Sue Bette ‘01
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What was your major at St. Mike’s and when did you graduate? I graduated in 2001 with a history major and religion minor.
Did you take part in any clubs or activities at St. Mike’s that were important to you or shaped your experience there? Yes – I played for four years on both the women’s lacrosse and rugby teams. My participation in college athletics certainly has had a positive impact on my life, not only creating lifelong friendships with amazing people but also skill-building in learning to work within and lead teams, generating self-discipline to balance multiple priorities, and setting and reaching for goals.
What is your current profession and why did you choose it? In 2009, I founded and launched Bluebird Hospitality, a Vermont-based company focused on creating community and joy through food and gathering experiences. My experiences at Saint Michael’s – learning how important community and service is to our overall well-being – certainly helped shape the foundation and trajectory of Bluebird.
What activities, hobbies, volunteer work or passion project means the most to you? Does it give you a sense of purpose or help others find theirs? I am sincerely appreciative of the recent opportunities to launch and co-found Vermont Independent Restaurants and join the leadership circle at the Independent Restaurant Coalition. Both of these organizations have provided critical advocacy and support for independent restaurants in navigating the complex circumstances of the pandemic.
Do you feel that the liberal arts education you received at St. Mike’s helped your abilities to communicate effectively or problem solve? How has a liberal arts education helped or hindered you on your career path or finding purpose in your life? I do see how career-specific programs may help folks during earlier parts of their career, and my sense is that the skills needed to advance your career center less on tactical skills and much more on the ability to problem-solve, be creative, share empathy, and compassion. Because of my experience with a liberal arts education, I always feel confident that I have both the skill and resources to “figure stuff out” and the sense of a broader responsibility to community and service to help guide decisions and next steps.
Do you recall when you first realized what your purpose or passion in life might be? More and more, I just try to enjoy myself in work and life, remain lighthearted, and try to be a positive part of others’ days.