Posted:

May 15, 2024

Cathy Wright’s journey from a successful Group CFO to an interior designer epitomizes the transformative power of following one’s dreams. A 2024 Century College Interior Design graduate, Cathy’s high energy and ambition are a testament to creating a new career path, driven by a lifelong passion for creativity, aesthetics, and hard work.

With a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management and Master’s coursework in Finance at the University of St. Thomas, Cathy has led a distinguished career, leaving her mark in corporations like Honeywell, Thomson Reuters, and Medtronic. Her global perspective was further honed by an invaluable three years in London with Honeywell. She began her career trajectory as an accountant and climbed the corporate ladder to become a Group CFO.

Transition to a New Dream

Cathy’s story is nothing short of inspiring. After retiring two years ago, she found herself at a crossroads, searching for a new career that could utilize her innate creative talents. Reflecting on her hobbies and lifelong interest in building and remodeling houses, the decision became clear: it was time to venture into the world of interior design.

“My husband encouraged me to get an education (and credentials) in my new field, Cathy remembers. “That’s when I found the Interior Design program at Century College. It was the perfect fit for me, focusing on residential interior design.”

Education: A Cornerstone of Success

Choosing Century College for her interior design education was a natural fit for Cathy. The program’s excellent reputation, combined with positive feedback from her contacts, sealed her decision.

But Cathy’s journey is about more than just a career change. As a first-generation college graduate, her pursuit of education throughout her career was fueled by a desire to set a new standard, inspiring others, and leaving a legacy of ambition and excellence.

“I’ve always been driven to do my best, and to work hard for what I want. My parents worked tirelessly, encouraging me to aim higher, despite their not having had the opportunity to attend college,” Cathy reflects.

Outstanding Student Award

Cathy dedicated an equal amount of effort to her Century College degree, and has been recently acknowledged for her exceptional academic performance by receiving the Outstanding Student Award. “I put in my best effort and attained A’s in all of my courses,” she says. “My questions and professionalism played a significant role in advancing the entire class’s comprehension of the subject.”

”Apart from her academic achievements, Cathy has also become an active member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) by joining the student chapter and holding the position of Committee Chair for Emerging Professionals in ASID-MN.

Cathy was also invited to join Phi Theta Kappa, a distinguished honors society.

A Rich Background

Cathy’s background is rich with leadership experiences and skills that beautifully weave into her new career path. Her involvement in music and art, alongside her proficiency in business, finance, leadership, and project management, has endowed her with a unique set of tools essential for a successful interior designer. Her meticulous attention to detail and knack for aesthetics were not only instrumental in her previous corporate roles, but also shone brightly during her internship with Frances King at International Market Square.

“I absorbed everything I could about about fabrics and wallcoverings, made invaluable connections, and even extended my three-month internship to six months. I was determined to soak up as much knowledge and experience as possible,” Cathy says.

Embarking on a New Venture

Today, Cathy is embarking on an exciting new chapter. She is teaming up with her brother-in-law, a home builder in the Bahamas, in a new collaboration there.

“This is more than just a new venture for me; it’s about utilizing all the skills I’ve gathered over the years, from my corporate days to my recent education and internship, to make a meaningful impact,” she notes.

Century College played a crucial role in Cathy’s journey to a second career, providing her with an education and a stepping stone to pursue her dreams. For those seeking a new career, Cathy advises them to follow their passion, work hard, be humble, and learn as much as they can. Her journey emphasizes the significance of education, the value of hard work, and the importance of embracing one’s talents.

 

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