Luke Young '15

Luke YoungMajor: Biology
Hometown: Lower Burrell, PA

Describe your current job role:

I manage projects for my company’s environmental and supply chain optimization teams. This involves project management duties, but also requires a working knowledge of supply chain and environmental regulations.

What professional experience(s) did you have prior to your current job role?

I served in the Marine Corps for four years and participated in humanitarian and combat operations. I’ve worked with FEMA in Louisiana, post-Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and evacuated American citizens from Beirut, Lebanon during the Israeli-Hezbollah war, 2006. 

What do you know now that you wish you had known about being a working professional?

As a student I found myself very attracted to designer label professions. Romanticizing, at times, being a doctor or lawyer or FBI agent. A job with a title that people immediately recognize as an authority, intelligent, and compensated with a great salary. Now that I have a job out of necessity, I’ve found that even gas stations can be fascinating. In short, I wouldn’t have obsessed about a job with flashy credentials and I would have realized purpose and fulfillment can come in many forms.

"Always ask questions and challenge the status quo."

How did PBA prepare you for the world of work?

PBA’s small professor to student ratio facilitates student interaction with faculty from varied backgrounds in research and industry. This helped me to make informed decisions about the paths I’d take after graduation. The liberal arts education was influential because I became curious about other disciplines aside from my major and have continued a cross-functional curiosity in business. PBA inspired me to advocate and voice my beliefs. As a student, I co-founded a military veteran group and advocated for veteran reforms. Witnessing the receptiveness to embrace these reforms by PBA’s faculty and staff was an early success that I often look back to for encouragement in times where I’m unsure to speak up.

What advice would you give to current PBA students and/or young alumni who are about to start their first professional full-time job?

Always ask questions and challenge the status quo. Someone’s been doing the same procedure for 10 years, why haven’t they changed? Ask questions to gain a different opinion from another department or someone that is new and has a fresh outlook. Doing so will expand your understanding, grow your network and help you find opportunities.

Have you been mentored by anyone in your professional field since entering the workforce? If so, what impact has that had on you? 

I have. It’s a great way to develop a relationship with another person, learn from them and be accountable. It’s helped me calibrate my own perspectives. We all have habits and biases that aren’t unearthed until we hear a different perspective.

Spotlight posted in May 2018. For more information about Luke, visit his LinkedIn page.