How did Drury prepare you for life after college?
What advice would you give a new Drury student?
How has your liberal arts education helped you?
"Drury was undoubtedly one of the greatest experiences of my life."
When Bonnie Lyons graduated from Drury University in 2012, she accepted a position as an Audit Analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, where Bonnie says she is able to draw extensively from her Drury experiences in her day-to-day professional life.
"Drury was undoubtedly one of the greatest experiences of my life," Bonnie says. "I met so many amazing people during my time there, was given some incredible opportunities, and learned so much, both academically and personally."
While she was a student, Bonnie was involved with the Drury Enactus (formerly SIFE) team, Ambassadors and Student Union Board. She also served as a Resident Assistant in Sunderland Hall, and held on-campus jobs in the Alumni & Development and Marketing & Communication departments.
Of those experiences, Bonnie holds her time on the Enactus team to be especially dear.
"My favorite memory at Drury was anything to do with the Enactus team," she says. "I was fortunate enough to be a member of the presentation team for three years, travel to Belize twice, and meet people who I’m still able to call my very best friends."
Staying Connected to Drury
Even in her position at the Federal Reserve, Bonnie is able to stay connected to the Drury. She leads the Federal Reserve's campus recruiting team at Drury, giving her the opportunity to meet and work with current Drury students who are planning their careers after college.
Her connections to the university don't end there, though. Bonnie credits her liberal arts education with helping prepare her for a successful career.
"I think the greatest benefit of a liberal arts college is the interpersonal skills you gain," Bonnie says. "You’re able to interact with so many different people from very diverse backgrounds in a variety of settings. Learning how to adapt and communicate in those situations while at Drury has helped me the most now in my career. Being a professional hinges on being able to collaborate with all types of people, and even those you might barely know. If you are able to find common ground and shared experiences, those interactions become so much more valuable."
Taking On New Roles
While a student, Bonnie's calendar stayed full. Between her classes, working, and involvement in organizations on campus, Bonnie was able to enjoy a wide spectrum of experiences during college. And now that she's working in the professional world, very little has changed. She's stil just as involved as ever.
"Drury taught me how to identify opportunities and balance a variety of tasks," Bonnie says. "As a student, I was always balancing extracurricular activities, work, and a full course load and those same skills now benefit me in my day-to-day life. In addition to my regular job responsibilities, I’ve also had the opportunity to volunteer on the Bank’s United Way Campaign, partner with Junior Achievement in teaching financial literacy to area students, and give tours of our Money Museum."
The Drury Experience Goes By Quickly
Bonnie's perspective post-graduation may differ from a student just preparing to start their college career. But that perspective has led her to offers some valuable advice to new students about to embark on their own Drury Experience.
"Don’t waste any time!" Bonnie urges. "Four years, or five as the case may be, seems like a long time, but you’ll be graduating before you know it."
And beyond appreciating this part of life, Bonnie tells incoming students to get involved and stay involved to make the most of their experience.
"The Drury Community is so supportive and you’ll stay connected long after you graduate, so don’t pass up any opportunity to get involved," she says. "Whether it’s joining a club or taking an extra ten minutes at lunch to talk with someone you haven’t met before, don’t let any moment go to waste."