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Leadership Fellows Spotlight: Protégé Kari-Lyn Fitzgerald and mentor Ethan Tyler

March 21, 2016
Fitzgerald and Tyler

CBPP’s Leadership Fellows Program pairs high-performing CBPP students with a mentor in the Anchorage business community, giving students the opportunity to learn about real-world leadership from local business leaders. This year’s cohort includes 22 CBPP students, called protégés, and their mentors. To begin the program, each protégé interviewed their new mentor, and every week, we will feature one of these interviews with the mentors, who share their thoughts on leadership. This week’s featured protégé/mentor pairing is Keri-Lyn Fitzgerald, who is pursuing her degree in finance and economics, and her mentor, Ethan Tyler, who is the Development Manager for the State of Alaska Division of Economic Development.

Where are you from? How did you decide to pursue a career in Alaska?

I am originally from Maine. While working in a managerial position at a hotel in Colorado, my interest in the professional and personal opportunities in Alaska grew. I created my own opportunity with the Alyeska Hotel in Girdwood and worked in other tourism-related positions before transitioning into the public sector.

Where did you go to college? What did you study in college?

I attended college in Lyndon State College in Vermont, and at Mesa State College in Colorado. I obtained a degree in Business Administration – Accounting emphasis.

Did you have anyone you relied on for mentorship/solid career advice? If yes, what is the most important leadership advice they shared with you?

I have had many mentors throughout my collegiate and professional career. My first important mentors were professors I was close with, and now, I rely mostly on my relationships with colleagues and predecessors. I believe that it is important to hear from the people that previous held a position and to bounce ideas off the brains around you. Having someone to express your ideas to, and receive feedback from, is necessary to being successful.

It is important and beneficial for CBPP and Anchorage’s business community to collaborate and invest in the next generation of leaders. What do you think should be conveyed to our next generation of leaders?

I stress being involved in your community and serving others. I encourage future leaders to find something in between your personal and professional life, like serving on a board. I want to make sure the next generation of leaders knows that we cannot do it alone! Don’t be afraid to lean on co-workers, and industry leaders. Never be afraid to utilize the people around you to do the best that you can; be resourceful.

The College of Business and Public Policy is excited to host this unique mentorship program and is grateful for our excellent protégés and for the outstanding business leaders who have chosen to participate as mentors.