To say Keviana-Joy George had a productive summer between her junior and senior years of college would be an understatement.
One week after wrapping up her finals in May, the Manning School of Business student was in Louisiana working with disaster relief nonprofit All Hands Volunteers to help flood victims rebuild their homes. The trip was part of a three-credit course called Organizational Behavior in Action led by visiting professor Olga Tines.
Back on campus, George then took part in the Manning School’s three-credit Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation program, where she collaborated with students from India, China and Japan.
All that before the Fourth of July.
“It was a great summer,” says George, a business administration major with concentrations in marketing and management. “Not only was I able to complete two courses in one month, but I got out of my comfort zone and had some amazing experiences.”
Working as a resident assistant for the Global Entrepreneurship program, George made fast friends with several of the students from India staying in the UML dorms. She’s now hoping to visit them in their country.
“I didn’t know if I’d connect with anyone in the program, but that turned out to be the best experience of my life,” says George, a Woburn native who transferred to UMass Lowell in 2016 after earning her associate’s degree from Bunker Hill Community College.
A first-generation college student, George says she was “shy and introverted” when she arrived on campus. Judging from her extracurricular activities, those adjectives no longer apply. She is president of the Management Society and a member of the Marketing Club, the Finance Society, the Real Estate Network Association and S.I.S.T.E.R.S. (Sisters of Integrity Striving Towards Empowerment, Respect and Success).
“I want to get everything I possibly can out of the Manning School of Business before I graduate,” she says. “I want to make as many connections as I can with students, professors and the dean.”
George accomplished that last part through her work-study job as an assistant in Dean Sandy Richtermeyer’s office. Richtermeyer was so impressed by George that she recommended her for an administrative assistant role her senior year in the Office of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity and Outreach.
George is now eyeing a full-time role in the HR office after she graduates – along with a master’s degree from the Manning School.
“I feel like I’m part of the community at UMass Lowell,” says George, who credits the supportive atmosphere created by Management Dept. Chair Stuart Freedman. She counts Tines, visiting instructor Elissa Magnant and lecturers Michael Beers and Ralph Jordan among her favorite faculty members.
“My professors know my name and know my face. They really do care,” George says. “My professors gave me that push and showed me that I am capable as long as I set my mind to it.
“Looking back, I literally thank God every day that I came to UMass Lowell. I never expected to be president of the Management Society. I didn’t think I’d have a chance to work in HR. I never expected to be in this position.”