Lauren Lewis first learned about opportunities to shape her future in the College of Business at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln from peer mentors in the DREAMBIG Academy pre-college program. After enrolling with a marketing major, she decided to become a mentor herself, helping underrepresented first-year students create a more inclusive future in business.
The summer before her senior year of high school, she spent the week with DREAMBIG exploring campus and Howard L. Hawks Hall, learning about college life, business majors and resources available at Nebraska Business. Since then, the sophomore from Omaha, Nebraska, established herself as a leader on campus and in the Nebraska Business community. With minors in Clifton Builders management and global leadership, Lewis leads the way by mentoring first-year business students in the Inclusive Business Leaders Program as well as serving on leadership teams for the student organizations Public Relations Student Society of America and Husker Motor Sports.
“Through all my involvements, I have learned greater skills and how to better manage my time and stay organized. I learned from great teachers like Kasey Linde, associate director of the Teaching and Learning Center and program coordinator for Inclusive Business Leaders, and Timothy Hodges, executive director of the Clifton Strengths Institute and assistant professor of practice in management, who inspire me to get where I want to be,” Lewis said.
Linde appreciates Lewis’ guidance of her mentees in Inclusive Business Leaders. The cohort-based program includes business students from diverse backgrounds committed to making the industry and college more inclusive for all. As a mentor, Lewis especially hopes to help create space for more women in business.
“As a peer mentor, Lauren walks students through the challenges of the first year of college by sharing her experiences, connecting students with resources and advocating for them when they might not feel anyone else is in their corner. Lauren has a gift of making people feel valued through the way she listens and follows up. She has a quiet strength about her that makes people feel comfortable and welcome,” Linde said.
To take steps toward her goals, Lewis chose to spend the spring 2022 semester studying at the Institute of American Universities in Barcelona, Spain. As a recipient of the nationally competitive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, Lewis selected the Spain program because it allowed her to intern with an international company, developing her experience in marketing with a global mindset. Her goal is to one day work in marketing for a large international company.
Lewis says her advice for other students looking to make an impact on campus or to create their own futures is to get involved in what interests them.
“You have to put yourself out there and go for what you want. Once you figure out the career path or the things you hope to accomplish, start getting involved with what aligns with that. It’s never too early to start. I would recommend studying abroad. There are scholarships and amazing opportunities to get you where you want to go, you just have to actively look for them,” she said.
Learn more about the DREAMBIG Academy: https://business.unl.edu/dreambig
Inclusive Business Leaders: https://business.unl.edu/prospective-students/future-undergraduates/inclusive-business-leaders/
Business Abroad: https://business.unl.edu/studyabroad