As an undergraduate student at Edgewood College, Michael Hoffman '87 found that he not only received his bachelor's degree, but a firm foundation of values that have enabled him to grow and excel on his career path. Most recently, Hoffman began his role as the Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Learning at Greater Milwaukee Foundation. With more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit world, this position will enable Hoffman to keep doing what he's passionate about, which is helping communities.
"I think that at Greater Milwaukee Foundation, we try to help improve the community, try to work to better opportunities for people in the community, and I think that my education really helped prepare me to be somebody who can focus on the community and improve what's around me," Hoffman said. "Edgewood College was an opportunity to learn about what an individual would need to really live out the Dominican values so that you can treat people decently and find real value in what you do."
Hoffman has always felt that there is great importance in individuals working to better the lives of others. Having that mentality encouraged and fostered at Edgewood College created an opportunity for his passion to grow into the career he has today.
"It's a Christian value, the Catholic roots are important to me, so I think it's important that we work together to better our neighbors wherever we are," Hoffman said.
There was one project that Hoffman remembers distinctly, a required Ethics presentation that brought him out of the classroom and into broader thinking.
"It really forced you to look beyond your major and look inside yourself to allow to you think about what's important and how to do the right things going forward," Hoffman said.
For those thinking about a career path like Hoffman's, he has some simple advice.
"I would tell them to embrace the opportunities that higher education gives them, embrace the chance to grow as people and that will help them understand exactly where their passion is going to be in their lives," Hoffman said.
After graduating with a degree in Management and Communication Studies, Hoffman went on to receive his Master of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Having his foundation at a smaller school in the heart of Madison prepared him for his subsequent endeavors through quality curriculum and faculty.
"You had the ability to get to know your professors. They really cared about you on a one-on-one basis and were there to help you succeed," Hoffman said, noting the impact his professors had on him. "They were really interested in you growing as a student and as a person. It was more than just 'We're going to teach you this material.' It was, 'We are going to get to know you.' "