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Leading to success: Lauren Blunier ’12, business major

Posted: Aug 06, 2013

2013-08-06LaurenBlunierAlumna

"My leadership role in Enactus while I was at Olivet prepared me well to lead a large group of people." — Lauren Blunier '12

What’s it like to work for a company with one of the “Top 10 Cool Office Spaces” (Forbes, 3/8/2013) in the country and headed by the country’s most powerful woman in healthcare, Judy Faulkner (Forbes, 5/15/2013)?

After one year on the job, Lauren Blunier ’12 says that she is enjoying her job as a project manager for Epic Systems Corporation, an integrated healthcare software development company. Whether she’s working at her office in Madison, Wis., or with customers on the road — in Tennessee, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Seattle and Chicago — she loves what she does.

Learning curve

During her interview process with Epic in the spring of 2012, Lauren knew she was competing with business majors from some of the top universities in the country. But she was confident that her Olivet education had prepared her well.

Interviewers often commented on how well Lauren tested and performed. “When they asked what school I was from, I had the opportunity to tell them about Olivet,” she says. “Although I’m the only person hired from Olivet so far, I know the company is definitely interested in hiring more Olivetians.”

From her start date in July, 2012, she went through six months of training before she was ever assigned to a customer. “I had to start off not being the expert,” she says. “I had to learn the software, and I have to keep learning. I invest a lot of time in my job now, but I’m also learning skills that I’ll use later in my career.”

Meet the manager

Epic hires a lot of young college graduates, and customers are often surprised when they meet a young project manager like Lauren. She manages 10 people, some who are the same age as her parents, and works on a team of 40.

She is assigned to work with one customer at a time and also provides extra on-site support for other customers. Implementation of the system a customer purchases can take from two to five years.

“My leadership role in Enactus [formerly known as SIFE] while I was at Olivet prepared me well to lead a large group of people,” Lauren says. “On days when I walk into high pressure business situations, I know I can handle it.”

Valuable connections

Putting down roots in a new place has been one of the challenges for Lauren. “I travel a lot for my job, so I have to be really intentional about getting plugged in,” she says. “This is a big change from dorm life, where we all lived so close together.” To give her life more balance with a community outside of work, she joined a young adult small group at the church she attends.

What advice does Lauren have for new graduates who are entering the workforce? “Work for a company that’s going to invest in you because you’re going to invest a lot of time with them. Find an environment, a culture that you can buy into. Aim high, and keep stretching yourself. Getting the job isn’t the goal. Doing a better job every day and giving 110 percent is the real goal.”
 
10

Percentage of Olivet freshmen who achieved ACT composite scores of 30 or higher (4% achieve this nationally)