Aspiring to Make a Difference
Libby Stropko, Eller Finance ’14
By Liz Warren-Pederson
Libby Stropko grew up in a military family, so moving was the norm. “I spent a lot of my childhood in Thermopolis, Wyoming, and then Tucson,” she said. She was aiming for an athletic scholarship to go out of state, but at the last minute, decided that her heart was in Tucson. “I was looking for a school with a lot of opportunities and UA had it all and more,” she said.
Initially, she thought that she wanted to go to law school (“I think the movie ‘Legally Blonde’ might have put this idea in my head,” she said), but she quickly found a niche at Eller.
“Once school started, I began getting involved, and it was easy to see for myself that Eller was a top-notch program,” Stropko said. “When applying to Eller, I decided on a finance concentration because that was the area I knew the least about, and I wanted to be well-rounded heading into my future.”
Stropko began building her network and her resume. “Between my sophomore and junior year, I was a legislative intern on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.,” she said. “Although this wasn’t directly related to the business sector, I was able to gain valuable experience.” The next summer, she was a finance intern in the Defense & Space division of Honeywell Aerospace. “This was also an invaluable experience relating directly to my area of study,” she said.
She also made a point of getting involved at Eller. “My freshman year I joined a pre-business program called ELITE, that sparked my interest in business and gave me a strong foundation in professional development skills,” she said. She continued to work with ELITE students through the Eller Leadership Board. “It’s made me appreciate my Eller experience, because I’m able to share so much of what I’ve learned with freshmen. I’m able to be a part of making sure their own Eller experiences are the best, which is rewarding.”
Stropko also joined Chi Omega her freshman year, and has served in executive offices for the sorority. “I learned leadership, management, and people skills that have transferred to my business experience,” she said. “Through this avenue, I’ve also been able to mentor future Eller students on their academics and involvement.”
She also connected with influential faculty during her time at Eller. “Kim Marchessault is a passionate teacher who truly cares about the improvement of her students. She pushes her students exceed expectations and be the best they can be. I use the professional communication skills I learned in her BCOM class every day,” Stropko said. She also pointed to Steve Reff, lecturer in economics. “He is truly an inspiration to his students and everyone can take life lessons away from their experience in his class. He encourages his students to make a positive impact on the world around them.”
In December, Stropko was honored as the Eller Collegiate Woman of the Year at the annual Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things networking tea, and is a member of the Bobcats Senior Honorary.
“I aspire to leave whatever and whoever I work with a little better off, and improve what I’m a part of,” she said. “My main purpose in life is to make a difference in people’s lives in whatever way I can.”
Top image of Libby Stropko (center) at the Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things networking tea. Photo by Gaizka Urreiztieta.