Beyond the Bluff: Leigh Lewis ’21

Leigh Lewis ’21
Major: Psychology
Next Steps: gTech Ads Support Specialist at Google

After graduating with a B.A. in psychology, Leigh Lewis looks forward to beginning a career in tech serving small businesses. As a gTech Ad Specialist at Google, Lewis will help clients optimize their digital advertisements to ensure that online business is booming.

Lewis’ internship, as part of Google’s BOLD program, led to this job opportunity. She knew she was interested in a career with the tech giant instantly: “I loved the people I worked with, and I enjoyed being able to help real customers.” Her new role within the company will allow her to collaborate on exciting projects beyond her day-to-day duties, like creating a program that uses machine learning to help answer client questions more efficiently. “I love that I can be in a customer facing role while also having the opportunity to take on technical projects” says Lewis.

While Lewis acquired many technical skills that she’ll use on the job in her computer science minor, her psychology major and and extracurricular activities helped her stand out. “I think that my psychology and liberal arts education have taught me to consider social justice implications of technology in a way that perhaps not everyone in the tech world considers.”

Lewis’ research experience as part of her psychology major also equipped her with the valuable soft skills that employers are looking for: “Working in industry is all about managing time and being willing to learn on the job and work well with others.” Working in a research lab with three other students was especially helpful in developing time management skills. “We shared work and responsibilities and had to learn how to manage our work and our time to improve our team performance. This is exactly what it is like to work in industry: you must get your work done for your team to be able to get its work done.”

In addition to making her a strong candidate for a competitive position, Lewis believes her liberal arts education has enriched her life in non-quantitative ways. “I am a psychology major with a computer science minor, and some of my favorite classes have been in history, theology, literature, business, and philosophy. The fact that I have been able to take courses in so many different disciplines is only possible because LMU is a liberal arts school. I have had the opportunity to work with professors from so many different departments who have helped me learn so much about myself and what I want to do in my life.”

Lewis also has some advice for incoming first-year students: “have an open mind or be willing to have your mind opened, which doesn’t mean saying yes to everything either,” she says. “LMU has a culture of students who are so excited about and willing to get involved in EVERYTHING. I encourage you to join organizations, get jobs and internships, do research, and explore your interests. At the same time, however, your mental health is more important than you may know. It is okay to say no to opportunities when you feel it is necessary. A no can be just as, if not more, important than a yes.”

As for incoming seniors, Lewis implores them to remember: “as cliche as it may sound, appreciate the time you have left because you never know if it will end abruptly and have fun your last year.” Lewis cautions that letting yourself get consumed by developing post-grad plans can get in the way of both. “It is OKAY not to know,” she says. “Don’t allow societal pressures to make you think that you must get the best, highest paying, most productive job right after you graduate. We must remember that all of us who graduate from LMU have some privilege, so make sure you use it to better the world.”