Alumni Corner

The Beauty of Open Barre and Following Your Passions

Lauren Filocco (Q17) did not always see herself operating a Barre Studio out of College Park, MD. If you had asked her about her plans for the near future a couple years earlier, she might have expressed interest in moving up the pipeline at McCormick and continuing down the path of a procurement specialist. That might have been the decision one would have expected her to make, but all it took was a Groupon for a barre class to change her entire perspective on life, career goals, and happiness.

Before barre and McCormick, Lauren was working operations at Amazon in Middletown, DE immediately after graduation. It was not the most glamorous role, but she learned a lot and was able to leverage her QUEST connections and secure a role at McCormick a couple years later.

At McCormick, she worked primarily on the negotiation side and handled procurement discussions with different suppliers. Looking back on her time there she laughs, considering the fact that her mother always said her penchant for arguing made her a perfect fit for the role.

While she was working at McCormick, she decided to buy a Groupon for a barre class with her mother. Before she knew it, she was spending all of her time after work at the studio and jumped on the opportunity to take other classes after the Groupon ended. As she began to spend more and more time at barre, it slowly dawned on her that even though she loved McCormick, barre was something that could truly fulfill her passions.

She discussed the idea of opening a barre studio with her fiancée and worked on a business plan with studio owners that she had come to know during her many classes. Her colleagues at McCormick were incredibly supportive during the entire process, allowing her to remain on the staff as a contractor during the period of turbulence brought about by the opening of her studio.

In February 2017, the studio finally opened, and she had a new challenge that was equal parts frightening and exciting. When asked about her biggest takeaway from her journey, she said, “I thrive on the little successes. When a client tells me that their son hugged them and felt how hard their stomach was I know it’s because they’ve been taking my classes seriously, and I know that no matter how small I’m contributing to making the world better and making people feel better about themselves.”

Last month, Lauren hosted an open barre session for the QUEST community that was very well received. A few choice quotes are listed below:

“I liked the studio a lot. It had a welcoming, homey vibe. Also, my thighs burned like they’ve never burned before.” – Alex Malek (Q25)

“I love group fitness classes and thought it would be a fun way to interact with the QUEST community outside of the usual classroom setting.” – Kayla Sukri (Q25)

“The instructor always had a smile on her face! Even when we were doing some really demanding routines she was super bright and full of energy. It helped me get through with a smile on my face by the end.” – Edward Morozov (Q25)

It’s clear that Lauren has found her passion and is quickly impacting her community in the best way possible. Her advice to those still figuring things out is to think about what you enjoy outside of work. If there’s a way to turn it into a career, then you should at least consider. Don’t restrict yourself from pursuing your passions without thinking about it first!

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