"I have learned that the Lehigh community including faculty, students, and alumni are all incredibly willing to help each other in any way possible to ensure the success of all."
What are your career aspirations?
"At this time in my life, career aspirations are continuously evolving. Upon graduation I hope to work in a large, fast paced firm that has the resources to teach me and a large learning curve. This summer I will be interning in Sales and Trading with a hope to have more direction of what career I want afterwards. I was drawn to S&T for its innovative and constantly changing atmosphere. Further into the future I hope to work in a more entrepreneurial role."
How well do you think the Lehigh business curriculum prepared you for success in getting a job or internship?
"I have a unique experience as I am part of the Integrated Business and Engineering (IBE) program at Lehigh, studying Industrial and Systems Engineering and Finance. In specific, the Lehigh business curriculum was a large part of my success and ability to obtain an internship. The curriculum teaches you the broad knowledge necessary to succeed, however, it also teaches you the nitty gritty knowledge of Excel, networking, and other critical tools that are ultimately the differentiating factors. The (College of Business and Economics) CBE professors allow you to gain a deep understanding of subjects, but are also willing to help you explore other areas of interest. The business school as a whole allows you an amplitude of opportunities to network and create mentorships that further your possible job options. These mentorships are also very valuable in simply navigating Lehigh and life."
Have you found the curriculum to be flexible in allowing you to pursue diverse interests in addition to your business interests?
"As an IBE student, part of my curriculum is Industrial and Systems Engineering. There were never any conflicts in being able to take all my engineering courses, business courses, and still graduate on time. Lehigh in general is very flexible in allowing students to pursue any interests they have. The most important element is that the student is proactive about what they want, and both the student and faculty are flexible in making this dream a reality. I was very fortunate to study abroad in Sydney, Australia for a semester, which is very rare for people in IBE. Knowing I wanted to study abroad when I came to Lehigh, I started speaking to the study abroad office, business professors, and engineering professors a year and a half in advance so all that could be done to make this possible, was done. With the flexibility of teachers allowing course credit, and my initiative this was a dream come true! International experiences are great speaking points for any interview!"
What experiences outside of your business study, do you credit for some of your success?
"One thing I always have been interested in is hearing from alumni and professionals to gain insight into their paths, the possible paths out there, and their general advice and knowledge. These speakers and conversations helped me to gain clarity and guidance as to which route I want to take in a professional sense. The value of hearing of peoples' experiences is irreplaceable and unique. Furthermore, a trip that is in conjunction with CBE is Lehigh Silicon Valley (LSV). Although at this point I don't have too much personal exploration into entrepreneurship, LSV allowed me to gain first hand interaction with professionals in Silicon Valley, participate in Q&A sessions, and see so many different fields of work. LSV was an eye opening and rare opportunity that really allowed me to gain real world insight."
Have you found someone within the College of Business and Economics (CBE) to be particularly helpful as you make important decisions?
"Firstly, I'd say all of the upperclassmen students across all of Lehigh are very willing and helpful when asked for advice on academics, careers, or in general. In terms of CBE, the two most helpful people I've experienced are Jamie Pugh and Emily Ford. I've known Jamie Pugh since my freshman year through Women in Business. Since then, Jamie was always very helpful from mentoring, to resumes, to answering any question I had. If she didn't know the answer, she was able to direct me to a handful of other people who did know. Both Jamie and Emily have consistently supported me and gave me the encouragement necessary to continue forward. Emily serves as the new advisor to Women in Business, Jamie's old position. Emily and I's experience has been particularly unique as we both try to learn the role of leading Women in Business. Emily is always ready to help in any way she can. The trust that Emily has implemented in me always allowed me to feel confident in my capabilities and to grow in a professional and mature manner."
Do you see yourself as part of a community that is instrumental to success now and beyond Lehigh?
"The alumni network at Lehigh is amazing and the warmth and guidance you receive from alumni when your reach out is unlike any other. While I was a freshman at Lehigh I had gained connections to a few IBE alumni, both of whom have guided me in an everyday manner and professionally for the past three years. Furthermore, as president for Women in Business, a lot of connections were made to alumni through events and our conference. Every alumnus I've ever spoken to was joyous when I reached out and never failed to offer me any help or leadership. Lehigh alumni and faculty are all very quick to offer their connections and advice in order to help people get a job, opportunity, or a conversation from someone in their desired industry. There are many different types of relationships in the Lehigh community which allows you to expand your horizons throughout the world and across industries."
Are you proud to say that you are from Lehigh? If so, “why?”
"I am very proud to say that I am from Lehigh. Lehigh has enabled me to be confident and have a voice in anything and everything that I set my mind to. Through opportunities at Lehigh I was able to be mentored, serve as a mentor, organize a 200-person conference, speak to many accomplished alumni, travel to unimaginable places, and work in incredible companies. All of the experiences that Lehigh has given me have caused me to be the independent, professional and intelligent leader I am today. These intangible qualities are going to be carried for the rest of my life and I have Lehigh to thank."
What are some of your activities outside of the CBE, and how have they better impacted your college career?
"Outside of the CBE, I am involved in the Gryphon Society and running club. I have served as a Gryphon (Residential Assistant for two years. This current year I am a Gryphon to first-year students in McClintic & Marshall. This has been particularly rewarding and impactful because I have been able to act as a mentor and role-model to 46 freshman girls as they navigate through their first year. This role teaches patience, how to conduct difficult conversations, and understanding of the differences in peoples' experiences and background. Throughout the year, I am able to watch my girls grow in maturity, academically, and professionally while answering any concerns they have along their path. It is a true reward to know that your guidance is valuable to them and that they seek you as one of their first sources of encouragement and advice."
Anything else you would like to add about your Lehigh experiences?
"One element that was a large contribution to my success, and also great advice to freshman is to not spread yourself thin amongst all opportunities, but instead invest all of your time and passion into a few things. I learned this early on in my Lehigh career and decided to devote the majority of my time to Women in Business, the Gryphon Society, and running club. I've held roles as treasurer and now president for Women in Business. Being on an executive board of any club will help you fine tune those skills that are necessary for any career.
As president for Women in Business, I have gained invaluable leadership and management skills. Managing an executive board has taught me how to delegate tasks, run efficient meetings, and communicate clearly. Additionally, my professional communication skills and confidence in my abilities have improved exponentially. There are so many unrecognized skills that need to be learned such as sending professional emails, how to contact a stranger, and being able to conduct a conclusive phone call that are only refined through practice.
The largest learning curve for me as president was the planning of the annual Women in Business Conference. There is no way to fully understand all of the work, time, and effort that goes into planning a 200-person event until you are in that position. In order to create a successful event, I have continuously been contacting adults on campus whether it be event planners, alumni office, catering, or the CBE office. There are so many miniscule details that go into creating an event that need to be considered and that you are entirely responsible for. The beginning phase of planning consisted of reaching out to CEOs, Presidents, and other alumni in amazingly successful positions. All responses I got were positive and encouraging. Once you have your speakers secured, the second phase is more detail oriented such as catering, room setup, timing, and invitations. All of these elements must be near perfect to ensure that it is as successful of an event as possible. Through these numerous experiences, I have learned that the Lehigh community including faculty, students, and alumni are all incredibly willing to help each other in any way possible to ensure the success of all."