Major: Marketing • Class: 2016 • Hometown: Newbury Park, CA
Lauren Konrath knows firsthand the challenges that military veterans face when they come to college. That’s why she goes out of her way to help ease the transition for others.
Konrath, who served for four years on the USS Stockdale and is now on the Dean’s List at Loyola, works in the University’s office of Military Veteran Student Services. In her role as undergraduate program assistant, she serves as an advocate for fellow veterans and gives them a voice on campus.
Here, she talks about her initial trip to Loyola, the camaraderie aboard a Navy destroyer, and where she sees herself 10 years from now.
What’s your favorite Loyola memory?
It has to be the first time I visited the campus. I had already been accepted and flew out here from California with a close friend of mine who was also a Loyola alum. Her enthusiasm for the school already had my expectations high, but when I stepped on campus and spoke with the faculty, staff, and other students, I could see what all the hype was about.
Talk a little about a professor or mentor who inspired you.
Anita Lumpkin, who is the coordinator of Military Veteran Student Services office, has been a big inspiration during my short time at Loyola. Her story alone is inspirational, and I am fortunate enough to have her guidance in not only my academic life but also in my transition to Chicago. She has taught me the importance of selfless service through all she does for the veteran students at Loyola.
You served in the Navy before coming to Loyola. What was it like going from military life to a college campus?
Transitioning from life onboard a destroyer to a college campus was more difficult than I had anticipated. The most challenging part was leaving behind the stability and security that the military offers and coming into a life where all decisions are my own. While I miss the camaraderie of ship life, I am finding that support in fellow students and faculty members on campus.
How has your involvement in student organizations or service work helped shape you as a person?
Working in the office of Military Veteran Student Services has taught me that I enjoy helping and advocating on behalf of others. Student veterans need a voice on campus, and I am willing and able to be that voice. As I continue to grow as a student and a person, I realize it is important to have a passion and a purpose. Working in the MVSS has given me both.
What do you think differentiates Loyola from other universities?
The students. Loyola students have the unique ability to be aware of the world around them and to look outside of themselves. This is evident in their efforts to overcome environmental issues through research as well as through the volunteer work they do for the surrounding community.
And finally, what do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?
I hope to be applying all I have learned in and outside of the classroom at Loyola in a fulfilling career in a progressive and international business. My goal is to continue the efforts of women such as Sheryl Sandberg and Marillyn Hewson who have already paved the way for women in the business world.