a lone man in a business suit carrying a brief case down a long and winding country road

Career Odysseys

When it comes to  career pursuits, it’s not the destination. It’s the journey.

By Laura Braddick

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

This proverbial question is meant to spark dreams and instill a sense of purpose in children. And while many of us start to shape a vision of what we want to do and who we want to be as youngsters, it often changes as we age. By the time we reach college, the answer to that question can change dramatically.

The fact is practically none of us knows where we will be in five, 10, or 20 or more years after graduating from college. But most people tell you they’ve ended up somewhere they never expected.

A combination of education, experiences, choices, setbacks, achievements and dreams paves a career path that is as unique and complex as the individual who charts it.

These stories of four CBE alums of varying ages and at different stages in their careers illustrate the old adage: it’s not the destination but the journey that defines us.



DEGREE: Business Administration/Project Management and Business Analysis

CURRENT TITLE & COMPANY: Cloud & Cognitive Technical Leader, IBM/Part-Time Faculty Capstone Advisor Technology Management Graduate Program, Georgetown University


In his first job out of college, Bayo Oresegun learned some hard-knock lessons.

“It was the first time I ever saw someone getting fired right in front of me,” he recalled. “I remember my manager at the time telling me, ‘I want you to stay in the room while I do this, because some day you might have to do this too.’

“Looking back, I would say I learned a lot more about what not to do than about what to do, and in life, this is very important,” he said. “In my opinion, each obstacle has always turned out to be a positive lesson learned.”

One such lesson, which for some young professionals can take a long time to learn, is to have confidence in your ideas, skills and competencies.

“I have had encounters where I have been pulled to the side by colleagues to be reminded I am 20-something years old, and I lack experience,” Oresegun said.

“If you are given the opportunity to have a seat at the table, it’s typically because you have earned it. So own it and do what is expected of you.”

In these situations, he chose to be empathetic, he said. He tried to understand the insecurities or root causes of the reactions and remember that in the end the best idea usually wins.

“Qualification is not just based on experience or age. It is based on merit,” he said.

About five years into his career, Oresegun landed at IBM, where he feels at home and thriving in the company’s innovative and forward-thinking culture.

“I worked hard and surrounded myself with the right people, which enabled me to join the IBM Watson & Cloud Platform team,” he says. “If I had to say what my greatest career achievement is to date, I’d say it’s working for a company and in a field that I am not only truly passionate about but fundamentally has a positive and revolutionary impact on humanity.”



DEGREE: Business Administration/Marketing

CURRENT TITLE & COMPANY: Owner, Live to Thrive, LLC / Author / Health and Fitness Expert


With thousands of social media followers, an Amazon best-selling cookbook and a weekly segment on 47ABC, Katie Sampayo has become a health and fitness expert before the age of 27.

But this self-made entrepreneur started her journey in the corporate world. After graduating from TU, she joined the marketing department at Mariner Finance. She liked her boss and coworkers but lacked a passion for the work. She felt more excited about the company’s wellness program she helped spearhead—teaching fitness classes to her coworkers, coordinating competitions and more. Aside from that, Sampayo felt stressed and not in control of her life.

“I kept the job to learn,” she said. “But I’ve always wanted to have my own business.”

After she began practicing yoga, her mindset shifted, she said. She decided to pursue her dreams without fear, including a professional path in fitness and health.

She became a certified personal trainer, quit her corporate job and went to work for a local gym. She gained experience with one-on-one training and started teaching group boot camp classes in addition to Barre, and then later went to Bali to get her 200-Hour Yoga Teaching Training certification. Soon after, she struck out on her own. As her experience and client base grew, so did her dreams.

“You have to continually push yourself out of your comfort zone. If you’re getting really comfortable, then you’re not growing.”

“I want to help everyone in this world thrive,” she said. “That’s my mission. So I had to figure out a way to scale my business.”

To grow her business and impact, she wrote and published an e-book on healthy snacking in one month. A few months later, she published her longer book “Eat to Thrive: The Anti-Diet Cookbook,” which soared to a #1 bestseller in several categories during its first day on Amazon.

Like most entrepreneurs, she’s also had setbacks in addition to success.

“It’s definitely up and down every single day, and you have to be able to adjust,” she said “You have to have a strong belief in yourself. I don’t exactly know how you learn this since I’ve always had it. It’s a kind of resilience.”

Keeping her goals and purpose front of mind drives her forward.

“For me, I’ve never been in this to make a ton of money. If that was the case, I would’ve done something else,” she said. “I know one day the money will come because I’ll be successful at what I’m doing, but I got into this to help people.”



