Internships helped Lauren Steinitz ’08 launch her career; she’s now helping today’s students to benefit Twitter
By Kevin Gray
As a senior manager at Accenture in San Francisco, Lauren Steinitz ’08 enjoys innovating with clients as they rotate to the digital economy.
The foundation for her career rests in part on the internships she had as a student at CBS, IBM, a nonprofit, and in social work.
“I saw taking a variety of internships as an opportunity to gain experience and find out what I liked and what I didn’t,” Steinitz says. “I used that as a way to inform what I wanted to pursue. I found that IBM was the place where I wanted to launch my career.
“By the time I got to junior- and senior-year recruiting, I had a pretty informed view of what I wanted, why I thought my experience was relevant, and what kinds of questions I would get asked.”
Steinitz received the offer she hoped for and began her career as a consultant at IBM Global Business Services in Philadelphia.
To enable more students to receive career boosts, Steinitz has provided financial support to Lafayette’s Bossak/Heilbron Internship Fund. It’s one of many funds supported by alumni, parents, and friends of the College that enable students to serve unpaid or low-paid summer internships. Last year, the fund supported Caroline Beneville ’20 at NYU’s Center for Genomics & Systems Biology in New York City; Ali Ehsan ’18 at the Yunus Centre in Dhaka, Bangladesh; Catherine Futterman ’20 at UPenn’s New Bolton Animal Hospital in Kennett Square, Pa.; and Frankie Illuzzi ’20 at PBS TV station WLVT in Bethlehem, Pa.
Along with the internships, Steinitz points to the foundation of critical thinking and problem-solving she developed at Lafayette as a catalyst for her career success.
“Lafayette taught me how to think, evaluate the world around me, and pursue my passions fully,” she explains. “It taught me to follow through with what I cared about. That has served me well throughout my career.
“It became clear to me very early on in my experiences with Lafayette that the magic of our college couldn’t be captured on a page. It was a culture. Lafayette inspired me to aspire. And for me it was a no-brainer to invest in the next generation of aspirations much like alumni before me have done.”
Steinitz felt motivated to donate to honor the tradition of altruism her family established, most notably through its foundation that focuses on supporting and advancing the arts.
“I also felt compelled to do so because Lafayette has given so much to me at every turn, even post-college,” Steinitz says. “I feel strongly that we should give back to those who have given to us. I hope for this to be a long-standing tradition.”
Steinitz, who grew up in Seattle, double majored in economics & business and psychology. As an EXCEL Scholar, she conducted research on covert prejudices with Ann McGillicuddy-DeLisi, professor of psychology. She also completed an honors thesis under the guidance of Susan Averett, Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics, on the effects of risky behavior in college students and its impact on later life success.
“I was inspired by Susan’s passion, world-renowned expertise, and her ability to teach me how to apply rigor to understand a problem statement,” says Steinitz. “We did find significant results, and I learned how to present analysis in a compelling manner at various conferences and to get my thesis approved. I use many of these lessons in my everyday life. Most of all, the experience was extremely fun! We had a lot of laughs, and I learned a ton.”
Outside the classroom, Steinitz enjoyed activities such as dance, peer mentoring, and Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
Steinitz remains connected to Lafayette by attending events like Wine 3/9 in Napa to celebrate the College’s founding and the Lafayette-Lehigh football game. She also group chats with her best friends from college almost daily.
“We all were fully engaged in the Lafayette experience,” Steinitz says. “My friends were involved in different activities. Some of them overlapped, but whether it was the dance team, sorority, Division I sports, student government, or EXCEL research, each of us had three or four significant commitments beyond studies that we were fully engaged in.
“We all were very supportive of everyone just exploring what they cared about and doing it to the best of their ability. That culture is what I found most exciting. You had coaches and teachers and mentors and friends who cared about the same thing: doing well.”