Transition Time - Erika Lowe '09
When alumna Erika Lowe '09 graduated with a degree in business administration, she was still unsure about what she wanted to do in the business world. She soon got a job with General Electric Healthcare and joined their Financial Management Program (FMP).
It turns out to have been the best decision she could have made. FMP is a rotational program with six-month rotations in various businesses within GE Healthcare. Currently, Lowe works with Monitoring Solutions as a financial analyst driving report simplification, providing base cost support, and performing various types of financial analysis.
Lowe is putting her finance concentration and math minor to work for her. And she is learning a lot about the business world. “Through FMP I have been able to get a good feel for the opportunities available to me, what I like and don’t like, and what I might pursue in the future,” she says. Lowe has also built a network of contacts, which will benefit her in future career moves.
The transition from Saint Mary’s to the working world was made easier for Lowe thanks to a personal finance course she took senior year. The class is intended to help seniors about to enter the “real world” make smart financial decisions.
“Graduating college is kind of a rude awakening, especially the financial aspect,” says Lowe. “One minute you are a student supported by your parents and the next minute you’ve got bills to pay, healthcare decisions to make, investing in a 401K, learning to budget, etc. This class helped to ease the transition and prepare me for all the future investment decisions.”
Lowe left Saint Mary’s with the knowledge and the confidence she needed to make her way in the world. “Technical skills are important, however, it is your personal skills that take you places,” says Lowe, who focuses on building relationships in the workplace and in her community.
Her business professors, notably Richard Measell, Mike Robinson, and Jill Vihtelic, modeled the skill of relationship building for her in the classroom and they inspired her to want to make a positive difference in the world.
As a student, Lowe contributed to campus life and the community through the Residence Hall Association, the Student Academic Council, Dance Marathon, and several other organizations. Now, she volunteers through her company for a variety of organizations including Ronald McDonald House, the Hunger Task Force, and the Multiple Sclerosis Walk.
Lowe is still learning about what it means to be a businesswoman but she feels prepared for her next step, whenever the time comes to make a move. “Saint Mary’s taught me confidence, hard work, attitude, and strength,” she says. With those skills she’ll be ready for the next transition, whatever it may be.