I believe this way of approaching our work is unique in the consulting space, and I’ve enjoyed becoming a more collaborative problem-solver.
Now getting into the swing of the “Blue Garnet Way,” I’m keeping busy with internal projects and client work. Internally, I’m investigating how generative AI is being leveraged by consulting firms, as well digging into how organizations can measure incremental advocacy work. I am also working on two market research projects: one aiming to understand how our clients fits into an evolving ecosystem, and the other examining a new location’s potential need for our client’s services. I’m excited to be doing this meaningful work for such passionate client partners!
If you’d like to get in touch, please do not hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org!