Mo McKenna

Mo McKenna

Director of Partnership Solutions

Strada Education Network & InsideTrack

I used to think that your passion and your job had to be 100% aligned. I now see that pursuing my passion as a hobby can be a lot more enjoyable.


My road in life has taken me all over.
Didn't go straight through in college - I dropped out after 2 years and traveled and worked before coming back to finish.
I wasn't sure what I wanted to study in college and accrued all sorts of credits that weren't applicable to my degree. It was fun, but expensive.
I pursued my education in agriculture, but realistically if I wanted to farm, I shouldn't have accrued student loan debt.
For a decade, I worked a lot of multiple jobs at a time - typically short-term, seasonal, and temp jobs. It has made me a very resilient employee, but it wasn't great for my retirement.
I fell into the field of education 10 years ago and have been able to advance as a result of a lot of investment in my professional development from that company.
I used to think that your passion and your job had to be 100% aligned. I now see that pursuing my passion as a hobby can be a lot more enjoyable.
Keep following my journey


High School
Sparta Senior High School
Sustainable Agriculture / Environmental Science
Warren Wilson College
Rural Sociology / Latin American Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison


Director of Partnership Solutions

I help our affiliates collaborate.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Helping People

Day to Day

I focus on listening to the challenges that institutions, employers, and regions are facing and then connecting those with solutions we have within the affiliate network. I work closely with multiple affiliates to help them stack products and services in order to solve complex problems. Also, I help the affiliate network and stakeholders from Strada understand the solutions available within our network.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

I started out as a coach supporting students directly. Then I moved into supporting staff, then administrators and university leaders. This path has been phenomenal for me because I started out by listening to students, aka end users. Don't underestimate the value of an entry-level role that connects you with the people using the service or product - it will help you make systems, policies, and products that better support those users.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:


The Noise I Shed

From Family:

"Why do you want to go away to college? What's the value of it?"

Challenges I Overcame


Interviewed By

Anonymous Student