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Eoin Lyons: On Putting Yourself Out There

Eoin Lyons is a senior majoring in political science and finance. Eoin is involved in so many things that it’s hard to keep track: he is a student ambassador, senior senator, in a half-dozen honors programs, business and pre-law organizations, works for the business school, and has studied abroad and done the summer Global Fellows program in India. After graduation, Eoin will work for KPMG and perhaps someday go to law school.


In this conversation, we discuss Eoin’s work experiences abroad, what advice he would give new students, his plans after graduation, his relationship with his twin brother and more.


Interview Highlights

Gavin Cosgrave: What does a typical day look like for you?


Eoin Lyons: I typically work in the mornings, and I hold two jobs. One is the student ambassadors, so leading tours, talking with prospective students and parents and helping out with large-scale events. The other is the undergraduate business program’s office where we plan events for the school of business. I help out with internal transfers in the business school, and we developed a new Leavey ambassador’s program to help prospective students learn more about the business school.


Then classes in the afternoon. This quarter I’m taking a lot of political science classes. I’m taking classes about the European Union, minority politics in the United States and a senior seminar on conflict negotiation. It’s exciting getting to pick and choose electives that I’m most passionate about.


In the evenings, it really varies. We’ll have ambassador meetings sometimes. I’m also in Student Government (ASG), so I’ll have senate on Thursday evenings.


GC: How do you decide how to spend your time?


EL: I struggled with that a lot at the beginning of my college career. I bounced around a lot my first couple years. I participated in Global Medical Brigades and we went to Panama and set up a temporary health clinic. I have no intentions of going into the health field, but it was just something I wanted to try out.


In senior year, I decided I wanted to hone down my commitments and devote my time to things that benefit me personally and professionally. It took a lot of reflection, and I definitely failed along the way a few times, but at the beginning of this year I was pretty happy with my involvements.


GC: What did you do while interning in India?


EL: I went to India during the summer of 2017 through the Global Fellows program. I worked for Franklin Templeton Investments in Hydrobad, India. I loved the experience, but it was definitely challenging. It was by far the hardest experience of my life in terms of going so far away in a different culture for such a long time. I went with two other Santa Clara students, and we worked in different groups within the country.


We traveled a little bit to different parts of the country to experience a little bit different cultures. Franking Templeton was a large company, and over meals, people would be speaking different languages and talking about inside jokes from their state. My group was on the younger side and I enjoyed getting to know them outside the office.


GC: What are your plans after graduation?


EL: Every year has gone by more quickly! After graduation I’ll be working for KPMG. Last summer, I did an internship in their forensics department, so it helps investigate financial crimes: fraud, embezzlement, anti-bribe and corruption in foreign countries. I was able to find a job that blends my two interests of political science and finance which is neat. I’ll be working in San Francisco, and I have a few other friends working up there as well. It’ll be fun to maintain that sense of community I have here.


It’s definitely a position I’m interested in, but down the line I want to go to law school and work in touch with individuals. My experiences with the law center while studying abroad in London really struck a chord with me because it was directly making a difference in other people’s lives.


GC: What advice would you give to an incoming first-year student?


EL: I recommend saying yes, and don’t be afraid to apply for things. Put yourself out there. I had the opportunity to dive into things that I never thought I would want to do. For example, I traveled to Panama and worked in a health clinic with Global Medical Brigades. That was something unique that doesn’t necessarily help me professionally, but it was a personal experience that I cherish and I got close to a lot of new individuals.


GC: If you could send a message to every person in the United States, what would you want to say?


EL: One of the topics I’m passionate about is called the Icarus Deception. There’s always a fear of flying too close to the sun, but nobody ever talks about the other side of the warning, which is flying too close to the waves. That has been lost in the myth. What I take it to mean is that a lot of people are afraid to put themselves out there, whereas I think individuals should be afraid of being too timid and not going for new thing.


I recommend everyone not be afraid to speak up and have opinions. That’s definitely something I struggled with growing up, but over the course of my four years, I’ve learned that my opinion matters and I should be willing to share it.

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