DEGREE: Business Administration

CURRENT TITLE & COMPANY: Wealth Adviser at Artemis Financial Advisor / Special Adviser on Gender Diversity / Center for Financial Planning/CFP Board


Kathleen McQuiggan well remembers the interview for her first job out of college. She was applying for an entry-level sales assistant position at an institutional broker, who happened to have served in the Marines.

“He said, ‘I have two questions for you,’” she recalled. “’Is everything on this resume true?’ And I said, ‘Yes, sir.’ Then he asked, ‘Are you going to cry when I yell at you?’ And I said of course not!”

For McQuiggan, who wasn’t sure at the time what she was going to do with her business degree, it was a formative experience. She spent almost seven years at that firm learning the ropes of investment strategies and selling market products. She went on to join Goldman Sachs, where she became vice president of franchise sales for the securities division. There, she discovered her passion for advocating for greater gender diversity in corporate leadership. After 20 years in finance, though, “the concrete was starting to settle around my feet,” she said. She started to look for her next opportunity.

“It’s hard to walk away from a role at a great organization where you are very successful, but I think it is always important to be in a role that motivates and helps you achieve what is important to you,” she said. “For some it is financial success, for others it is power, or perhaps a title. For me, I knew I needed a role that I could make a difference in, so I decided to take control, step outside my comfort zone and start something new.”

McQuiggan took her passion, purpose and professional expertise and launched Catalina Leadership to consult financial services firms looking to invest in women. She went on to join Pax World Management to build and manage the company’s “invest in women” platform, including its global women’s leadership fund.

“I knew I needed a role that I could make a difference in, so I decided to take control, step outside my comfort zone and start something new.”

Just a year ago, she decided to shake up her career plans again and became a wealth adviser with Artemis Financial Advisors.

“At this stage of my career, I feel like I can have the most impact on clients’ lives—especially breadwinning women—by helping them get a sustainable financial plan in to place to achieve any goal they are working towards,” she said.

McQuiggan also recently became a special adviser to the CFP Board, which administers the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional credential.

“I encourage people to be open when thinking about career paths and opportunities,” she said. “I would never have imagined the roles I’ve had or the paths I’ve taken when I was back in college, but I was always open to thinking about opportunities that came up with a mindset of “Could I learn something, did I like the people, and is this something I could do for a least a year?” I love the journey I have been on so far!”



DEGREE: Accounting

CURRENT TITLE & COMPANY: CFO, T. Rowe Price (Retired March 1)


Ken Moreland, who retires as the CFO and treasurer of T. Rowe Price this spring, has seen a lot in his impressive 40-year career. He has led organizations through global growth and financial crises. When asked what achievement he is most proud of, he said the personal and professional growth of those who’ve worked for him.

“I think about my direct reports over these 14 years and how virtually every one of them grew under my leadership, and that’s the thing that I’m most proud of—my ability to influence the growth of other people.”

Growing up with both a father and grandfather who served in law enforcement, Moreland dreamed of working for the FBI right up until he took his first accounting course as an undergraduate at TU. When he learned the salary differences between public accountants and government employees, he switched tracks to pursue his career in public accounting.

After graduating from TU, Moreland joined Coopers & Lybrand, a predecessor to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, now known as pwc. After 10 years with the firm, he applied for and received a prestigious, competitive two-year fellowship with the office of the chief accountant at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“Here I was 32–34 years old, facing off with CFOs and CEOs of major public companies,” he said. “To me it was my executive MBA program.”

“I think about my direct reports over these 14 years and how virtually every one of them grew under my leadership, and that’s the thing that I’m most proud of—my ability to influence the growth of other people.”

After the SEC fellowship, he returned to Coopers & Lybrand, where he was made partner. He later accepted the position of CFO for one of his clients at the time, RTKL Associates, a privately held global architectural and engineering firm based in Baltimore.

“I was there basically to grow a global firm,” he said. “It helped me make that conversion from being an auditor/business consultant to actually managing a business and learning how to become a chief financial officer.”

In 2004, he was offered a position at T. Rowe Price, which also was expanding its global footprint.

“I called it my dream job with a dream firm,” Moreland said. “At the time, T. Rowe Price was about 15 times larger than RTKL in scope and breadth. It brought me back to my industry expertise because originally most of my clients were financial services-orientated firms. It also allowed me to utilize my SEC experience.”

Moreland mentored many of his direct reports, and he, too, had mentors who helped him along the way. He also credits having an appetite for and commitment to continuous learning for his continued success.

“I’m 62 years old, and I’m still learning things in terms of ‘how do you manage people, how do you deal with crisis?’” he said. “I think about the things I’ve experienced over my 40-year career—the financial crisis of 1986/87; the post-9/11 real estate recession; the financial crisis of 2008/09, when the firm’s revenues dropped by over 30 percent—each one of those experiences taught me things, including how you interact and collaborate with others to overcome them.”