Ali Swenson: LMU Valedictorian joins award-winning digital learning company

LMU's 2016 Valedictorian and former The Los Angeles Loyolan Editor-in-Chief, Ali Swenson, will be putting her journalistic know-how to good use as a content editor for Sonoma-based digital learning company, StudySync, creating content for its digital curriculum.

The psychology major and business/journalism double minor says she interned for the company, which is the flagship product of BookheadEd Learning LLC and a partner of McGraw-Hill Education, the summer after her sophomore year and has been freelancing ever since.

"I think journalism is a great way to educate students," the Seattle native said. "Ever since I've worked for The Loyolan, I've known that informing the public was something I wanted to integrate into my career."

Currently, Ali is interning with the Op-Ed department at the Los Angeles Times, managing social media content and producing stories for the web, and plans to continue freelancing after the internship concludes.

The Jesuit ideals inherent in an LMU education were not something Ali says she was too familiar with prior to college, but since have taught her much about what she wants from her life and career.

"LMU has really propelled me forward," Ali said, "and I would not be where I am today without it and all its unique qualities."

She added that she owes much of her success to the people she has met at LMU, who have provided avenues for growth and accomplishment, such as her friend and mentor Tom Nelson, Director of Student Media for The Loyolan, who she regards highly.

"LMU is full of people that are interesting, inspiring, willing to help you," Ali said. "I've found that the most important thing about college is building relationships."

In addition to her work at The Loyolan, Ali is a Rains Research Scholar (Psychology department). She is also a member of: Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit honor society; Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology; the LMU Honors program; and Pi Beta Phi sorority.

A particular highlight of her LMU experience, she says, was participating in a semester study abroad program in London, interning for a youth media charity.

Looking to the future, Ali can see grad school as a real possibility and hopes she is able to make a difference in people's lives by telling the stories that need to be told.

As for what advice she has for incoming Lions?

"Cherish your time on the bluff," Ali said. "It goes faster than you think."