2020 Best & Brightest: Arianne Evans, Bucknell University (Freeman)

Arianne Evans 

Bucknell University, Freeman College of Management

I am a serial innovator and relationship builder. I thrive off of wearing multiple hats, especially those that keep me balanced.

Fun fact about yourself: I have floated in the Dead Sea in Jordan.

Hometown: Dana Point, Calif.

High School: Deerfield Academy

Major: Managing for Sustainability

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: Managing for Sustainability 400 – Management Consulting

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • 2020 Senior Class President (September 2019-Present)
  • Freeman Fellow (peer mentor, September 2019-Present)
  • Residential Adviser (September 2019-Present)
  • Management 100 Teaching Assistant (September-December 2019)
  • International Honors Program (IHP): Uganda, India, and Brazil (5 weeks in each country) – Program theme was Social Entrepreneurship, Development and Design (Spring 2019 Study Abroad)
  • 2020 Class Senator and Community Committee Representative (September 2018-January 2019)
  • Outdoor Education & Leadership Guide (January 2018-Present)
  • Challenge Course and Climbing Wall Facilitator (January 2018-May 2019)
  • Bucknell Division I Varsity Women’s Water Polo Student-Athlete (August 2016-May 2017)
  • The Society for Collegiate Leadership and Achievement (October 2019-Present)
  • Mortar Board Honor Society (January 2019-Present)
  • Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society (January 2017-Present)

Where have you interned during your college career?

Simply Smiles Inc., Cheyenne River Sioux Native American Reservation, South Dakota – Youth/Teen Program Manager and Volunteer Coordinator (Summer 2019)

  • Volunteered for one week the previous three summers; returned for a 10-week internship in 2019
  • Awarded grant funding through the Bucknell Public Interest Program.
  • Planned community meals, led teen programming, managed weekly volunteer groups.
  • Baluba Creative Consultancy, Dublin, Ireland – Research and Design Intern (Summer 2018)

Where will you be working after graduation? I am currently in the semifinals for a Fulbright to teach English in Armenia for a year upon graduating in May.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? The Freeman College of Management is a tight-knit community within a greater liberal arts university. Therefore, it did not take long for me to begin to recognize the names and faces of the people I sit with in class, pass in the hall, or run into at the grocery store. Now, as a senior, I can confidently say we are a dynamic network in its most genuine form. Due to the college’s size, I especially enjoy that my courses are filled with not only people in my specific major but also with students on the Accounting, Marketing or Global Management tracks, which enriches our discussions and collaborative projects.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? People, the planet, and profits are inextricably intertwined and one pillar cannot be sustained long-term without accounting for the other two.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Business is creative and evolving; business should never be stagnant. Studying business is like playing a game, but the rules are always changing. There are rarely definitive right or wrong answers in the field of business, but it is all dependent on the contextualized goal at hand. Therefore, business is also like a puzzle; it is putting pieces together, sometimes many times before you get the right fit, but with a steadfast vision in mind. If you are driven by strategy, teamwork and execution then majoring in a business-related field is for you.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The people. I have yet to meet two people who are remotely similar (even the accounting majors). I think before I was admitted into the Freeman College of Management, I had an image of business people always being single-minded and driven only by profit. While this might be true in some cases, I have found the people I meet to be extraordinarily well-rounded and empathetic. There is a deep culture of mentorship here, both on the peer-to-peer level and the professor-to-student level. I would have expected this kind of community in the arts and sciences but was pleasantly surprised to find my “niche” and family on campus within the Freeman College of Management.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of my current role as senior class president. First, because if you had asked me as a freshman if I would be standing in front of my class of 900 students confidently giving speeches four years later, I would have laughed. Second, because it has challenged me to listen holistically to my classmates and really try to understand what they want and need to make our final year together meaningful and fulfilling for everyone. Lastly, as I lead my team of seven senators, along with my treasurer and vice president, I am constantly thinking of ways in which I can empower my fellow representatives to design and implement their own initiatives rather than prioritize my own.

Which classmate do you most admire? It would be my classmate, collaboration partner, and good friend, Ashley Vecchio. We lived in the same residential community in our first year at Bucknell. Ever since, we have been a support system for each other. Ashley is the kind of person you see when you walk in the first day of the class and know that she is the kind of person you want to work with on a group project. That is actually how we became good friends; during our first semester, we worked on a semester-long video project that reported on the current sustainability initiatives on campus. Ever since, we have been spearheading projects in our various circles on campus. Now, as seniors, Ashley and I are working on our final capstone project together for our major. I still see her as an incredible teammate, but now also as a future business partner.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My stepdad, Don Burns. I was only 10 when he came into my life and we instantly became best friends. It has been over a decade since then, and he has been my greatest coach, role model and fan from everything to athletics, academics and personal development. He taught me to set goals and then go after them with precision, determination, and positivity – supporting me every step of the way. I look back at each formative moment in my life, and Don was in the background cheering humbly, but always with points of improvement in mind. From driving me to 5 a.m. morning swim practices to coaching me through college interviews, he is my rock and I would not be where I am today without him.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? 

  1. I want to walk into work feeling like I am walking into my home.
  2. I want to be selected as an Ashoka Fellow.

What are your hobbies? Surfing, open water swimming, journaling, watching documentaries about nutrition and personal development, playing the piano, yoga, exploring new places

What made Arianne such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Arianne is an intelligent, empathetic, self-motivated student inside and outside the classroom. She leads by example and many faculty and staff members at Bucknell find her enthusiasm and dedication both inspiring and motivating. Arianne thrived while studying abroad and was selected as one of five students to present, to over 160 people, her positive cultural exchange experience. Additionally, Arianne was selected as the only student to pilot a new Bucknell in Dublin summer program to determine if the program was a viable new academic program option for Bucknell students. Upon return to campus, Arianne positively promoted the new program to other students, increasing program interest.

Arianne has demonstrated her versatility by being elected Bucknell Student Government president and participating in other positions of leadership, including being a residential adviser, teaching assistant and Freeman Fellow peer mentor in the Freeman College of Management. Freeman Fellows are a select few upper-class students chosen to provide mentorship, guidance, support, and information to a cohort of first-year students to help them better navigate their first year of college. By acting as a positive resource, Arianne provides students with the confidence and knowledge they need to feel connected to their new community. As a role model and mentor, Arianne facilitates engaging class discussions that build critical thinking skills and she provides feedback on group work and assignments. Arianne works hard to build authentic relationships with her fellow peers, student mentees, and course instructors. Her efforts have created a synergy and a sense of connection between students, a key objective in the University’s retention efforts. Through my numerous interactions with her, I have come to regard Arianne as an exceptional student. Her thoughtful ideas and advice have been a great help to me, her fellow peers and all first-year students participating in the mentor program that she is a part of.”

Ivy Kepner
Associate Dean of Management


“Ari is the type of student you dream of having in your classes. She is smart, focused, committed and all of those normal attributes that you hope to get from an outstanding student. More importantly, she truly wants management and business to be a force for good. What I admire most about Ari is that she is not afraid to speak up against the status quo. When Ari speaks, people listen, and I absolutely love it when she takes a stand on issues that are data-driven and oriented toward environmental and social justice. She has left an indelible mark during her time at Bucknell, and I am proud to be associated with her!”

Professor Neil Boyd