Alumni Spotlight - Carolyn Wheatley '06
Carolyn Wheatley is a 2006 graduate of Lexington Christian Academy. She graduated from Messiah College in 2010 and then did a year of AmeriCorps in Philadelphia. After that experience she recognized her passion for business and is now working as a real estate broker at CBRE.
Do you look back at any particular experience at LCA that shaped who you are?
So many of my experiences at LCA shaped who I am today. Having teachers who offered a Christian lens in class helped shape my approach to understanding the world and my place within it. Playing on LCA’s champion girls’ soccer team taught me discipline and hard work. More than anything, LCA offered me unbelievable role models, like Mrs. White or Mr. Meserole, who were an example of how to live in a way that honors Christ—no matter how difficult a choice that may be. LCA taught me to be attentive and intentional. I was encouraged not to thoughtlessly follow convention, but to trust God’s truth and make choices based on who He is and who He made me to be.
How did you get into this field?
After graduating college (and having no idea what I wanted to do), I did a year of Americorps service and worked with start-ups and entrepreneurs in Philadelphia. That experience gave me terrific exposure to a variety of fields and career paths within the business world. It was the first time I realized how fun it could be to work for a company that is creating new products, jobs, industries, etc. When that ended, I traveled internationally for a few months before moving back to Boston. I currently work as a real estate broker at CBRE.
What are you most passionate to share about with the young women at LCA about their careers?
For young women, specifically, I think that sometimes we can be a little late to the game when it comes to the process of planning a career. The earlier young women begin those conversations about choosing a career, the more likely they’ll be able to find and pursue the right opportunities after graduation.
I have been fortunate to have many wonderful mentors who have encouraged me to put effort into finding a career I enjoy. All LCA students are part of a unique community and support system that helps them to discover their interests, passions, and goals, and to figure out what job best suits their gifts.
How has the alumni network helped you and your career? How do you encourage students to get connected with the alumni network?
The alumni network has been hugely helpful for both my personal life and my career. Being a part of it has not only allowed me to stay connected with some of my best friends, but it has also given me a connection to experts in many different fields. I was introduced to my current company through a fellow alum.
In my opinion, one of the best ways to figure out which paths to pursue, is to talk with those working in fields you have interest in. Having the perspective of someone who has spent years in a field you’re considering is invaluable when you’re trying to choose, begin, and navigate a career. Many alumni truly enjoy giving back to LCA, especially if it involves helping future alumni find their way in the world.
How does your faith shape your work-life?
My faith has a huge impact on my work life and career choices—it gives a purpose to what I do. In my opinion, what makes working worthwhile is doing something that you believe serves God and allows you to use the gifts he has given you. At college, I heard that meaningful work occurs when the world’s needs meet your unique skills. That’s my goal, to find work where I am adding value to society and using my gifts. If you have one without the other, you won’t be satisfied.
Can you brag a bit about your achievements?
Not too sure I’ve tallied a lot of significant achievements at this point. So far, I think I’ve developed a strong ability to help people conceptualize and communicate their stories. My first job was at a non-profit where I worked with entrepreneurs and startups to help them craft their sales language and brand messaging. I think I have carried those skills with me at my subsequent two jobs. Today, I often have colleagues request my help finding the right language for an idea, or young people ask me to help them develop their personal brand story when they begin job hunting.