2019 Best & Brightest: Eoin Lyons, Santa Clara University (Leavey)

Eoin Lyons

Santa Clara University, Leavey School of Business

“Who knew my brief Irish dancing career and affinity for snacking would lead me here.”

Fun fact about yourself: I grew up playing hurling, an Irish sport similar to field hockey and lacrosse. Our team from San Francisco won three championships in the national tournament to end our youth careers.

Hometown:  San Francisco, CA

High School: St. Ignatius College Prep

Major: Finance and Political Science

Minor: Economics

Favorite Business Course: With the tagline of “To Lead Others, I Must First Lead Myself,” Conscientious Capitalism allows students to develop the necessary self-awareness to become intentional changemakers in their communities. Through a variety of high-profile speakers, in-depth case studies, and personal reflection activities, I grew to better understand my priorities, convictions, and attachments in order to become a more effective and empathetic leader.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Honors and Awards: Chapter President for Alpha Sigma Nu (Jesuit honors society); Beta Gamma Sigma (business honors society); Pi Sigma Alpha (political science honors society); Hackworth Fellow for Applied Ethics Johnson Scholars Program; University Honors Program; Accelerated Cooperative Education Leadership Program; Dean’s List

Extracurricular Activities: Chair for Current University Issues Committee of Associated Student Government; Co-Chair for Recruitment and Mentorship of Student Ambassadors; Program Manager of Global Fellows; Program Director and Founder of Leavey Ambassadors; Sigma Chi, Alpha Kappa Psi; Global Medical Brigades; Peer Conduct Board, Student Affairs University Policy Committee

Where have you interned during your college career? Franklin Templeton Investments; Investment Compliance and Quality Assurance Intern (Hyderabad, India); Brent Community Law Centre, Legal Intern (London, UK); Office of the District Attorney, Legal Intern (San Francisco, CA); KPMG, Forensics Intern (Santa Clara, CA)

Where will you be working after graduation? KPMG, Advisory Associate in the Risk Consulting – Forensics practice in the San Francisco Office

What company do you admire most? Allbirds – a startup based in my home city of San Francisco – prioritizes social good and sustainability. As a certified B Corp, they treat the environment as a stakeholder, create incredible products from sustainable and unique materials, including merino wool and eucalyptus tree fiber. Using 90% post-consumer packaging for shipping and donating lightly used shoes to Soles4Souls, Allbirds is differentiating itself as an ethical and successful company striving to make a positive impact on the world.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? Within the Leavey School of Business, most professors are incredibly experiential-based, having previously been venture capitalists, served on boards of directors, or founded their own companies. They emphasize the importance of cross-cultural communication and leveraging classroom lessons to enact change in real-world scenarios. As such, they bring this workplace experience directly to the classroom so that students can learn first-hand what it is like in their careers – not just the on-paper business necessities, but the human decisions necessary to achieve success.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? In any decision you make, you must think about who or what is affected and to whom duty is owed. While profits are important and necessary to ensure the sustainability of the company, businesses are inherently a service to others, a golden “why” regarding their place in the betterment of the world. Through socially conscious practices, businesses can take a stand on economic, societal, and environmental issues and address the needs of all beneficiaries, not just the shareholders.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Find a business whose mission, virtues, and culture match your priorities. It can be easy to join the hectic nature of higher education, especially in the pressures of business schools, but take the time to step back and reflect on the leader you want to be. Consider your own intentions and passions, immerse yourself in an environment that will foster this development, and you will naturally become a better leader.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? Through the business core curriculum, I took a few classes in each of the disciplines, from accounting to marketing. I was surprised to learn how interconnected all of these areas were; they continued to appear in other classes I was taking in the other fields. In my ethics of finance class, we covered the fraudulent accounting practices in which Enron engaged, and my legal business issues class discussed the ethical issues of false advertising and marketing. Regardless of my primary field of study, it is increasingly necessary to understand how the various business disciplines connect and are related.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…I would have studied philosophy because of the applicable nature of ethics. Regardless of my field of study, career, interests, or passions, I will inevitably and quickly come to a crossroads where I will likely be forced to make a decision in a “gray area.” The inherently applicable nature of philosophy appeals to diverse interests, and studying this topic could lead to the reflection and discernment needed to reach ethical solutions.”

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? From Scott Harrison of Charity: Water to Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia, social entrepreneurs are utilizing their business knowledge and personal experiences to enact change. While I cannot point to one specific role model or influence, I am inspired by these individuals to promote the welfare of our planet and our communities through conscientious business practices.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? As a first-generation college student, I struggled not being able to ask my parents for academic help or assistance on college applications, and the financial obligations of higher education loomed. However, I was accepted to Santa Clara University as a Johnson Scholar, the top award given to incoming first years, which made higher education feasible to my family and provided me the opportunity to pursue this experience.

Which classmate do you most admire? My friend and roommate of four years, Phillip Barber, is one of the most driven, personable, and involved people I know. He puts his best foot forward in every interaction and passionately follows his beliefs. Phillip sticks to his convictions, navigates difficult situations and conversations with ease, and leads with tenacity and resourcefulness. Phillip is an innovative leader, an intelligent scholar, and most of all, a best friend.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? Growing up with a twin was exciting, different, and at times challenging. Padraig and I didn’t always get along – as siblings often don’t – but he also became one of my most well-respected teachers and role models. He was there for me when I needed him, high points and low, and taught me the importance of perseverance in the face of obstacles, faith in the times of darkness, and laughter always. Thank you, Padraig, for challenging me to be a better me.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  • Give a TED Talk on the Icarus Deception
  • Watch the Northern Lights in Scandinavia

What are your hobbies? Listening to TED Talks, Teaching myself guitar, Hiking, Reading mystery novels

What made Eoinsuch an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“There are few students at Santa Clara that will leave such a widespread impact as Eoin Lyons. As a first-generation college student, Eoin has been a member of our LEAD Scholars program, serving as a peer mentor, and as a part of the staff that coordinates and executes LEAD week at the start of the school year. He also has served in our Associated Student Government, this year as Senior Senator and Chair of the Current University Issues Committee. But his involvement doesn’t end there – he is a member of a social fraternity, studied abroad in London, interned with Franklin Templeton in Hyderabad, India through our Global Fellows program (and now serves as a student leader within the program), and is a Hackworth fellow with our Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. To top things off, he is a four-year member of the 60+ Student Ambassador program that I oversee. Within the program, Eoin leads tours, facilitates question and answer panels, and hosts students in classes, and this year he is co-lead for our Recruitment and Mentorship within our 7-person leadership team.

While Eoin is hyper-involved, his positive attitude, genuine care for others, and dry sense of humor are what I will remember most. I’ll remember how comfortable he made others feel across campus, and how he can command a room while engaging everyone in it. Humble, almost to a fault, Eoin is seen across campus as an incredible leader, reliable, and willing to show up for others. His impact on the Class of 2019 is immense, but his impact on Santa Clara University will be felt for many years to come.”

Grace Hartman
Senior Associate Director of Admission
Director of the SCU Student Ambassador & ShadowSCU Programs
Santa Clara University



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