Alexandra Gilbert (she/her)
Founder and CEO of Cape-Able Consulting
Alexandra Gilbert (she/her)
What did you study, and what has your career journey looked like? (i.e., has your major lined up with your career path, etc.)
"I studied Human development and family studies and minored in recreation and park administration. It was a complicated way to say that I wanted to do family programming. When I graduated that was exactly what I started out doing. I worked for a non-profit working on intergenerational programming in NYC. That led me down a path where I tied in my strengths in programming, leadership development, and event planning. Where I spent most of my career."
What IU experiences do you feel contributed to your success, both inside and outside the classroom?
"My experiences at IU really built the foundation for my business today. While I was at IU I was very involved in IUDM on the Riley Development Committee and created a mentor retention program for students with Disabilities called Peer Undergraduate Mentor Program (P.U.M.P) which won several awards and I was nominated for the Herman B Wells Senior Award. I was given the platform to explore my skills and experiment safely with the support of incredible staff, and professors who help me sharpen those skills."
What advice would you give to a student navigating their career choices?
"It is important to have career goals. Sometimes those goals feel really far away as you do the daily tasks of your job. However, every job you take will teach you new skills that you didn't have before, you will gain new perspectives, passions and understanding that you may never have thought about. Even if you think those jobs are pulling you further away from your goal they are actually pushing you closer to you. Good or bad those experiences will shape you so that you can really accomplish your goal and succeed."
What is one thing you wish you would have known beginning your career journey?
"No one has it all together, even if it looks like they do. Transitions are really hard whether you have a disability or you don't. Just know that everyone is trying to figure out what the career-driven version of you looks like. And no matter what your first job is no one at your job is expecting you to be perfect. They know there is a learning curve so don't be afraid to ask questions along the way and give yourself some compassion in the process."
What does belonging look like for you in the workplace?
"This is not a black-and-white scenario. Belonging in the workplace could come at any point and for many different reasons. This is where you need to really look inward and ask yourself questions. Do you feel comfortable speaking up and asking questions, do you feel supported, do you enjoy being there, do you believe in the mission of your company? These are just a few places to start and only you know the answer."
How has your identity impacted your career choices?
"I am dyslexic and have ADHD and was really privileged to have been diagnosed at 8 years old. When I was applying to colleges including IU my SAT Tutor told me I would never accomplish anything because of my disabilities and that I shouldn't even bother applying to a school like IU because even if I got in, I would never graduate. I couldn't wait to prove her wrong. Not only did I get into IU, I excelled and created a mentor retention program for students with disabilities called Peer Undergraduate Mentor Program (P.U.M.P.) to make sure that students with disabilities didn't fall behind. That has always been the fuel for my fire to find ways to support adults who have ADHD and/or learning disabilities to not only see their skills as valuable but know that with a little support, they could truly thrive and accomplish their goals. I am forever grateful that IU took a chance on me, and supported my entrepreneurial journey. Cape-able Consulting would not have existed if it wasn't for my experiences at IU."Back to Disability Resources