Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Trading corporate life for culinary bliss

Molly Marzalek-Kelly ’06I graduated from Wheaton as an economics major, paired with a management minor, and my goal was to eventually obtain my M.B.A. and keep climbing the rungs of the corporate ladder until I was the next big CEO. However, when I discovered that the path I was on was not the right one for me, I changed direction.

Today, I am the head pastry chef at Baked, an award-winning neighborhood bakery in Brooklyn, N.Y. My goal now is to one day own my own bakery. This is my second act.

Second Acts

Life is a work in progress. Sometimes the career path is a meandering adventure. Here, in her own words, Molly Marzalek-Kelly ’06 tells us about her road to happiness in our occasional ongoing series featuring alums who have rethought their ways forward.

Tricolor_Sliced_01_originalImmediately after graduating from Wheaton, I moved to New York City to work at a law firm auditing cable companies, domestically and abroad, on behalf of the major motion picture studios. It took me almost four years at the firm before I realized this was not where I wanted to grow old, and that I needed to switch gears and do something that I actually wanted to do, something that brings me joy.

For me, the “aha” moment wasn’t, “I want to quit my day job and be a baker;” it was, “I’m not happy here.” The work didn’t excite me, and I realized that your work should contribute to your happiness.

So I enrolled at the International Culinary Center in SoHo while still working at the firm, received a degree in classic pastry arts, and said goodbye to my corporate life. [Read more...]

Return to music feeds the soul

Janna Frelich ’78Janna Frelich ’78 started singing when she was 2 years old, took up piano at 7, and joined her first chorus at 9. It was the beginning of a life steeped in music.

Second actsFrelich earned two degrees in music. She sang in adult choruses, wrote songs, learned to play the harp and worked as a church soloist. But as much as she loved music, it remained a part-time pursuit, until recently. In 2010, after working in health research positions for 26 years, Frelich quit her job as a statistical programmer and enrolled in graduate school to become a music therapist and mental health counselor. [Read more...]

Following her passion at 80

“A bonus life.”

That’s how Dorothy Weber Trogdon ’47 describes her career as a working poet, which didn’t reach full flower until she was 80 years old.

Second actsInitially, her life’s path led her to design, not poetry. Trogdon majored in art history at Wheaton, then earned a master of architecture degree from Harvard Graduate School of Design. It was there she met her future husband Bill Trogdon, who was studying under the renowned Walter Gropius.

After marrying, the couple moved to Seattle, Bill’s hometown. He found work right away in a leading architectural firm, but for Dorothy it wasn’t so easy.

“In office after office, I was turned away because I was a woman,” she says. “One potential employer stated frankly that having a woman in the drafting room would mean the guys couldn’t tell their dirty stories.” [Read more...]