Caroline Bartolome- a Cal State Fullerton alum- receives Tez for the second time this year for her ability to balance coursework with her job. Caroline was awarded Student of the Week earlier in the year in April and has earned the award for her hard work both inside and outside of the classroom. Caroline provides an update on her time in the program and how SMBA has influenced some of her current work projects.
I can’t believe it’s already the end of September. The year has gone by so fast, and the days seem to blur together. Five months ago after spending my birthday putting the final touches on my Rosner paper I was awarded Tez. And, as our trusty mascot watched over the coveted seat in the front row, I prepared for our first round of finals.
Fast forward to today and in about eight weeks we will be finishing up the last of our classes. Thankfully it’s engrained in me that failure is never an option. My motto has always been that I will be a product of my efforts. Balancing my job as a program manager has definitely been a challenge, but the support from faculty, alumni and our cohort has been overwhelming.
The desire to give back to the Jiu-Jitsu community is what first led me to the SMBA program. My time in the program has led me to working on a couple different projects at the same time as an analyst for a couple of local start-up companies and community groups. Since March I have been working with Bathala apparel to first restructure and then eventually developed a sponsorship deck of current offerings for the company. After the administrative reorganization, I had the opportunity to interview and write the biographies of some of the local MMA fighters Bathala sponsors, including Tyra “The Honey Badger” Parker , “Super” Sam Toomer “Super” Sam Toomer and Coby “2Face” Hollier. Besides working on the administrative side, I have also had the opportunity to work in marketing and outreach, tabling at local amateur fights such as Epic and hosting our monthly weekend beach open mats.
And while growing Bathala is still a work in progress, being a part of SMBA has given me a whole new set of tools to continue to grow whatever project I am working on. What’s next? Only time will tell, and even though time is flying by, the relationships I’ve built over this last year will last a lifetime.