Wings student Valerie Lawrence, ’17, came to Meredith with an abundance of life experience, having served in the U.S. Navy. She was ready to take on a new challenge of earning her bachelor’s degree, and researched a number of colleges and universities in the area. She was particularly struck by the images of strong women she saw associated with Meredith, so she decided to explore further.
“From the moment I visited the Meredith College website, I knew this is where I belonged. Particularly, I was inspired by Meredith’s focus on helping women develop into strong leaders in their community.”
When Valerie joined the Meredith community, she knew that she wanted to become involved, but she wasn’t sure where. A business administration major, she ultimately decided on several organizations associated with the School of Business, including the Meredith Accounting and Finance Association, Society for Human Resource Management, and Student Business Advisory Board.
Her most significant involvement, however, came as a Broyhill Business Fellow, an organization that fosters leadership and professional development for business students. She particularly enjoyed visiting several corporations in the Triangle area.
“We received invaluable career advice and mentoring from executives and other key leaders,” said Valerie. “I found those exchanges to be most beneficial to gaining first-hand knowledge and understanding of their corporate culture, organizational strategies, and operations.”
Though her college career has been exceptional, it was not without bumps. Valerie recalled a semester that was particularly difficult because of personal challenges she was facing – she even considered leaving college because she felt so overwhelmed. When she shared her concerns, she found herself supported on every side by faculty and staff, who helped her push through the difficult time.
“My ordeal reminded me that none of us should be hesitant to ask for help – just don’t be surprised at how tremendously devoted and vested your rescuers are about helping you to overcome your challenges.”
For Valerie, the connections she’s made in the business community have been some of the most valuable aspects of her education. She gained first-hand experience through an internship with Credit Suisse in the summer of 2016, working in a technical support role with the Global Support Desk team.
She clearly made an impression during her internship, as she was hired as a full-time technology analyst with Credit Suisse, a job she will assume after graduation.
“The level of networking here at Meredith is off the charts. In my first semester, I became acquainted with just how these strong connections facilitate opening many doors that lead to your success.”
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