2019 Best & Brightest: Becca Lancaster, University of San Diego

Becca Lancaster

University of San Diego School of Business

Fueled by waffles. Driven by my need to pay off student loans.”

Fun fact about yourself: I can play the Lord of the Rings theme song upside down on the piano.

Hometown: Denver, CO

High School: Cherry Creek High School

Major: International Business

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: Business and Society

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College: Philanthropy chairwoman for Gamma Phi Beta Epsilon chapter; Kress Fellow, Keck Fellow, First honors all semester, Francis E. Haven award (through Gamma Phi Beta), Student Leadership Award (through the Office of Sustainability at USD), Volunteer at Border Angels, Volunteer at A Faith That Does Justice, Organized the first on-campus farmer market at USD (under the office of sustainability), Choral Scholars.

Where have you interned during your college career?

Office of sustainability at USD – zero waste and event intern

Epoch Estate Wines – Wine business and events intern

Where will you be working after graduation? Undecided

What company do you admire most? Grameen Danone Foods for their commitment to addressing child malnutrition and economically supporting the communities they enter.

Who is your favorite professor? Dr. Kate DeConick- She showed me how powerful my business degree could be when combined with my interest in the humanities. She inspired me to look at business as an art where you can create change and empower the people involved whether that be through a mission statement or a job opportunity. Even though she was my religion teacher, she was the one who assured me that my passions lie within the business world.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? The hands-on experience I received. I have written marketing plans, created business plans for new companies, and spotted flaws in existing companies’ balance sheets. Although much of my experiences happened within a classroom setting, I felt that these experiences were applicable to the business world I was entering into.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Be firm and stand up for what you believe in, but always do so with kindness.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? I think that business gets a bad reputation for being a major that you do when you aren’t sure what you want to study. If you are truly passionate about it and you think you will be successful in the business world, be proud of your decision. It’s a powerful major and will open your eyes to how a lot of the world works.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I was not expecting to have as much fun as I did. I thought classes were going to be stiff and serious, but instead, I was met with professors and peers who pushed me to think outside the box and explore creative alternatives. Except for accounting class. You should not make creative solutions in accounting because you will go to jail.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…English. I love reading and writing. I imagine the major to be like the most intensive and interesting book club you could ever be apart of – minus the wine and neighborhood gossip.”

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? I started out as an international relations major because I was sure that if I wanted to have an impact in the world it would need to be through a career in law and policy, but I quickly realized that my strengths lie more in the business world than the political realm.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Probably the Keck Fellowship. When I started working on the fellowship, my outlook on education completely shifted. I went from viewing my classes as something I needed to work to get good grades, to something I should enjoy and engage with. It made me appreciate and love school in a way I never had. For the first time, I wasn’t doing something to get me further in my academic or personal career; it was simply for the love of learning. I’m not sure if I am proud of the fellowship itself, but more so the personal change that I underwent because of it.

Which classmate do you most admire? Emmalyn Spruce and Elena Mendez. They are two of the smartest people I have ever met, but above that, they are fearless in their approach to life. They are not afraid of the unknown and are unashamed of the paths they have chosen to take – regardless of how unconventional they may be. They are also two of the kindest and most self-sacrificing people I have ever met. I truly can’t speak highly enough of either of them.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would thank my father. He inspires me to be a good person and has sacrificed so much to get me to where I am today.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? I want to sail down the West coast of South America, and I want to get a dog named Summit (preferably a golden retriever, but I am open to suggestions).

What are your hobbies? I love to play jazz piano, travel, read, take photographs, and attempt to bake things I’ve seen made on the Great British Baking Show.

What made Rebecca such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“Rebecca Lancaster is such an outstanding example of the globally-minded and well-rounded business leader who is prepared to make a positive difference in the world. As an international business major at USD, Rebecca integrates her knowledge of business with her passion for the liberal arts to make an impact inside and outside of the classroom. During her time as an undergraduate student here, Rebecca has shown a real commitment for learning and engaging in different cultures by studying in three different continents all while maintaining a 3.9 GPA and being part of USD’s Choral Scholars!

As a study abroad student in Buenos Aires at Belgrano University, Rebecca wanted to continue to develop her Spanish language fluency and expertise. USD’s Language and Literature Department recommended that she be placed at a level that she thought would not be challenging enough. She requested to move up to a higher level than was needed to meet her degree requirements just to make sure she took advantage of all of the learnings possible. This describes Rebecca. She is an exemplary student who always striving for excellence. Not only does Rebecca go above and beyond in her academic commitments, but she is also deeply dedicated to supporting and making a difference in the community. She has led and participated in several fundraising activities, has volunteered at Border Angels an A Faith that Does Justice here in San Diego, and even received a leadership award through USD’s Office of Sustainability for her contributions towards moving our university towards zero waste. I am proud to see Rebecca graduate from USD’s class of 2019 as an exemplary globally-minded leader who has the compassion and the skillset to make a positive impact in our world.”

Denise Dimon
Associate Provost for International Affairs
Director of the Ahlers Center for International Business and Professor of Economics



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