Tyra Bandt, a long-time member of the CommonGround programming team, graduated just a few short weeks ago and will soon be joining the corporate business world. Because of her deep engagement with the program and dedication, we wanted to thank her for her work with us and send her off with well wishes!
For the past three years, Tyra has been working on the CommonGround Programming Team as the Logistics Coordinator. Her primary responsibilities were working with the scheduling and communication, both internally with the eight-person team and externally with 30-40 CommonGround facilitators and Student Coordinators. Having been a part of the team for so long, she also became very familiar with the tasks and responsibilities of the team at large and was often the one to take on projects as they developed.
Tyra had been passionate about social justice since high school, where she was a member of the Gay-Straight Alliance and also involved in Girl Scouts. After a year as a CommonGround student coordinator, a few CommonGround Programming Team members encouraged her to apply for the Programming Team. Later that summer, she was offered the position of Office Assistant, which everyone feels was a perfect fit!
In her 4 years on campus, Tyra had to navigate moving in and out of two very different spaces: IGR, where she worked on a team made up almost entirely of women of color (who often had lively conversations on social identity and social justice), and Ross Business School where the majority of students were white and male. Tyra said:
“Being here (CommonGround), you know that people are willing to be challenged more and actually talk about things more. Even if you disagree with someone on something, you can still have a productive conversation without you both feeling like, ‘Ok we don’t agree on this so let’s just stop talking. I think conflict is very much avoided in the business world—it is much more under the surface.”
In August, Tyra will be starting her new job at the Accenture office in Detroit doing management consulting.
“What that means is going into businesses and either improving their processes or solving problems that they might have, or just figuring out how to improve their performance.”
She will be put on projects with organizations where she will travel to their offices, be immersed in the business as much as she can for a short amount of time, and then make recommendations based on what she observes.
In reflecting back on her IGR experience, Tyra said:
“I think I will be able to carry a lot from IGR into this new job. It has given me a really good idea of what I want out of a workplace and need out of a workplace and my work style. I think working with teams—this has given me such a good experience of that. Here, every year we basically have a whole new team of people I am working with super closely. I have gotten a lot of experience hitting the ground running, learning peoples’ strengths and weaknesses and how to make this team as efficient as possible, and how I adjust my role based on what the team needs.”
Working at IGR Tyra has made an imprint on us all, and we are so grateful to have had her as part of the team. Tyra, you will be missed!