Alverno Loyal: Loyal From the Start
When Kim Otzelberger ’20, a creative searching for a place to thrive, took a tour of the Alverno campus, the vibe felt different.
“You just felt connected to the campus already without even having taken a single class,” she says. “You’re putting a lot of money into your education; you want to pick some place that you can hang out at. You want to pick a home.”
A home is exactly what she found at Alverno. For the next four years, she was actively involved on campus. She started working in the admissions office her sophomore year and branched out to being involved with other departments and student groups.
During her last semester at Alverno, the pandemic hit. Everything changed — except her enthusiasm for Alverno.
“I’m thankful that I had almost four years of an in-person experience at Alverno,” she says. Now, she wants to provide that experience for those who come after her.
“When I look at my life and the people in my life, whether it was a brief moment or large moments, people at Alverno helped me create who I am today,” she says. “It’s so important for me to give back to those people when I can to show my appreciation.”
This is why last year, at the beginning of the pandemic, Otzelberger made a senior class gift to become part of Alverno Loyal, a program that recognizes those who give to Alverno every year. Even though our lives were changing, she knew giving back was important.
“When I was a freshman, because alums made gifts to Alverno, I could have an amazing experience. When you become an alum, you want to be the person who helps those new freshmen to grow and be someone like you,” she says.
Being an Alverno Loyal member is more than just making a gift. To be an Alverno Loyal is to remain part of a community that still wants to help you and see you succeed even after graduation.
“Alverno is like a bright star. When you go out into the real world, and you have a chance to go back, you get to go back into your safe space,” Otzelberger says.
Though her post-graduation plans changed, Otzelberger was able to attain a part-time internship with 371 Productions in Milwaukee and went full time at her job at a local retailer. As a remote intern, she works very closely with the president of 371 Productions and says it’s a great opportunity to network because she speaks with people who are high up in the film industry.
“This is like a ladder,” she explains, “I’m trying to work up the ladder and hopefully attain a good career in the next five years.”
She hopes to be hired full time at the company, and to one day create projects from the story planning stage through the developmental stages. She knows what she learned at Alverno will help her succeed.
Otzelberger explains that Alverno was more than just an education to her. “Alverno gives back to you constantly. What’s unique about that place is that even after you graduate, you are a part of the overall community for life.”
To learn more about how you can become Alverno Loyal, visit alverno.edu/loyal.