Selfie: Mackenzie Deans

Prague, June 2018

Hi everyone! My name is Mackenzie Deans, and I am sophomore in the Carroll School of Management with concentrations in Finance and Entrepreneurship. I’m originally from south Florida but now live in Charlotte, North Carolina. I have two incredible parents and a younger brother, who could not be more opposite than me if we tried, along with two older half siblings who are happily married now and have their own kids. So I’m also an aunt, which is great.

A rare moment with everyone together. Thanksgiving ’18.
Family photos–a love/hate relationship

If anyone has heard of or studied the Enneagram of Personality, I am definitely a Type 7. I am an enthusiastic, adventurous, versatile person who loves to brain storm and problem solve. I am always looking for new things to learn, people to meet, and places to go.

One experience that I think best represents me is my most recent summer. In May of 2018, I booked and boarded a one-way ticket to Barcelona with my best friend. With no itinerary, no job, and no supervision, I saw this trip as an adventure of a lifetime. And it was. Seven weeks we traveled in Iceland, Spain, the Czech Republic, Germany, and France, staying in cheap hostels and exploring as much as we could. Never have I eaten so many chocolate croissants in my life.

One story about my time abroad that I love to tell is my experience in Mallorca, a small island off the coast of Spain. After a week in Barcelona, my friend and I flew there, hoping to find work. After sending tens of requests to work for our stay, we heard a response back! Bernat the tomato farmer from Felanitx. Desperate to put my bank account at ease, I convinced my friend that this was a good idea. I should have known I was wrong simply from the travel it took to get to this town in the middle of the island. Transportation included two buses, walking along an abandoned highway, and hitchhiking. Once arriving, I stumbled over my Spanish to communicate to Bernat that we were ready to be picked up in the town square. He drove us about one kilometer to his ‘farm,’ which, in fact, was not a farm at all but rather his friend’s property. Not a single tomato in sight. We spoke to the two workers there, a nice married couple from France. They had been there a week and had not yet seen the farm or done any real work. Sitting altogether in a run down building while Spanish trap music blared in the background, my friend and I looked at each other and knew we needed to leave. Choosing not to make a run for it, we communicated to Bernat that this was no longer a good fit and that we wished him all the best. (Grateful that we did not try to run due to the large guard dog that Bernat held off as we exited.) With a backpack and a baguette in hand, we found the closest bus station and paid our way to the nearby town.

While this was an absolutely terrible and potentially dangerous experience, my friend and I managed to stay optimistic—most of the time. It turned out that the town we ended up in that night, Portocolom, which would be the most beautiful stay of our trip. Thankfully, just a few weeks later, we found work with an English couple who I remain in touch with today, working on their property in southern France for three weeks. Thus, the story ends well, yet left me with several lessons learned that I have since tried to live by. One, look from multiple perspectives when making decisions. Two, balance your gut feeling with fact and analysis. Three, examine and articulate your reasoning for a decision that affects more than just yourself. And finally, never trust a tomato farmer named Bernat.

My on campus experiences have been a little less exciting but just as rewarding. BC is a great fit for me, and, though a plane ride away from home, I am confident that I could not have picked a better place. Although freshmen year was good, sophomore year has already far exceeded my expectations. Campus feels more like a home. I’ve developed deeper friendships. And Vandy is treating me too well. I am very involved in the Campus Activities board, particularly the Live Entertainment department. This club has given me a small niche here, and I have learned so much and have collaborated with so many hardworking, creative people. In addition to the social aspect of this year, the academics have picked up as well, becoming more focused and tailored to my interests yet, of course, more challenging. In addition to campus life and my classes, I work at Revolve Boutiques, a local and family-owned consignment store in Newton Center. I started in February of last year and have continued to enjoy my time there. (Feel free to drop by!!)

In terms of my goals in and beyond college, I am very interested in the start up scene, and I hope to one day create and lead my own company. What that company exactly is, I have yet to figure out. My end game, however, would include me being an executive at a venture capital firm—but that’s years from now.

I am really excited and grateful to be a part of Tech Trek West. I know three alumni (two of Tech Trek West and one of Tech Trek East), and all have spoken so highly of this program. With so much rapid change and innovation, the tech industry seems hard to navigate and thoroughly understand on my own. I am hoping that this class, with thoughtful peers and accessible professors, will help me become more competent and knowledgeable in this industry overall. Additionally, I hope to better identify my future career path and the opportunities available that meet both my areas of interest and skill. Because there is so much opportunity in the tech industry, it is easy to get lost in it all. I hope that this class better narrows and defines what I could and should pursue. Of course, I am also excited to travel to San Francisco and meet with the companies that influence my day to day life. Spotify, Airbnb, Twitter—all have redefined their markets in some way. Being able to gain insight and establish a connection with such influential people at this age provides a unique, unbelievable starting point for my career beyond Boston College.

All this to say, I am so excited for this class and to get to know all of you so soon!

Here’s a gif to make you smile in these last few hours of break.  Hoping no one has to start out their semester like this:

3 thoughts on “Selfie: Mackenzie Deans

  1. Hey Kenz! I loved reading about your wild adventures in Europe! I’m studying abroad in Spain (hopefully!) next year and thanks to you, I’ll definitely not trust any tomato farmers named Bernat. I’m glad you have been having such a great experience at BC and I hope TTW only adds to that! See you Wednesday!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Mackenzie!
    Incredible story of Europe, surely took some guts! I could never be so spontaneous and give you credit! I can sympathize with your goal for starting a yet-to-be-discovered startup. Hopefully TechTrek will help us navigate where we wish to go!

    Like

  3. Wow Mackenzie, you’re super adventurous! I thought your story was incredibly interesting and entertaining. Can’t wait to talk to you in person and hear you unique perspective on startups and other tech related topics.

    Like

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