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BAKER PROUD | Summer 2019
Servaes story continued from page 9.
she earned a Master of Business Administration degree from
"My time at Baker definitely played an integral role in
opening my own business," she said. "My degree may not
specifically apply to opening a brewery, but I feel like the
breadth of coursework I was required to take helped make me
so much more well rounded than I might have been."
At Baker, Courtney was involved with the Baker Orange
newspaper and was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority.
She works full time as a digital marketing strategist for the
University of Kansas Edwards Campus.
"Being a part of the Baker Orange staff taught me a level of
responsibility and leadership that I feel translates to just about
every aspect of my career, even before opening my own business," she said. "Because I went to Baker and went on to get
my MBA, I feel so much more prepared to own and operate
a business. Owning a business is such a huge responsibility
and such a huge risk. I'm so grateful that I feel like I have the
knowledge and skills to pull it off."
Servaes Brewing Co. is the first Kansas City-area brewery
owned and operated by a female head brewer. Courtney said
it can be challenging to be a female in the beer industry in the
same ways that it's challenging for any woman to be involved
in any male-dominated industry.
"Overall, people have been really supportive of me and the
brewery, but it is sometimes difficult for people to take me as
seriously as they would a man," she said. "The beer community is growing and changing a lot, and I think more women will
be involved in the brewing process going forward."
Courtney said the biggest surprise she's experienced in
opening her own business is the number of hardships that
"Whether it be acquiring a small business loan or handling
construction renovations, there are always issues," she said.
"You have to learn to roll with it, find a solution, and move
on. Sometimes it costs you more money than you want, and
sometimes the solution you want is simply not an option. You
can't get stuck on the details. You have to persist and keep
moving forward. Keeping a level head and not getting discouraged is by far the most challenging thing about being an
Courtney advises aspiring entrepreneurs to do their research.
"When you think you have all of the answers, do more
research," she said. "You'd be shocked at the number of times
I have changed my mind about a piece of equipment, the layout of the brewery, or the type of beers I wanted to offer."
Courtney said she's fortunate to have friends who have
opened or who are opening their own brewery in the region.
"I've asked them countless questions," she said. "I've spent
hours and hours with them trying to figure out what they did
right and what they did wrong. I feel like all of that research
has taught me enough that I now have the right recipe for
A New Year's
class, and a
Angela Williams decision to study immigration
law was made at a New Year's Eve party.
"I went to the party with a guy that I had graduated from Baker with, and he was in law school
at KU," she said. "While I was at the party, I started
randomly talking to people that were there, particularly one of his law school friends."
After earning a degree in Spanish and secondary
education from Baker in 1997, Williams was working toward a master's in Latin American studies at
the University of Kansas, and she wasn't sure what
she could do with that degree. She was teaching
high school at the time and wasn't sure that was
for her. The law student at the party had a similar
master's degree in golden age of Spanish literature
and was able to put his degree to good use. His law
school internship was with an immigration attorney.
"He got to use his Spanish, he got to use his
knowledge of the culture, and he felt he got to help
people directly," Williams said. "He was working
one-on-one with clients and really affecting people's lives."
They talked about immigration law during the
whole party, and that night she signed up for the
Today, Williams has her own practice as an immigration lawyer, a job that became more complicated these last couple of years.
"There are only about 350 immigration judges
in the whole country, and there are 700,000 cases
Baker Proud Summer 2019
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baker Proud Summer 2019
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