Published: May 8, 2024

From chasing childhood dreams to traveling their own academic paths, Leeds 2024 graduates are ready to take on the world. 

Joe Constancia smiles while working on a laptop at a counter

Reaping the rewards of hard work

Joe Constancia (Entrep, Strat’24) remembers his first time at the Koelbel Building, emptying recycling bins. Working with Facilities Management was “the greatest job I’ve ever had” because it was a break from previous jobs as a plumber and as a farmer. Working at Leeds set him up for professional opportunities and inspired him to enroll as a full-time student.

“I didn’t have a degree, and there were certain jobs I wanted that required one,” Constancia said. “My wife and I talked about it and decided it was time to rip the bandage off and knock it out.” 

And knock it out he did. His student team won the New Venture Challenge’s Cross-Campus Collaboration. And he took full advantage of Leeds’ global programs, taking an internship in France and another with the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at CU Boulder.

“My time at Leeds is the culmination of years of hard work and self-discovery. I’m looking forward to new opportunities ahead,” he said. “As I leave, I am taking with me a sense of purpose that I’ve never had.” 

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"This experience has taught me that small actions can lead to big results."

Joe Constancia (Entrep, Strat’24)

Constancia is in the process of applying for jobs in business development and strategy. Over the summer, he will continue working at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research as a student assistant—a role he’s held for over two years.

“I consider myself to have met so many amazing people. My classmates, the professors and the staff have all had a profound influence on me,” Constancia shared. “They are relationships I will cherish for the rest of my life, and I will always look back on this time with joy and gratitude. This experience has taught me that small actions can lead to big results.” 

Exploring a dream

Lily CombsLily Combs (Mktg’24) dreamed of a career in the fashion industry.  

Then, while studying business at Leeds, she got an opportunity she couldn’t refuse: a new connection of hers asked her to work at New York’s Fashion Week. “I got to see all the different components that go into a show, and it was so rewarding to [learn more about] what I’d like as a career,” she said. 

After that, she knew she was on the right track. She secured an internship as an assistant to a casting director. The experience validated the path she’d been chasing since she was a little girl, sketching different looks and learning to sew. 

Now that she’s graduating, Combs said that it’s “happened way too quickly. My favorite part of attending Leeds is the community. Every single person in the building, from peers to professors to advisors wants to see students succeed and flourish.” 

“I’m excited for the next chapter of my life but will always be so grateful for my time in Boulder.” She continued, “I have grown so much as a person in my four years.” 

And the dream continues. She’s heading back to New York to work at Live Nation Entertainment on the brand management team.

Luke Hatton smiles while wearing winter gear

Developing a new product idea 

Luke Hatton (MBA’24) works for The North Face in Denver as a strategic accounts merchandiser. Hatton decided to get an MBA to take his career to the next level but also found himself traveling down a new path during the program. 

In his entrepreneurship and capstone classes, he learned a structured approach for evaluating the potential of business ideas. And through the iterative pitching process, he developed his own: “a nutrition beverage targeted to the unique needs of high school athletes.” 

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"My biggest takeaway will certainly be the relationships I have built."

Luke Hatton (MBA’24)

“Through the capstone project I was able to develop a complete business plan around that seed of an idea,” he explained. “My goal coming out of my capstone was to get the idea to a place where I could decide on whether or not to try and launch the product. After graduation, my goal is to replace the time I was devoting to school to continue trying to bring my business idea to life.” 

Looking back, “my biggest takeaway will certainly be the relationships I have built, not only with my cohort, but also with the professors and mentors I have been fortunate enough to meet through the program. Many of my favorite memories are from eating dinner together as a cohort before class.” 

“I am looking forward to continuing to play an active part in the Leeds community after graduation,” he promised.