Alumni Spotlight: Tess Lough
University of Iowa - Class of 2016
Tess Lough graduated in 2016 from the University of Iowa. She earned a BBA in Economics as well as a BA in Ethics and Public Policy. Tess is currently working as a Marketing and Sales Operations Representative (MSOR) at Caterpillar Inc.
How did the Bright/Lois Dale Scholarship benefit you throughout college and after?
Throughout college, having the Bright Scholarship allowed me to focus on my studies. While many of my friends had to work, I was able to have extra study time. This allowed me to graduate with a 3.73 GPA, which opened many doors as I was applying for internships and jobs. Also, because of the scholarship, I was able to earn two degrees, a BBA in economics and a BA in ethics and public policy.
Since graduating from college, I have been able to spend my free time volunteering rather than having to work a second job to pay off student loans. I actively participate in several organizations, including Caterpillar Young Professionals, Junior League of Peoria, Helping Our Patients Everyday (HOPE) and Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors. In 2019, I was honored to be awarded the Athena Young Professionals award by the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce for work in the community and excellence in my profession.
What was your experience interviewing for your first job? Do you have any tips to share?
My top tip would be to always speak up for yourself during any interview. I learned this when I was interviewing for my internship, which eventually turned into my first job. My plan was always to attend law school after college, and I had noted that on my resume. At the end of the interview, the interviewer told me I was not an ideal candidate because they were seeking a someone they could hire for a full-time position after graduation. Although I was a bit taken aback, I told the interviewer that I would be open to changing course if the right opportunity presented itself. As a result, I was offered the internship, which led to my full-time position at Caterpillar.
What is one of your favorite college memories?
One of my favorite college memories was graduation. It was a bittersweet moment but walking across that stage with all of my friends and family cheering me on was an experience I will never forget.
What’s a fun fact we should know about you?
A fun fact about me is that I have an adventure kitten! Jingle Jangle (JJ for short) goes hiking, biking, kayaking and camping with me! I never leave him behind, no matter where I go.