In pursuit of promising business careers, siblings Morgan and Blake Wurtzler prioritize their creative passions and stay true to themselves. Both Wurtzlers completed undergraduate and graduate programs in PLNU’s Fermanian School of Business, as well as several study abroad programs. While their family encouraged them to pursue careers in business and finance, Morgan and Blake also make time to work on creative projects, build community, and travel the world.

Blake earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2017. In 2019, after receiving his Master of Business Administration (MBA), he started working in the video production team at Maranatha Chapel, a nondenominational church in San Diego. He now serves as director of video production and is involved with videography, social media, and graphic design.

Morgan completed her B.S. in Business Management, Entrepreneurship in 2020 and her MBA in 2021. In 2022, she joined Independent Financial Group as a wealth management associate.

During high school, Blake didn’t have a dream college. Since he grew up in San Diego, he was interested in going to school elsewhere, specifically New York City. After investigating different schools and receiving multiple acceptance letters, he didn’t feel a calling toward any particular school.

“The last possible day, I said yes to PLNU,” Blake said. “It was the best possible decision for me.”

The last possible day, I said yes to PLNU. It was the best possible decision for me.

Morgan was also tentative toward PLNU at first, since she too was interested in traveling to college. Morgan toured PLNU with her mother and wasn’t sure from the first impression that it was a good fit.

However, Blake encouraged Morgan to come visit him on campus. Morgan said spending time there enabled her to do a lot of fun activities and become friends with students.

“I just loved the community and everything he shared about the business program,” Morgan said. “Plus, I couldn’t say no to the ocean!”

Blake said he was thankful that his sister was able to get a look at PLNU that was less filtered and more well-rounded and multi-faceted.

 “When I was at Point Loma, Morgan had the opportunity to come visit me, see how the community really functioned,” Blake said. “When you do a tour, you don’t really get the same experience the same way as if you know someone, come to events, and make some friends.”

Although Morgan’s brother helped cement her decision to choose PLNU, she was also following up on a promise she made to herself in middle school.

“In sixth grade, we wrote letters for our future selves, and they got delivered at the end of high school,” Morgan said. “In that letter, I said ‘I will go to Point Loma.’ I knew I was meant to go to PLNU in sixth grade but had forgotten. It really feels like that’s come full circle.”

I knew I was meant to go to PLNU in sixth grade but had forgotten. It really feels like that’s come full circle.

Growing up, Morgan and Blake felt an expectation to end up in the business sector like their father, a financial analyst. Blake said as he entered college he thought he’d graduate knowing his exact path. Although business and finance are very technical subjects, Blake feels there are also abstract elements.

“Growing up, I had the naïve belief that business school would prepare me for a specific job,” Blake said. “Really, you learn systems and frameworks for being successful in different fields.”

Blake took an international business class with professors Randal Schober, Ed.D., and Dan Boethe, DBA, in Japan and China. This really expanded his worldview and his understanding about global business, and Blake began to realize every realm of study has elements of creativity and innovation.

“I think every degree is almost an art,” Blake said. “You’re taking in information and being creative to solve problems in the world to provide value and resources for people.”

Morgan considered switching to an art major during her freshman year, but her family encouraged her to continue with her financial degree. She took many fine art classes and almost completed an art minor.

“I would’ve completed my minor except I studied abroad twice,” Morgan said. “I try to do it all!”

Morgan traveled to London during her sophomore year and Italy the summer of her junior year for language courses. On the London trip, professors Ronda Winderl, Ph.D. (professor of theater and communication), and Carl Winderl, Ph.D. (poetry), helped develop Morgan’s interest in pursuing a graduate degree — as well as her artistic interests.

“I liked networking, I loved math, the business classes, and all the projects, but I also had a big creative part of me,” Morgan said. “I’ve definitely juggled those things throughout my time at PLNU.”

Morgan and Blake explained several members of their extended family also had a strong tie to the arts.

“We have quite a few family members that are creative,” Morgan said. “Our great grandma did fine art and a lot of drawings. I got into that using charcoal drawing. I took a lot of art classes growing up.” 

“Our dad’s brother did photography,” Blake added, “and as I spent time with him, I found that photography was naturally easy for me and naturally exciting. There was a real ease to getting better at it.”

After graduation, Blake started working in video production at Maranatha Chapel, a nondenominational church in San Diego that serves nearly 7,000 people. Jobs began to shift rapidly at the church, especially due to the passing of Maranatha’s lead pastor Ray Bentley, so Blake started working on social media marketing, graphic design, and taking over as director of video production. He also leads live streaming services and helps teach videography to church volunteers.

“There have been a lot of changes in the church recently, so I’ve been more of a creative director, unofficially,” Blake said. “But I consider all of it as helping the pastors to get their message out to people in a fulfilling way.”

After Morgan completed her master’s program, she worked as a server at Coronado Brewing Company, where she said she enjoyed being able to connect with people in the San Diego community. In January 2022, she started working in the finance sector as a wealth management associate at Independent Financial Group. Morgan’s position involves opening accounts, transferring money, working with advisors, and meeting with management to provide feedback and help the company become more efficient.

Morgan also continues to do creative work on the side. Morgan recently started a small business called Of the Sea Beauty, a natural cosmetics line which aims to capture the essence of the ocean. She also provided illustrations for a poetry collection written by one of her friends from PLNU.

“I still do paintings and commissions to fulfill my creative side,” Morgan said. “I’ve always had a dream to make a living doing art and working with my hands.”

I’ve always had a dream to make a living doing art and working with my hands.

Blake and Morgan both expressed how much they miss being at PLNU. Morgan said she was influenced deeply by PLNU professors’ overall hope for community and emphasis on justice.

Blake especially misses how unpredictable each day during college was — how students could never know what social interactions, intellectual conversations, or fun activities could happen in a day.

“I think the unpredictability of each day really leads to growth and creativity,” Blake said. “It’s really led me to find a little bit of irrationality each week.”

Toby Franklin is the copy editor for PLNU’s Marketing team. He is a reader and writer of speculative fiction and comic books.