When Sydney Spadaro, ’19, '20 (MBA) sets a goal, she does all she can to make sure she reaches it.
“At Meredith, I’ve learned that if you want it, go for it. ‘No’ is not a closed door necessarily,” Sydney said. “I’ve learned to be a go-getter, because I’ve been surrounded by so many other women who were also developing that confidence. You see that in the classroom and you feed off of that energy.”
Having completed her undergraduate degree, her next goal brought her back to Meredith to earn an MBA through an accelerated option that allows Meredith undergraduates to complete the degree in one additional year.
“I took classes during my senior year and continued straight on, the Monday after graduation, and then finishing in May of 2020 with the MBA,” said Sydney, who majored in business administration with concentration in marketing and minors in professional writing & presentation media, entrepreneurship, and international business.
Sydney was one of the first two students to be in the 4+1 program. She took two MBA courses, which focused on leadership, ethics, and global communication, as a senior. “They both required you to take a deeper look at yourself, at others, and at the wider world,” Sydney said. “You learned who you are and how to work with others who are very different from you.”
Learning about herself and her skill set helped Sydney choose business as a major.
“I came into Meredith really not knowing the path I wanted to go on,” said Sydney. “I knew I wanted to have creativity in my life, and I come from a family of entrepreneurs. Business seemed like a natural fit.”
She was able to put her business knowledge to practical use through the Meredith Social Entrepreneurship Challenge, developing a business plan for a skincare company.
“With this program, I was able to be really creative, which I love, and come up with a business idea. It was fun to take this idea through the competition. I really got to mold it into something I would love to open one day,” Sydney said.
For the competition, Sydney served as one of two student mentors, providing guidance for the new crop of participants. She was also asked to present her business plan in a mock “Shark Tank” session during Meredith’s Celebrating Student Achievement Day.
Sydney had a number of other opportunities to sharpen her skills. Her activities included serving as vice president of the Broyhill Business Fellows, president of the Kappa Nu Sigma honor society, and president of Phi Beta Lambda, a business organization. She completed several internships including one with MetLife, through which she gained experience in corporate marketing, communication, and UX design. She also thrived as an MBA student, graduating with a 4.0 GPA while working full-time as she completed her MBA.
She knows the support she’s had at Meredith has prepared her for success, and the faculty in the School of Business have been important influences.
“They have been very encouraging for me to find the journey that I want to go on,” Sydney said. “They are uplifting. The faculty at Meredith all have a special place in their hearts to help women succeed.”