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Student Blogger: Lesley Gwam on Embracing Diversity at Anderson

About Lesley: Prior to Anderson, Lesley Gwam (‘20) was a practicing attorney in Chicago. Her MBA focus is media and entertainment, and she is currently interning at Universal Music Latin Entertainment. In her spare time, Lesley enjoys running and cooking (the two are directly related).

What advice would you give attendees for having an awesome experience at Embracing Diversity?

Talk to everyone! Even if everyone you meet doesn’t end up being your classmate, you can still use the opportunity to expand your professional network and make new friends who value diversity as much as you do. 

When did you know you wanted to come to Anderson? 

I knew I wanted to come to business school to pivot from insurance litigation to entertainment partnerships; so naturally I only looked at schools in New York and Los Angeles. I did not hesitate to attend Embracing Diversity, and I knew Anderson was for me the second I stepped on campus. The then-students were incredibly warm, the speakers were compelling, and Anderson’s resources (especially in entertainment) were plentiful. The sunny skies in late November didn’t hurt either! 

What’s surprised you about Anderson so far?

The collaborative culture. I read about it online and heard about it from students as a prospective student, but it wasn’t until I actually enrolled at Anderson that I understood how deeply embedded collaboration is in the Anderson culture. As someone who does not come from a quantitative background, I was very moved by the actions of many of my classmates who took time out of their busy schedules to help me grasp course concepts. The collaborative culture isn’t limited to academics, however, as it is not rare to see students preparing for interviews together, even for the same role at times. 

What opportunities have you taken on to promote diversity at Anderson?

The first club I joined at Anderson was the Black Business Students Association (BBSA), in which I served as a first year director of partnerships, a role which required me to work with other student clubs to host programming centered on diversity. This year I am a co-President of BBSA and our board will continue to host diversity centered workshops as well as professional workshops for our members and allies and a robust Black History Month celebration with both educational and social events.

Student Blogger: Lesley Gwam ’20

Pre-MBA: Insurance litigation

Undergrad: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Leadership@Anderson: Co-President, Black Business Students Association; VP of Music, Entertainment Management Association; Co-Host, Andercast

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