A compelling drive to give back

Jenny Lai '05

Jenny Lai '05

Business and Planning Analyst, The Boeing Company
Everett, Washington

My experience at Puget Sound was more than I had imagined. I co-founded a musical theater club, which helped me develop leadership skills and connect with a community of friends who had similar interests. I established great relationships with wonderful professors—I still keep in touch with several of them. And I made some of my best friends at Puget Sound, lifelong friends. I would not have been the person I am today if I had not gone to Puget Sound.

Four things brought me to the University of Puget Sound. 1) Small class size. I’ve had a passion for learning since I was a kid. As a result I wanted a school that would give me the opportunity to participate in class discussions and visit my professors with any questions or direction for further learning. 2) The music and theater departments: Growing up I also had a passion for the performing arts. I wanted to major in business and minor in math and economics, and I knew that if I went to Puget Sound I could still get very involved with the music and theater programs while pursuing other interests. 3) The Business Leadership Program: BLP provided great opportunities that I knew would help me. Those opportunities included many seminars with speakers from the business community, an assigned mentor from a local company, and an opportunity to learn and collaborate with 24 other high-achieving students. 4) Financial aid: When I was first admitted and throughout my years at Puget Sound, I was given enough financial aid to make a private, liberal arts education affordable to my parents.

During the summer between my junior and senior years at Puget Sound, I had an internship with The Boeing Company. After graduating I returned to Boeing as a procurement agent, and purchased parts for the new 787 airplane. After a year I moved into finance and worked as a cost management analyst. A year and a half later, I moved into my current position as a business analyst and am currently working on a companywide initiative to implement a standard finance system for Boeing.

Because I had such great experiences and made such great memories at Puget Sound, I have this compelling drive to give back. At Boeing I helped organize events that bring the many Puget Sound alumni who work at the company together. With the Alumni Association I was on the Seattle regional clubs committee, and today have the opportunity to serve as the regional clubs chair. After graduating I organized Every Third Thursday UPS Happy Hours for a few years, to keep in touch with my Puget Sound friends. Today I still organize alumni gatherings with my close friends. We go to breakfast every month—call ourselves the UPS Breakfast Club.

In my spare time I enjoy entertaining and spending time with friends. I also enjoy running, singing, dancing, acting, Japanese animation, watching Broadway shows, filmmaking, personal development, and enjoying life to its fullest.

Photo by Scott Areman