Caroline LaPlante ’20 is a competitor with a giving spirit. The Los Angeles, California, native transferred to the University of Oregon as a sophomore and said doing so was one of the greatest decisions of her life.
During her time as an undergraduate at the Lundquist College of Business, LaPlante said she was challenged each and every day, and it was those challenges that proved to be the defining ones of her college experience, laying the groundwork for her career.
“My time at the University of Oregon showed me how hard work and dedication truly pay off in the end,” she said. “I was raised to love the idea of competing and having my peers push me to be the best that I can be. My peers and the faculty and staff at the Lundquist College were often my biggest challengers—but even more than that, my biggest supporters.”
LaPlante is eager to progress in her post-graduation career and has secured a position in the film finance department at Universal Studios.
“I have already applied techniques I learned from my marketing and finance classes to develop a database for my employer that is now being used throughout the whole department,” she said. “Without the experience and knowledge provided to me through the Lundquist College, I would have not been able to accomplish such a task. I will be forever grateful for my time at the Lundquist College of Business and can only hope that current and future students take advantage of all the school has to offer.”
Outside of the classroom, LaPlante dedicated her time to charities including the Starkey Hearing Foundation and The Painted Turtle Camp—a free camp for children with special medical needs —through her work as a member of the Delta Zeta sorority.
The University of Oregon Dean of Students recognized LaPlante for her dedication and outstanding service as a student leader with a Centurion Award. On a campus of more than 24,000 students, she is part of a group of just 100 to earn such a distinction.
LaPlante said it’s the support of others that has made the difference in her life, and she wishes that same support for the Class of 2020.
“Times are changing. The world we are entering is very different than that which we grew up in,” she said. “Sometimes it will feel as though you are alone—that there is nobody else who shares the feelings or beliefs that you do. I promise you that is not so.”
“If I could recommend anything to my fellow graduates,” she added, “It would be to stand up for what you believe in. Bravery is not the absence of fear but instead acting in spite of fear. Be brave enough to stand up for what’s right, to go after your dreams, and to be unapologetically yourself. It is important that we do not lose ourselves to the trials of the world today. I encourage us all to stand up and be brave, for it is possible for us to change the world. But we have to be willing to try.”
—AnneMarie Knepper-Sjoblom ’05, Lundquist College Communications