Erica Lutes ’02

Name: Erica Lutes ’02

Current Title/Profession: Executive director, Fulbright Commission Belgium

City: Basking Ridge, New Jersey

Major: International relations

Minor: Romance languages

Additional/Advanced Degrees: Three master’s degrees in political science and business

What was your first job after MHC?: Goldman Sachs sales trading

Favorite class/professor and why: Vinnie Ferraro (politics) because he pushed us outside South Hadley and into the globe.

Talents and/or passions discovered at MHC: I had never participated in student government and became a senator for Safford my first year and became SGA president because MHC empowered us to engage the administration. I felt like we were contributing to the MHC community.

What do you value most about your liberal arts education?: I have spent the last ten years in Europe working in education, where their system is so rigid. You decide at 18 you want to do a bachelor’s in law, then at 21 do a master’s in law then become a lawyer and die a lawyer. In the U.S., we allow for other interests to develop at an earlier stage to make sure you really like what you are pursuing.

Why is a women’s education still relevant today?: I see it as more relevant today than ever! Looking back, I never realized how precious the opportunity was to learn amongst only women. Now that I’ve been working for 15 years and see how male dominated my field is, I wish I could go back! That is why I organize so many events for alums in Europe and am organizing the MHC Leuven Belgium Symposium in October 2015.

What do you want the world to know about MHC?: I devote a lot of time to MHC events in Europe. I advise young women to think about applying to women’s colleges and MHC and had my first success story. She is a first year this year and loving it! It is a secret gem that I share.

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