Campuses:

The Gopher Way of Lizzy Shay

July 12, 2012

Carlson School senior Lizzy Shay, a third-generation Gopher and former Minnesota Student Association president, has a zest for knowledge and school pride aplenty.

When Lizzy Shay was a freshman at the Carlson School, she didn't know what a Provost was or what Regents did.

"It bothered me that I didn't know," says the third-generation Gopher and Colorado native. "I'm the type of person that when I don't know what it is I have to resolve that lack of information."

Fast forward to today and it's safe to say that Shay, now a senior, has rectified that knowledge gap. After a year as president of the Minnesota Student Association (MSA)--the University's undergraduate student government--Shay got to know the Provost, the Regents, and President Kaler, and what they do, very well.

"What an incredible year. It's sad that it ended, but at the same time, I've heard college is really fun," she says with a laugh. "I mean, I had a lot of fun as MSA president, but I've heard its great not having quite so many responsibilities."

She took great pride in those presidential responsibilities. It's just in her honest, hard-working nature, compounded by the fact that she has an unwavering passion for the University of Minnesota.

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"For me, a big piece of doing things is because I have a genuine interest in doing them," she says. "I'd say the biggest thing I'm proud of is that I worked hard to build a really strong relationship with the administration this year. That's a huge deal for students to have a new president [Kaler] and to build a strong relationship between student government and the president's office."

She adds, "I have a friend at Auburn and his school's creed says 'I believe in Auburn and love it' and he thinks that's just silly. But I really feel that way about the U of M. I believe in the U of M and love it."

Working for Minnesota-the state
Beyond all of her student government responsibilities, Shay was and still is a student. And she's no slouch in that pursuit either.

This past school year, Shay was one of the few undergraduate students selected to participate on a team in the Carlson Consulting Enterprise, a program normally reserved for Carlson MBA students.

Shay, along with her team, worked for the Minnesota Trade Office in researching and providing recommendations on how the federal EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program could drive employment in the state. The team's final presentation in the Carlson School's 3M Auditorium drew a crowd including representatives from municipal, state, and federal government, including members of Congressman Keith Ellison's staff.

"During that project I often thought, wow, I'm really producing something that people really care about," she says. "I think one of the coolest aspects of Carlson is that there are these kinds of opportunities to take classes that are more meaningful that their grade."

From M&A to BSB
Shay is currently spending the summer as an intern at Lazard Middle Market in Minneapolis where she's working in mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Once school starts again, she will just have a few short months until she completes her BSB degree in finance in December. The thought of the end of her college career, she says, is bitter sweet.

"This is a wonderful school. I'm excited for that story being told more and more, because I really believe it in my whole person that this is really one of the best schools out there," she says. "I just don't know yet how I'm going to express that next year."

She confesses that she thought of skipping spring graduation, that is until her grandpa- a University alum- took her aside to give her a bit information she might have innocently overlooked.

"My grandpa said, 'Lizzy, how many students know all four people that signed their degree? Like, probably...you.'"

The point was well taken. Shay will indeed walk in commencement next May, and her family of University of Minnesota alums and current students, which includes two of her grandparents, her mom, brother, aunt, three cousins, and cousin-in-law, will be there to congratulate her on a college career well done.

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