Lee Foster, an alumna of the Gatton College of Business and Economics and current manager at Bain & Company, has exemplified resilience and versatility since her graduation in 2015. With a double major in economics and marketing and a minor in international business, Lee actively engaged in campus life as part of the UK Honors Program (now the Lewis Honors College), DanceBlue, Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, and the Economics Society. Lee fondly recalls the renovations at the Gatton College of Business, witnessing the transformative evolution of the institution.

Her academic journey at UK, particularly her immersion in economics coursework, laid the foundation for her impressive career. Initially undecided, Lee found her passion through Gatton's core economics classes, which provided structured frameworks for addressing global challenges in both public and private sectors. Inspired by professors like Dr. Gail Hoyt and Dr. Jenny Minier, who ignited her interest in quantitative analysis and education policy, Lee recognized the profound impact of their mentorship on her intellectual growth and career aspirations.

However, Lee's career path took unexpected yet enriching turns. Transitioning from high school math teaching with Teach For America to earning dual graduate degrees in Master of Public Policy (MPP) and MBA at Duke University, Lee eventually found herself in management consulting at Bain & Company. Reflecting on her unconventional journey, Lee acknowledges the pivotal role of her UK experience, particularly Gatton's curriculum, professors, and peer collaborations, in shaping her professional trajectory.

The Women in Business Leadership (WBL) program at Gatton, coupled with invaluable mentorship from Cindy Harkins, a VP at Texas Instruments, equipped Lee with essential insights into corporate dynamics and leadership skills. Lee underscores the significance of mentorship, a lesson she now champions by fostering mentorship opportunities for junior colleagues at Bain & Company.

Lee's advice for aspiring professionals echoes her own career journey. Emphasizing the importance of diverse mentorship networks, adaptability in career paths, and the power of a supportive community, Lee encourages UK students to embrace the journey, recognizing that career trajectories are often nonlinear. Lee displays the transformative impact of education and mentorship in her everyday life, epitomizing the Gatton spirit of excellence and resilience.