LSB Newsletter Summer 2013

We’ve all experienced the Lawrence difference; the small classes and the close relationships with professors have afforded us the opportunity to explore a wide range of interests and to grow intellectually.  These experiences have been key in helping each of us build careers in an ever changing and challenging economy. 

However, the environment for college graduates is becoming more challenging.  News statistics indicate that over 50% of college graduates are unemployed or underemployed in their first year after college.  (Don’t want them to think 50% is the % for LU) Employers are expecting students to be both well rounded and able to think constructively in a work environment.  Add to this the fact that today’s graduates can expect to have 12 – 15 jobs in their work life and you have a work environment that is ever more challenging.

In this new economy it’s important that universities like Lawrence not only build a depth of academic and intellectual maturity, but also provide insights to help students prepare for the workforce.  It is with this purpose in mind that Lawrence launched the Lawrence Scholars in Business program (LSB) in 2005. 

What is LSB and how you can help

LSB:  Lawrence Scholars Program is an alumni-mentoring program that provides opportunities for current students to learn from and network with alumni who have been successful in their fields.  Each year the program hosts several on-campus events and off-campus trips that help prepare students now (there’s an extra space which I couldn’t delete) for life after Lawrence.
At on-campus events students have the opportunity to hear from alumni panelists, work through case studies, participate in mock interviews and hone their resumes.  Off-campus trips give students the chance to visit alumni in their place of employment providing a “behind-the-scenes” look at different career paths.  Additionally the program helps students with summer internships so they can get the hands on experience that is so important when finding a job. 

Over the years the program has continued to grow in both engagement of the students and the breadth of industries and jobs to which the students are exposed.  However, we are seeking to do more.  Our goal is to expand the network of alumni who are willing to meet with students to share their insights and experiences, to host visits by students, or to interview students for possible summer internships.  

If you are interested in being a part of the LSB network, or simply staying in touch with the progress of the program please reply to this note. 

To understand the impact that the program is having, here are comments from two Lawrence students who benefited from the program: 

Xiang (Michelle) Li ’12

My summer internship at Värde Partners was an amazing journey; it opened up a view of the professional world beyond the classroom, it helped me to build positive relationships with my colleagues and Lawrence alumni, but most importantly, it made me realize how empowered I am by my liberal arts education at Lawrence when facing the “real” world beyond graduation.

As a scholarship recipient of the LSB program, I had the opportunity to work closely with many of the LU alumni who made the program possible and successful.  Through the help of folks like Bob Perille ’80 and Jason Spaeth ’92 and their guidance I was able to secure the internship at Värde, a distressed debt hedge fund. 

The LSB program helped me realize how the on-campus LSB seminars and the internship along with my education at LU complement each other.  At my internship, I was thrilled to learn about both hedge funds in general and the unique distressed debt business that Värde does every day.  At the same time I realized that my liberal arts education at Lawrence definitely played an important role during my internship.  Lawrence helped me to be a better problem solver and a more efficient communicator.  Additionally the liberal arts experience of moving among different subjects, both in and out of our comfort zones, and the constant challenge to see issues from different angles and to find patterns and connections among disparate subjects and concepts played a key role in my success.  It was amazing to see how the “real world” skills needed in business are actually practiced in classrooms at Lawrence University.

Looking back, I cannot appreciate the LSB program more.  Today I am working as a Financial and Operational Analyst in a media company in Denver, and I know it was the LSB program that prepared me to thrive in the real world.  I simply could not be who I am or where I am today without all the effort that so many alumni, professors, faculty members, and students have put into this program.

Katlin Richter ’11

I owe a great deal of my success to the LSB program.  As a junior majoring in Oboe Performance and German, I was selected as a scholarship recipient in the area of orchestra management – perhaps not the “typical” career field of an LSB candidate, but nevertheless the LSB program welcomed me with open arms and provided the impetus and means to develop my thinking about and acting on career planning long before graduation day.

It was truly the tireless efforts of LSB alumni mentors that, by my senior year, positioned me to succeed in the interview process at Deloitte Consulting.  From the very beginning of my scholarship, Bob Perille ’80 mentored me, first discussing a plan for achieving my dream of someday being the executive at a major American orchestra – which included exploring new pathways for learning that I had not previously considered, for example, the fast-paced and diverse field of management consulting.  Bob then helped me secure informational and practice interviews with professionals in the field to begin building a network and to hone my interview skills.  Additionally, at the annual LSB Management Consulting Summit I learned about the career field directly from current professionals and interacted with them one-on-one for personal career advising and to practice solving case studies with their guidance.  This experience helped me to prepare for the case study portion of the interview process at Deloitte Consulting, where I received a job offer in Fall 2011.  Throughout the application process, these alumni were extremely generous in advising on summer internship choices (thanks to Jonathan Bauer ’83, editing resumes, prepping for phone-screens, and even making a late-night ‘pep’ phone call right before my Deloitte interview (thanks, Yang Hu ’10.  As a ‘non-campus’ hire at Deloitte Consulting, having the opportunity to connect with and work with Jonathan was absolutely essential for me to gain access to the recruiting process at the firm.  And once I was granted an interview, I was ready to show what I could do, thanks to my preparation through the LSB program!

Looking back on my Lawrence career, the LSB program was extremely influential in guiding me to where I am today by helping me to apply my LU education in a practical way.  I look forward to seeing where LSB will take me next...Deloitte, business school, and beyond!

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