Zulean Cruz-Diaz '17

Zulean Cruz-Diaz '17, WPI Business School Management Engineering alum, will be featured in an upcoming speaker series as part of Inaugural Business Week. Ahead of the event, we caught up with Zulean to learn more about what she's been up to since leaving WPI and to hear her reflections on her WPI experience. 

Q: Briefly introduce yourself. What have you been up to since leaving WPI, and how do you remain connected today?

A: Hi! My name is Zulean and I was an MGE, Class of '17. Since graduating, I dove into the nonprofit world and had the privilege of living all over the country (including Hawai'i). Back in Texas, I've recently transitioned into a new entrepreneur role doing leadership consulting. My company Z Conecta is helping shape the next generation of leaders through communication and interpersonal skills as they make their transition into managerial roles. 
I continue to connect with WPI through the alumni networks and through the Business School. Looking forward to coming up this fall as an invited speaker! 

Q: Where did you make lasting friendships at WPI? How did those friendships shape your WPI experience?  
A: I was welcomed to WPI through the Connections program, run by the ODIME, and continued to support each summer as a PA. During the year, my time at WPI was mainly spent on the water though. I rowed all 4 years and had the opportunity to be captain in the last. My crew girls are still my daily support and cheerleaders till this day. 

Q: Looking back, what was the most valuable experience or lesson learned at WPI that continues to shape your career or life overall today?
A: Don't undervalue your connections, and ask for help. During Connections Week, the line "ask for help" was repeated over and over again. I thought it was just meant to support you in passing your classes, but its deeper meaning did not completely click until after I left WPI. I naturally keep in touch with others but when I ask for help, I am always in awe at how far my network's connections lovingly get me closer to where I'm trying to go. It all starts with valuing and nurturing your relationships, and not being scared to ask for help.

Q: Why would you encourage other alumni to attend WPI events and activities? 
A: Once we leave WPI, we settle into our normal routines that tend to be solitary and lonely. Over time, we move, or our friends move away, and we lose a sense of "community". Community is feeling seen, understood, and supported; it is everything in this fast moving world. Whether we like to admit it or not, we all need our connections and support. Rebuilding our WPI networks help us get a little closer back to community.