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Alumni Spotlight: Tess Lough

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.

Full Interview:

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. 

Thanks for get­ting to know our won­der­ful schol­ars! Stayed tuned for more spot­lights to come on our News & Events page, as well as oth­er updates!