April 15, 2021 • ISSUE 567
Facing Fears and Breaking Boundaries
While pursuing an MBA in sustainable business at MIU, Kristina Vitale has also gained practical experience in sustainable technologies. She has built a solar water heater from recycled materials during a sustainable energy practicum class, spent a summer month in New Mexico building houses from recycled materials with the Earthship Academy, and has lived in an off-grid cabin in the woods of Fairfield.
Kristina is a native of St. Louis, with a bachelor’s degree in finance and real estate from the University of Missouri, Columbia. Kristina says she was a shy student with a speech impediment who rarely participated in class. About eight years ago, she embarked on a personal development journey to face her fears and move outside her comfort zone.
She learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique, moved to Austin, Texas, and started a wellness company that specialized in coaching individuals and businesses in seeking higher self-awareness and empowerment. Through her workshops and events she helped over 500 clients.
One of the ways Kristina stretched her own boundaries was through traveling to countries like India, Morocco, and Japan. It was during those trips that she became increasingly aware of the impact of environmental pollution and decided to shift her career to sustainability. At the recommendation of her TM® teacher, Michael Blitz, she came to a Visitors Weekend in 2019 and enrolled in the MBA program in February 2020.
“TM was a huge part of overcoming my fears,” she said. “When I took my first class at MIU, I sat in the first row and raised my hand all the time, and I had never done that before.”
Kristina also finds that studying at MIU helps her balance her studies, career, and personal life. “Consciousness-Based education helps you connect the dots and synthesize what you are thinking and how you are expressing it,” she said. “The way the teachers weave consciousness into every single class is so creative and has changed my personal life and how I balance it with my career.”
Kristina is currently doing sustainability consulting for a construction company, and her goal is to help businesses move towards identifying their environmental impact and implement sustainable solutions.