Poole Class of 2021 Spotlight: Grace Lasarsky
This spotlight series explores the relationships our graduating students have built during their time at Poole with their fellow classmates, faculty, advisors, career coaches, companies, partners or other people.
Grace Lasarsky, Business Administration
When Poole College Ambassador Grace Lasarsky graduates this May with a degree in business administration and minors in leadership and entrepreneurship, she will take with her days packed full of opportunities to learn and grow both personally and professionally.
While at NC State, Lasarsky participated in the NC State University Scholars Program where she learned the importance of being well-rounded through cultural experiences and non-traditional coursework. She took an active interest in Poole College’s B Corporation Clinic where she was placed in a group with NC State students, Duke students and working professionals and collaborated with HQ Raleigh in order to improve their current processes to be more sustainable and beneficial for their stakeholders.
“This experience exposed me to the idea of ‘Using Business as a Force for Good’ and how much of an impact I can make in my career,” Lasarsky says.
While on campus, Lasarsky also volunteered to serve with the Feed the Pack Food Pantry and SOUL Garden, where her eyes were opened to the difficulties of individuals living with food insecurity – especially those living on a college campus.
However, one of her favorite groups she participated in was the Poole College of Management Ambassadors program, which gave Lasarsky the opportunity to share her love of NC State and Poole College through prospective student events.
“As a Poole Ambassador, I gained experience in the planning and execution of events, and connecting business professionals with current Poole College students,” Lasarsky says. “My favorite part of Poole Ambassadors was spending time with other students who wanted to share their passion for NC State whether it was in between classes or 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Many members of this group were my close friends and I know that we will always have these special memories.”
Reflecting on her time at Poole, Lasarsky says one of her biggest takeaways is, “It is not what you do, but who you do it with.”
“All of my experiences that I so greatly enjoyed would not have been the same if I did not do it side by side with incredible people. Being exposed to different types of people with unique perspectives gave me a completely new view on life,” she explains. “Finding people who have similar passions was beneficial in encouraging what I want to do moving forward. My fellow Poole Ambassadors all care deeply about caring for others, being involved and creating value. I care about these very same things, so it was especially encouraging to spend time with these friends. I am so appreciative that I was pushed to be passionate and make an impact on the lives of others by my fellow ambassadors.”
Those relationships also extend to other members of the Poole community, such as Jennifer Capps, interim assistant vice provost and director of student learning and faculty development for NC State Entrepreneurship, and Bonnie Yarboro, Poole College’s director of admissions.
Jennifer [Capps] was an excellent resource throughout my years at NC State, encouraging me to discover how I can think more creatively in everything that I am involved with.
“During my first semester at NC State, I had the opportunity to take Entrepreneurial Thinking, a course focusing on the entrepreneurial mindset, with Jennifer Capps. I learned that being an entrepreneur does not mean that you have to start your own business, but that you should constantly be thinking of new and innovative processes, no matter your position,” she remembers. “Jennifer was an excellent resource throughout my years at NC State, encouraging me to discover how I can think more creatively in everything that I am involved with. Seeing my excitement for entrepreneurship, she encouraged me to pick up a minor in entrepreneurship. I am so thankful she did because that next summer I was able to study abroad and complete three of my entrepreneurship courses in Adelaide, Australia.”
All combined, Lasarsky says her experiences inside and outside of the classroom provided her with a better understanding of what it takes to be a strong leader who can use an entrepreneurial mindset to push the creative boundaries in traditional business – a skill she hopes will serve her well as she heads to Nashville, Tenn., post-graduation to pursue her master’s in marketing at Vanderbilt University.
“My time at Poole taught me far more than anything a textbook could ever do. My professors genuinely cared about my life and how I can apply what I was learning inside the classroom to the real world. Not only were academics important in Poole College, but cultural and extracurricular activities as well,” she says. “Poole works hard to create well-rounded individuals who are going to make a difference in the world of business. Not only do I feel prepared to produce great work in a business setting, but I am equipped to better understand other people and how their unique perspectives can bring new ideas into the world of business.”