The power of perseverance
Laura Lulejian Klein ’92 is celebrating three different 30-year anniversaries and milestones in 2022: Her 30th CMC reunion, 30 years of service on the CMC Alumni Association (CMCAA) Board of Directors, and 30 years “happily employed” with Accenture.
An Economics major, Lulejian Klein made the most of her time at CMC by exploring her myriad interests, including science, the fine arts, and student leadership. She served on the Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College (ASCMC), as both Junior and Senior Class President, and has fond memories of organizing Monte Carlo Nights with her classmates.
Her commitment to CMC remains strong. As an active CMCAA member of the Board of Directors, Lulejian Klein has served as Class Liaison, CMCAA President, and an Alumna Trustee. She gives her time, she said, because, “I loved my experience at CMC and I want to pay it forward.”
Her brother, John Lulejian ’89, is also a CMCer, a graduate of the five-year Management-Engineering program, earning a BA in Management-Engineering from CMC and a BS in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College.
Based in Chatsworth, Calif., Lulejian Klein is a Sales Effectiveness Associate Director at Accenture. Here, she reflects on her time at CMC, where she learned the “power of perseverance.”
How did your time at CMC prepare you for your career?
When I began as a freshman, I did not know what I wanted to do professionally, but CMC gave me the academic space to figure it out. With economics and math as my primary areas of focus, I still had time to explore other interests including science, leadership psychology, and the fine arts. My classes, along with my involvement in the Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College (ASCMC) as both Junior and Senior Class President, taught me many life skills that I still rely on today, including analytical thinking, ethics, effective communication (both written and verbal), and teamwork.
What were some of your favorite experiences while at CMC?
I have so many great memories of CMC—it’s hard to pick! My top 5 include: (1) Late-night chats with the fabulous freshman women of Benson Hall, which included an unlimited supply of microwave popcorn and Red Vines; (2) Monte Carlo Night—especially my Junior year, when my class threw one of the most well-attended and financially successful fundraisers of the year; (3) working with then-President Jack Stark my Senior year to identify our graduation speaker, author Ken Kesey; (4) intramural innertube water polo—by far one of the best recreational sports ever invented; and (5) the annual Madrigal Feast at the Athenaeum (I still have my Wassail Mugs).
Do you have any mentors from your time at CMC?
My thesis reader, Professor Ron Teeples P’91, opened my eyes to the world of economics and how to apply it to real-world issues. I truly enjoyed his teaching style and found him to be relatable, approachable, and compassionate. The other professor who made an impression on me was Professor Janet Myhre, my probability and statistics professor, who taught me not only the practical application of math and gaming theory, but also the power of patience and perseverance, especially when you face difficult times in your life.
How would you describe the CMC community?
There is an indescribable bond that makes the CMC community unique—maybe it’s the small class sizes, the phenomenal professors, the talented students, or the liberal arts environment. Whatever the ingredients, I have made life-long friends and connections thanks to my time on campus and through the CMC Alumni Association (CMCAA). I always look forward to Reunion Weekend, and this year’s event was especially meaningful as multiple classes returned to campus to celebrate not only their reunions, but also the College’s 75th Anniversary.
Why is it important for you to be involved at CMC and/or give back?
For the past 30 years, I have been an active member of the CMCAA Board of Directors serving in various capacities—from Class Liaison to CMCAA President to Alumna Trustee. People often ask me why I chose to participate on the Board for so many years. My answer is simple: I loved my experience at CMC and I want to pay it forward. It’s been incredibly rewarding to serve with fellow alumni who are also passionate about giving back to the CMC community through volunteerism, active participation, and financial support so that future generations of leaders can benefit from the “CMC Experience” and make a positive impact on our world.