The Sum of Success
The road from LMU is paved with good intentions and even better outcomes – just ask Class of 2019’s Elena Garcia, who is cruising towards a position at Big Four global services firm KPMG. The San Diego native is set to park it in their IT Audit and Assurance department, where she will be tasked with analyzing their internal controls and IT systems.
Elena’s swift transition from student to young professional is on the heels of a successful internship with the firm, but she credits the skills and global perspective acquired on LMU’s campus for making her a standout in the eyes of employers.
“LMU revealed to me the joys of working for a higher purpose,” Elena said, who double-majored in Accounting and AIMS (Applied Information Management Systems). “No matter where life leads me professionally, I plan to continue living out LMU’s commitment to social justice and and be involved in my community.”
The recipient of a 2019 LMU McKay Award for Service and Leadership, Elena was a regular on the campus community service scene, most notably helping to lead an LMU Alternative Breaks Program trip to Cuba to explore the country’s history, politics and art.
LMU’s Alternative Breaks Program promotes hands-on, community based learning through service and cultural exchange while challenging students to think critically about the social conditions and root causes of problems existing in diverse contexts. Sponsored by the LMU Center for Service and Action, our open-minded Lions have ventured to such far-reaching locales as Ghana, Morocco, Belize and Haiti.
Elena also participated in two faith-based immersion trips to Tijuana, Mexico through the LMU De Colores program. Rooted in the values of accompaniment, solidarity and community, De Colores inspires students to leave the comforts of home behind (yes, even cell phones) and experience reality from a different perspective; one in which they have the opportunity to transformatively impact change through such efforts as helping to build a home for a local family in need.
These types of volunteerism and community-based programs are embedded in LMU’s DNA. It is with Lion pride that LMU currently ranks No. 3 in the nation for “Students Most Engaged in Community Service,” according to The Princeton Review (2019).
Recruited by LMU Athletics to run cross country and track, Elena says she appreciated the university’s quaint size and reputation for dedicated professors; something she experienced first-hand.
“The professor who nominated me for the McKay Award for Service and Leadership came to the ceremony just to support me,” Elena said. “It was really cool to have someone invested in my success and rallying behind me. The professors at LMU really do wish their students the best in everything that they do.”
Outside of her coursework and athletic commitments, Elena was involved in a number of campus pursuits, including the Ignatians Service Organization, Tower Yearbook, the LMU Accounting Society and Beta Gamma Sigma, the international business honor society.
With such successful outcomes, what advice does Elena have for future Lions?
“Get involved as much as you can,” she said. “Joining one community at LMU connects you to so many others.”