A rising STAR in the business world
Liliana Lopez came to Indiana University Northwest because of the proximity to her family but stayed for the community and variety of opportunities within the School of Business and Economics. At the start of her time on campus, Lopez struggled with imposter syndrome. Soon after, she traded that anxiety for confidence.
As she gears up to earn her degree in business administration with a minor in human resource management, Lopez looks back on her time at IU Northwest with gratitude, especially when it comes to the STARS (Students Together Achieving & Reaching Success) Peer Mentoring Experience Program.
Lopez said the program made a huge difference over the years, most importantly connecting her with a like-minded community. “STARS helped me become a prepared college student, so when my third year came around, I was ready to become a mentor,” she said. “This, in turn, helped a lot with my own confidence. I was not only able to get through my own college journey but also help others on theirs.”
If there’s just one place where Lopez can offer her peers expertise, it’s finding and succeeding at internships. Her first position was with Peoples Bank, where she learned to apply the concepts she learned in the classroom. After that, Lopez felt ready to move on to something bigger.
“I did my own research on companies in the Chicagoland area and struck gold when I got an opportunity with TTX Company,” Lopez said. “I would soon be leading their entire internship program, doing a full cycle of recruiting and learning much more about talent development.”
Upon graduating, Lopez will already have a year-and-half’s worth of professional experience, not to mention a membership to the exclusive business honor society, Beta Gamma Sigma.
Her key to success? Networking and making connections.
Lopez credits her advisor, Helen Harmon, as one her biggest supporters and the one who connected her with her first internship. “If you're not putting yourself out there or being involved, there is very little chance that you will make connections with and learn from others,” Lopez said.
While at IU Northwest, she made a specific effort to attend as many events as possible and try several clubs. Before long, she found Student Support Services, which offered her another slew of opportunities.
“Student Support Services has provided me with the tools and resources I needed to succeed and earn my degree,” Lopez said. “I've been able to meet new people, go on cultural and educational trips, as well as make connections with more IU Northwest staff members that truly care for my future.”
And that future looks just as bright as the stars in the night sky. After a post-graduation trip to Mexico, Lopez is ready to hit the ground running, pursuing a career in recruiting and talent development. Her aim is to use her knowledge to create positive change in her community and help people reach their goals through career advancement.
Lopez believes that success is all about what you put into it. Though she once dealt with imposter syndrome, she’s now a shining star. “This will sound cheesy, but believe in yourself,” Lopez said. “You got yourself here, and you should be proud of that. You’ve made it.”