The Minnesota School of Business-Plymouth campus (MSB) celebrated the 10th anniversary of its first graduating class on June 20. Appropriately, the campus held the spring graduation ceremony at the same location (Plymouth Creek Center) and featured the same keynote speaker (Plymouth City Council member Judy Johnson) as the inaugural commencement ceremony. Campus Community Manager Matt Marek is tracking down all nine members of that first graduating class to tell their stories, and catch up with this trailblazing group of graduates.
I admit it; this project is tougher than I anticipated. My initial goal was to track down every one of these nine massage therapy graduates by graduation day.
Obviously, that has not happened. I failed you, the readers, and I profusely apologize.
I am not giving up on this mission, however. It took me a few weeks to sit down with our fourth graduate in this series—Krista Smith (now Schultz).
Let me set the scene for you:
Krista and her husband Adam live in Annandale, about a 45-minute trek from our Plymouth campus. We set up a time to meet, and I drove west down the scenic (sarcasm intended) Highway 55.
I rolled onto the driveway of the Schultz house on schedule, expecting to witness more action around the two-acre property. As I climbed out of my car, the dog (Marley, I was told) came out and decided it was time to defend his turf…great.
After ringing the doorbell and getting no answer, I tentatively walked to the back porch area, looking for another entrance. At that point, I was very glad there were no neighboring houses because I KNOW my confusion looked more and more suspicious.
Keeping this in mind, I knocked on the back doors. Again, no answer. I quickly climbed in my car and pulled over to the Schultz’s other driveway, which led up to the large shop they have on the property, thinking that might make me look a little more inconspicuous (it did not).
After a couple of calls and texts to Krista, I started to leave. At the exact moment I was pulling out of the driveway, a huge red truck and trailer pulled in past me. The driver waved me back in, obviously confused by my presence. At this point, I was sure I was in some sort of trouble, so I decided it was best to head back and explain what exactly I was doing (even though I thought about speeding out of the driveway into the Minnesota countryside).
Long story short, it was Krista’s brother, and he gladly relayed the message I was waiting at the house. We rescheduled and everything worked out (boring ending, I know…you’re probably wishing there was a chase, aren’t you?!)
Fast forward to three weeks from that day, and I was back. Thankfully, Krista answered the door this time.
Despite being a massage therapy graduate, she is currently a number cruncher, as she earned an accounting degree from our St. Cloud campus and is working with Amcon Block & Precast Inc.
“I like it a lot,” Schultz told me. “I’m content, and I’ve been with the company for eight years now.”
The next question was obvious.
“How did you ever get into massage therapy?” I asked.
“I always liked to do them,” she laughed. “I liked that I could get through the program and [get started working] quickly.”
After working part-time for a few years, a balky back and raising a family derailed her massage therapy career, but she still has time for a massage or two.
“I still have my massage table,” she said. “A lot of my husband’s friends are contractors, so of course they always want them.”
Schultz’s husband owns a construction company—Advance Contractors and Remodelers. They were married in 2005 and have two children, Hudson (5) and Hayven (3).
“[Being a parent] is great,” she told me. “It’s definitely a lifestyle change. You have to change your mindset a lot, and it’s something new every day, which is fun.”
Ultimately, the details of her MSB experience are hazy, but the overall experience of being in a new, exciting environment sticks with her today.
“I thought [the massage therapy program] was a great program,” she said. “Everything was new, and I graduated and could have gotten a job right away.”