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There’s more than meets the eye with Her Campus UWM contributor, Alyssa Thomas. The small-town girl from Green Bay has some big city dreams and studying at UW-Milwaukee has gotten her closer to making these dreams a reality. At the surface, this ambitious senior is a Marketing Intern at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and will be graduating with a degree in Marketing and International Business, but when you look deeper you see an empowering woman who runs her life with class and poise and who craves worldly adventure, has a passion for educating people on their health through different creative mediums and adores her family and friends.

It’s not easy to be empowering. It takes drive, determination, restlessness, focus, compassion, leadership and other empowering figures in your life to lean on for direction and bring out these qualities in you. Thomas found all those qualities and more in her parents and other influential role models, like Reese Witherspoon, but in her life but the standout woman who gives her the most inspiration is her grandmother. Thomas found the strength and solace she needed to be a powerful woman herself in everything her grandmother embodies. Thomas’ grandmother embarked on an adventure of a lifetime when she was just in her teens and decided to immigrate to the states from Sweden. When she arrived in America she became a flight attendant and experienced the world.

“Her passion, drive and restlessness are definitely things I see in myself and want to foster in my everyday life and things I keep striving to be as I embark on my own life path,” Thomas said.

Thomas discovered her own wanderlust spirit and the love for experiencing other cultures when she studied abroad in Paris, France and spent some time in Geneva, Switzerland.

“It was incredibly freeing and blissful time that came at the exact right moment in my life,” Thomas said. “It sparked an even greater love of travel within in me.”

Her sliver of time spent in Europe also changed the way she views the way people in America work and act. After experiencing different cultures, Thomas was exposed to how contrary their lifestyles are to the American lifestyle. One prominent area she saw extreme differences was in the way food is viewed in America and even inspired her to educate people about them and her passion for caring how our food is processed.

“When I was in high school I dealt with some health issues after getting sick traveling to South America,” Thomas said. “I realized that some of the food I was eating was harming me instead of making me healthy. Not everything on our shelves in America should be put in our bodies and I think it’s important to educate people on the effects that the lack of regulations have on our bodies.”

The adventurous spirit Thomas inherited from her grandmother that later led to her passion for food is also playing an important part of her post-graduation plans. The involved, talented senior doesn’t have any concrete plans for graduation, giving her enough time to continue to explore the different avenues her career could take. She may not know the direction she wants to take right now, but one thing’s for certain, whatever direction she chooses it will require traveling the world.

“Hopefully I’ll have a job that allows me to travel extensively,” Thomas said.

Looking to the future, Alyssa wants to mix all of her passions into a melting pot and create a customized career. Eventually the young entrepreneur wants to build and run her own consulting firm from the ground up in whatever area she chooses to excel in. Another thing Thomas has on her to-do list post-graduation is continue her passion project: running her own podcast or even author a book about her stories and life experiences.

It takes guts and lots of drive to accomplish all the things Thomas has on her plate and none of it would be possible without the tight-knit friendships a young woman has in her life supporting her and Thomas surely doesn’t fall short in this area. Thomas has a squad supporting her because she always supports her squad.

“If a friend needs something I will make sure I am there with a bottle of wine in hand and rom com movies to last for hours,” Thomas said.

Her loyalties to her friends runs deep and the relationships she holds dear to her heart speak volumes to the kind and caring person she is.

“Alyssa is one of the most reliable people I’ve ever met,” said Tori Sweeney, one of Thomas’ closest friends. “She’s always going above and beyond for the people she surrounds herself with.”

Thomas has gifted Her Campus UWM with her writing talents and passion for others and we could not be more excited to see where post-grad life takes her.

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