Since a young age, Alexis Kievning ’18, ’20 MBA – Organizational Leadership says she wanted to call the shots. “I just want to be an entrepreneur and I want to be my own boss and work towards my own goals.”
But right now, you can catch her bustling around Providence, working in the local political scene throughout the city.
“I never expected to be working in politics, but one thing led to another and that's then how I was offered the opportunity to work with the city,” she says.
Although her current gig of serving as the neighborhood liaison for the city’s Planning & Development Department is where she is now, that hasn’t put a halt on where she wants to go next. Kievning is still dreaming big, even if it means double the workload. She’s balancing a full-time career with still being on track to get her master’s online through Johnson & Wales University.
During Kievning’s senior year at Johnson & Wales was when it all seemed to fall together. She was steaming along on her way to receiving a BS – Business Administration with her sights set on the private sector. The idea of a career in politics wasn’t even on the horizon.
At least that was until her professor at the time, Paul Zwolenski, came to her with a unique opportunity. “He just suggested to me if I ever considered working in the local government sector. He helped connect me with one of the HR directors at the city, and from there I ended up getting an internship with the Mayor’s Center for City Services.”
Her spring internship, then blossomed into a chance to work on Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza’s 2018 campaign team as a campaign organizer. When the campaign breezed through the primary election on its way towards the general election, Kievning took on an even bigger role as the campaigns director of field operations.
After the successful campaign and her graduation from JWU, she was asked to stay with the City of Providence full-time, a chance Kievning didn’t want to give up, but she knew it meant reassessing her future. “I had never really considered it personally, but I looked at the opportunities out there and they looked very promising.”
A Change of Plan
But she had planned to go back to school to get her MBA – Organizational Leadership, still hoping of running her own company one day. Kievning thought this decision meant having to choose between which path she would take, the one she had planned for, or the one where doors were opening for her.
That was until she realized at JWU, both paths were possible.
“I really wasn't sure what my schedules were going to be like, so I figured just for that time period that online would be better for me personally.”
Kievning decided to enroll in JWU’s College of Online Education, and while she says it has been a lot of work, it’s given her the flexibility she wanted.
“I'm able to structure my workweek around knowing when I should and should not schedule meetings. I know that I have to work on whatever assignment or study for whatever exam that I may have,” she says.
For Kievning, this has meant she hasn’t had to sacrifice anything, but instead is getting ahead of the pack, furthering her education all while getting real-world experience.
“I typically work from 8:30 to 4:30,” she says. “But also a part of my job is going to a lot of meetings at night. So the way it works is if I go to a meeting at night, I can either come in late or leave early or I can combine my hours and take a whole day or a half-day off of my choosing.”
Although this schedule may seem daunting, Kievning says it’s what works for her. It even has allowed her to take all her studying and homework to some of her favorite places.
“Most of the time I literally just do my work at my house in the living room. Other times maybe I'll go to this really nice park that's literally like right up the street from me," she says.
But while Kievning’s plate may be full right now, she is not planning on slowing down anytime soon. Instead, her full plate is only driving her hunger for success. “These courses are giving you amazing life skills, but also showing you how to be your own business owner and to me, that's literally what I wanted out of this and I'm getting it.”
For more information on pursuing your MBA – Organizational Leadership degree from Johnson & Wales University College of Online Education, complete the “Request Info” form on this page or call 855-JWU-1881 or email [email protected].