The Future Is Elizabeth Perry: The Student Helping Organizations Be Socially Responsible

Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Perry.

Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Perry.

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July 20, 2024 at 6:19AM UTC
Elizabeth Perry, a junior at University of Connecticut studying Business Management, noticed that most case competitions at her school were done with large corporations. In an effort to assist local nonprofits, she organized the school's annual Social Responsibility Case Competition. She says the program both educates students and provides free resources to nonprofits that need them. 
We spoke to Perry about her competition, the female mentor who helped her launch the project (and her career) and the largest challenge she's faced in school: being displaced for about a month after a serious flooding of her home. Perry also shared her best advice for young women who want to get involved and get the most out of their university experience. She says it all starts with finding women who build you up.
How are you making an impact on your school or local community?

I try to make an impact through organizing events with my department, specifically the annual Social Responsibility Case Competition. Each year, I partner with a local nonprofit in need to write a case pertaining to their specific challenges, and then organize groups of students to present applicable, feasible solutions to the company.

What made you passionate about the project or role that's allowing you to make a difference?

A lot of the time, case competitions at colleges are done with large corporations. I saw that there was a lack of attention being paid to nonprofits, and wanted to give students a new experience and nonprofits a type of free quasi-consulting.

How did you get in this position? Were you elected, selected, or did you start the project yourself? What steps did you take to fulfill this role? Did you study something specific, join this club first year, etc.

I developed a connection with my department head early on in my academic career. I had previous experience with Model United Nations, as well as organizing case competitions. So, when she was contacted by a nonprofit for help, she gave me this project and I've been doing it for over two years now.

What other activities, projects, or jobs do you do at school? Spill your resume!

I'm currently the co-founder of a start up and vice president of the Business Management Society. In the past, I was the president of the Business Connections Learning Community and a teaching assistant for a professional development class.

What is an accomplishment you're proud of?

I'm incredibly proud of being a two time Babbidge Scholar, which means I've had a 4.0 GPA for all of my freshmen, sophomore and junior years. 

What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?

This past semester, my apartment flooded and I had to live out of a hotel and move around a lot while trying to complete my studies. I was displaced for around a month. Although it was one of the hardest experiences I've had so far in my life, it taught me how to care for myself in ways I never had to before, and it also taught me how to balance a crazy personal life with academic work. Thankfully, it all worked out in the end!

What advice do you have for women who want to make a difference at their school?

Get involved as soon as you possibly can and find a mentor. If it wasn't for my strong female mentor, it would have taken me a lot longer to figure out what I wanted to do, as well as how I wanted to do it.

Who is YOUR Fairygodboss? Why?

My Fairygodboss is my department head. Without her, I would not have the confidence in my work that I do today. By pushing me and supporting me, she has taught me that I can achieve things that I never imagined were possible.

Lightning Round: What's Your Karaoke Song?

"Just a Friend."

Lightning Round: What's Your Favorite Book?

"The Great Gatsby."

Lightning Round: What's Your Favorite Movie?

"Molly's Game."

Lightning Round: What's Your Favorite Quote?

"Don't feel bad for making decisions that upset other people. You're not responsible for their happiness, you're responsible for yours."

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