Vanessa LeFebvre, C’99

President, Lord & Taylor

New York, NY

Psychology Major

I was a waitress. I babysat. I had all types of jobs. I stayed at Penn’s campus during the summer and just worked and hung out. I laugh but I actually always tell people that waitressing was the best thing that I ever could have done for my career, because it taught me how to juggle. I think, especially for women, if you’re going to be a working mom you have to learn how to prioritize, learn how to shuffle, learn how to deal with last-minute emergencies. A lot of that is relatable to waitressing.

I think I was pretty hard on myself. I was trying to do the things that I thought were the right things to do in college versus being along for the ride and trying to push myself to learn what I didn’t know about. I was pre-med, so I was like, “I need to take these classes. I need to do this. I need to get this grade point average.” I think if I had given myself more leeway to think about other careers it certainly would have changed my trajectory and the class load and the things that I did at Penn. But I’m not normally a person that really has regrets and I think I had a great experience. It put me in the position to do what I do today, so I’m pretty satisfied with that. — May 10, 2018 • Photo by Loraine Terrell