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Lauren Cornish '15 Connects with New Hampshire Leaders at Workshop

Busy with her commitments to sports, campus organizations, volunteerism and schoolwork, Business Administration student Lauren Cornish '15 can barely fit anything else into her packed schedule. Despite this, Cornish managed to find the time this semester to attend Leadership New Hampshire's two-day workshop in Manchester, Leadership College, where she learned of the Granite State's career opportunities.

In creating Leadership College, former Governor John Lynch hoped to retain graduates as new workers in New Hampshire by establishing mentor relationships and building a network among the state's student leaders. Now in its second year, the program invited 27 students from 16 New Hampshire colleges and universities to meet and network with many of the state's elected officials, business leaders and career counselors.

Some of the diverse and distinguished companies represented at the workshop included Fidelity Investments, The Timberland Company, Stonyfield Farm, Bikram Yoga Manchester and Dynamic Network Services, Inc. The first day of the program had students meeting the state's young entrepreneurs during the reception, followed by a day of panel discussions and a series of 20-minute mentoring sessions.

Pubali Campbell, owner and director of Bikram Yoga Manchester, shared with students her experience as a young woman in the business world, emphasizing the need to take risks in order to succeed in a competitive environment. Jeremy Hitchcock, chief executive officer of Dynamic Network Services Inc., which hosted the event, told of how he gradually became a top business leader a mere decade after graduating from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

These stories inspired Cornish, who was impressed with the drive and success of such young and relatable businesspeople. “It was a really great experience,” she explains, particularly grateful for the networking opportunities available at the workshop. “If I hadn't gone, I would have never met these people and made these connections. Someone even offered to write my recommendation letter for law school!”

Law school represents only a fraction of Cornish's ambition, a quality that certainly contributed to her invitation to the program by Dean of Students Dave Sauerwein. Students were nominated and selected by their respective institutions on the basis of their demonstrated achievement, community and campus leadership, and background qualifications, making Cornish an ideal candidate.

When she has time away from schoolwork, she fills it by playing on Colby-Sawyer's tennis team and serving several campus organizations. Her positions include secretary of the Class of 2015, treasurer of the Community Service Club, and director of marketing for the newly formed Residence Hall Association.

Additionally, Cornish is currently creating an on-campus thrift store, an extension of a project for her Sustainable Organizations course. She also volunteers as a mentor for a Kearsarge Elementary fifth-grader, whom she has lunch with every week.

Clearly, Cornish's drive and dedication is paving the path toward a professional career, and the Leadership College program has given her some excellent guidance. “You can't just go to school and do your homework,” Cornish says. “You have to get out there and network with people if you want to get a job.”

Further, the Leadership College enlightened Cornish, originally from Austin, Tex., with a new perspective on New Hampshire's professional opportunities. “There's so much going on in New Hampshire, and I never realized that until now,” she explains. “This program put New Hampshire on the map for me. At first, I thought I was just going to get my undergraduate degree here, and that would just be a chapter in my life. Now that I've seen all these opportunities, I can see New Hampshire as being a good place to live and work.”

Wherever she decides to live and work, Cornish will be certain to bring along her brand of work ethic, community involvement and reinvigorated leadership skills.

-David Hart '13

David Hart is a Media Studies major at Colby-Sawyer College and a student writer for College Communications.

Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire.

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000