Kiley Pearson Lucan ’09 signed up for the San Francisco Urban Program to pursue an interest in broadcast journalism and be an intern at Fox News for a Westmont graduate. But when the alumna accepted a job outside the area, the position was no longer available. “God always does the thing I least expect,” Kiley says. Confused about her next step, she started listing her passions: traveling, meeting new people and learning about other cultures. Those interests led to an internship at the Institute for International Education. Her enthusiasm for the organization grew steadily, and she happily accepted a full-time job there at the end of the semester.
For the past year, she has worked for Women in Technology (www.witmena.org), an IIE program that empowers women in the Middle East and Northern Africa to enter the workforce and participate in society through technology. “We operate training centers in nine countries and teach women how to use computers,” she says. Kiley develops the Web site, a newsletter and promotional materials and is also responsible for the budget.
In March 2010, she will go to the Middle East to work on a conference promoting women’s involvement in technology. “We’re inviting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Melinda Gates and others to speak,” she says. Kiley looks forward to spending time with women from the region.
During her internship, she worked in IIE’s International Visitor Leadership program, which invites delegates from around the world to the United States. The State Department funds the program in a number of cities, including San Francisco. Kiley planned itineraries for guests, connecting them with local dignitaries and non-profit organizations, sometimes on a week’s notice. “I loved meeting all the delegates and learning about their cultures,” she says. “It was fast-paced and exciting work.”
Kiley got married in August, and her husband, Eric, is a youth pastor and business consultant with high-tech skills who occasionally assists her.
At Westmont, Kiley majored in communication studies and minored in political science. “My job allows me to combine these passions,” she says. She appreciates the strength of the academic program and the Westmont community. “I had never experienced such deep relationships. I grew in my under-standing of friendship and of Christian relationships, realizing for the first time how crucial they are in life. I had so much in common with my fellow communication studies majors; we were all passionate about discussing what we were reading and studying in our classes. I learned aspects of communicating I can apply for the rest of my life.
“When I got to college, I completely changed my mindset,” Kiley adds. “Westmont teaches you that learning is a journey you will pursue the rest of your life and that college is about beginning that journey. Learning is the important thing, not the grade or the competition. The atmosphere encouraged us to work together in class and apply the concepts we learned to our lives and work. I don’t remember any subjects from high school, but I recall so many from college. At Westmont, faith, academics and relationships are intertwined so that all your experiences come together.”
Not only did Kiley get a job at a time when many college graduates struggle to find work, but she has a position she loves and believes in. “I’m thrilled to be doing something with an international focus,” she says.