Today we have for you Corey Lowe! Corey is a newly minted junior at the Haas School of Business and a Regents’ & Chancellor’s Scholar at UC Berkeley. He is aspiring to build a career in marketing within the tech industry and hopes to one day become a Professor to help guide future students.
He is a member of the social media team for UC Berkeley, helping to promote the university through Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. He participates in Imagical, a consulting group sponsored by HBSA, with hopes of winning the National Student Advertising Competition this year. He is also an MBA and Alumni Committee Associate for HBSA.
So tell us about your background and your path to Berkeley Haas.
C. Lowe – If you would’ve told me two years ago that I’d be a student at Berkeley Haas I wouldn’t have believed you. At the time I was working as a Sales Associate at Target and taking classes when I met a person named Juluo Decastro. He told me what he wanted to do in school and I was like “wow this guy seems like he’s on a great path.” I joined the same extracurriculars as him, such as Economics Club, and subsequently quit Target to become more involved in school. I was also fortunate enough to meet a professor at Chabot College who really believed in my potential and encouraged me to pursue opportunities that seemed out of reach. I didn’t want to let him down so I must have put 50 hours into my application. Having this experience is what sparked my interest in volunteering and paying things forward to other students though mentoring.
So tell us more about the kind of volunteering you are doing?
C. Lowe – This semester I’ve spent about 70 hours mentoring other students, both continuing students at Berkeley looking to get into Haas, and prospective students through the Starting Point Mentorship Program. I’m currently a board member for the Chabot Las-Positas Measure B Committee which ensures $500M in bond money is used equitably for capital improvement. Among other things I’ve volunteered for Cal Hacks, picked up 700 individual pieces of litter through the Berkeley Project, and did my part in the fight against hunger through an organization called RePlate. But my main commitment has been mentoring, since I like interacting with my mentees one on one and developing a close friendship.
It sounds like you’re really interested in giving back, would you say that public service is a personal commitment of yours?
C. Lowe – I would! I didn’t quite understand the power of giving back when I was in high school, but I discovered the significance of community service when I was tutoring a girl named Joanna. Joanna was a fourth grader, an English as a Second Language student, and extremely energetic. Every time we read together, she would get up randomly and walk over to a table where there were spirit week items. She would put on gigantic blue glasses and a small hat and say “look at my teeny hat!” I was only supposed to tutor her for one semester, until winter break, but when that time came, I knew I couldn’t leave her. Her father had been deported. I tutored her until eventually, the non-profit that was running the program at her school closed its operations. Today I still have her paper purple mitten ornament she made me for Christmas, on the back it says “Corey, you are the funniest of all the reading partners.”
Thats a powerful story Corey and I think a lot of students want to ‘make the world a better place’ but developing relevant skills is important too, has volunteering helped you build any business related skills?
C. Lowe – Definitely, I spoke to about 100 perspective Haas students through a lot of the events I participated in, including an event that I set up at my own community college.
Creating this platform gave me the opportunity to help 30 prospective students interested in business. Those events have helped me improve my public speaking and storytelling skills as I had the chance to speak in front of tons of people at events and share my story. Communicating with people is a largely underestimated skill, but if you do it well, it can take you to a ton of opportunities.
With the next class of business students eagerly awaiting their admission letters, what advice would you offer to those not yet convinced of the impact that public service has on the community?
C. Lowe – I’m sure that since these students are at Berkeley or want to be at Berkeley, they must have done community service before. Now, doing it is important, but also reflect back on what you did, how you felt about it and then why you did it. I chose business because I think it’s one of the greatest vehicles that you can use to make a positive impact on society. I hope that the next class of business students understand this, and want to do good both for themselves and their community. Like our ethics professor Alan Ross says, “Do the right thing and everyone can do well… And be ethical dammit.”
Well thanks a lot for your time Corey, good luck with finals and enjoy the winter break!
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