Honors Student Spotlight — Victor Lashley
Victor Lashley meets friends everywhere he goes.
The business marketing major, who recently completed a prestigious ten-week internship with JP Morgan, said he ran into fellow LSU Honors students over the summer — while staying in New York City.
“I saw a familiar girl and thought, ‘There’s just no way,’” he said. “It was interesting to be so far away from home and still find home there.”
But it’s not hard to believe that Lashley can find friends even while a thousand miles from Baton Rouge. The sociable Honors College junior is heavily involved in numerous volunteer organizations, including LASAL, FOCUS, and Honors College Advocates. His composure and knack for public speaking, skills honed by a strong theater background, make him the perfect campus tour guide.
And his positive attitude can’t be missed.
“(Going into my internship), I was willing to accept a negative experience,” he said. “I thought, if I don’t like working for a bank, at least I could cross it off my list of potential career directions; it would still be worthwhile.”
The twenty-year-old Franklin native said his position as a Prime Brokerage Operations Summer Analyst was his first venture into the corporate world. His job entailed citing discrepancies in exchanges between brokers and prime brokerage clients, who had at least one million dollars in equity with the firm.
“I was given a set number of accounts and I was their contact person,” he said. “At first I was a bit uneasy about being entrusted with such high-dollar transactions, but I used that faith as a motivational tool to perform — I wanted to prove them right for trusting me.”
Lashley, who chose business marketing for the personal interaction aspect, said his new inside perspective will have an impact on his future academic decisions.
After working in a real-world financial setting, he felt learning from a textbook would be unfulfilling, so he signed up to take an Honors finance course that offers guest speakers from the industry.
“As Honors College students, we want to do more than just read about (something), we want to talk to somebody who’s done it,” he said.
Lashley said his Honors College experiences often come up in interviews, including those with JP Morgan.
“During the interviews, … they would ask me for a time when I investigated a topic, or made a presentation,” he said. “Many of those (answers) came from class assignments, … FOCUS, or LASAL. I just kept relating it back to the Honors College.”
Focusing on College and Unlimited Success (FOCUS) is a program within the Honors College. It allows high-achieving students from under-resourced high schools to live on-campus and study the arts during a two-week summer camp, put on entirely by FOCUS members such as Lashley.
Louisiana Service and Leadership (LASAL) is another Honors College program where students participate in service and leadership programs specifically for the benefit of Louisiana. Lashley’s class of 2012 was the pilot group for the program.
“I looked at LASAL as an opportunity to commit myself to (service),” he said. “It’s easy to say, ‘I want to be involved’ … I felt like this was a way to make a concrete obligation to make sure that all four years … I would be making an impact in some way to my community.”
One highlight of Lashley’s LASAL experience was when he traveled with three other students to Washington D.C. last year with the National Campaign for Equity and Inclusion, a group which represents the voices of gulf coast residents in policy-making decisions.
“It was absolutely amazing,” he said. “We had meetings with elected officials and were able to share our viewpoints … we definitely felt like our voices were welcomed there.”
Lashley said being an advocate for policy-making gave him a sense of greater opportunities, as well as a greater awareness of the issues facing Louisiana. He said he hopes to find a career that will allow him to give back to the state.
“It opened a window for me — it took my marketing degree outside the context of marketing products and services and I realized that I can become an advocate for anything I feel strongly about,” he said.
In addition to his involvement in FOCUS and LASAL, Lashley participates in the annual Community Bound service project and is a reading buddy with Volunteers in Public Schools. He also serves as a student recruiter in his positions as an Honors College Advocate and as an LSU Liaison.
“There’s no sales pitch, no script, just my personal experiences, which all happened to be positive,” he said.
Lashley said the liberal arts emphasis of the Honors College has balanced his rigorous business degree.
“The Honors College has given me the ability to see a problem, to think critically about it, and then communicate to the appropriate parties what needs to be done,” he said. “Looking at how well rounded my college experience has been (between) the Honors College, and LASAL and LSU … I couldn’t ask for more.”
Story by Elizabeth Clausen, LSU Honors College For more information, contact the Honors College at 225-578-8831
Story by Elizabeth Clausen, LSU Honors College
For more information, contact the Honors College at 225-578-8831