Alumni Spotlight: Shelley Ibarra – Dreams Do Come True



Written by: Shelley Ibarra, Project Manager, Tigermoth Creative

2017 Fellow in the Opportunity Greensboro Fellows Program

The last time you heard from me I was reflecting on my 10-week internship at Tigermoth, but now I am no longer an intern. Yes, you read that right the intern phase has ended and I have been promoted to Tigermoth’s Project Manager! I would never have dreamed that I would be where I am today – anticipating my December graduation from UNCG and working in a great position for such an outstanding team. But here I am, on the other side of my dreams.

Let me give you a little bit of backstory. Four years ago I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and was very indecisively picking a college major — and changing majors over and over for that matter. I had big dreams and I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I believed I would find something that I love.

I know that a lot of people work in jobs that they absolutely hate and I would be lying if I said that every job I have had I loved. But I just knew that there was something out there for me to do that I would love, and with a few bad jobs under my belt I was going to make sure I found something that I could be passionate about. Call me crazy, but I had a dream and I thought it was possible. I believed in my dream to find a workplace that I love — and here I am now with that dream a reality.

I remember talking to my mom a couple of years ago about how I didn’t know what I wanted to do. She encouraged me to keep searching. She’s always been a wonderful advocate for helping me follow my dreams and she sees the difference that working at Tigermoth has made in my life. Since the beginning of my time here, I knew it was special. I almost felt like it was too good to be true and honestly, at first I just held my breath and waited for my internship to turn into something I didn’t like. But that just didn’t happen. Instead, I continued to enjoy it more and more. My fears did not become a reality, but my dreams did.

I am so thankful that I took the plunge and applied for an internship through the Opportunity Greensboro Fellows Program. At the time, applying for an internship seemed like the scariest thing in the world because I hadn’t anticipated looking for internships at all when the idea was given to me. A wonderful instructor had mentioned it to me and said, “Shelley, you would be a great fit for this program!” The more I thought about it, I began to think “Just apply, Shelley. What have you got to lose?” When I sat in my living room and applied for the Project Management Internship at Tigermoth back in February, I had no idea the journey I was getting ready to start and how it would change my life.

I want this to be an encouragement to anyone who thinks they can’t do something. Don’t let other people tell you what you can and can’t do. If you have a dream, you can make it happen. Don’t let the negative voices in your mind or in the world tell you can’t do something, even if it seems crazy. Work with your strengths and shoot for the stars because your dreams are just around the corner.


Shelley Ibarra is a Project Manager at Tigermoth Creative. She enjoys just about anything outdoors from kayaking to hiking. Her long-term dreams are to become an event planner in the business world.

Read the story on Tigermoth Creative’s website!