Lessons from Lenfest Allie Jue '20 has learned how to keep her studies in music and pre-med in perfect harmony with a job and extracurricular activities at W&L.
“Balancing extracurriculars and academics is always challenging, but there is no better place to do it than W&L.”
Majors: Music, Pre-Med
Hometown: Gilbert, Arizona
Q: What factors led you to choose W&L?
I chose W&L largely for the community. My visit to campus for Admitted Students Day sealed the deal for me. Every time I had a question or concern, it seemed as though someone from W&L came out of their way to answer it for me. I quickly realized what a supportive and cohesive community W&L offered both within the student body and between students and faculty. This community is an essential component of being successful in interdisciplinary studies.
Q: Why did you choose to major in music?
I have known for a long time that I wanted to pursue a career in medicine. But music has also been an integral part of my life, and I wish to make it a lifelong pursuit along with medicine. I chose a major in music because it would allow me to continue to develop my skills as a violist and make it possible to maintain my musicianship even as I pursue medicine. I hope to be able to play in community symphonies throughout my life.
Q: Tell us about some of your favorite courses.
My favorite W&L course is Shakespeare, taught by Professor Hank Dobin. In that course, I was able to dive much more deeply into the works of Shakespeare than I ever had previously. The class also helped me to refine my analytical and writing skills, which has been enormously helpful for nearly all of the other classes I have taken. In addition, the class opened up so many opportunities for me. One was the ability to spend a summer researching literature on Queen Elizabeth I and the Earl of Essex with Professor Dobin. Another was the chance to participate in W&L’s Virginia Program at Oxford, where I spent six weeks studying English literature and history at Oxford University.
Q: You are heavily involved in the Lenfest Center. Tell us about your responsibilities there and what sparked your interest in Lenfest?
Browsing the work-study options before my first year at W&L, the position at Lenfest stuck out to me because of how closely involved it was with the arts. The position has been so rewarding. Each year in the job, I have gained new responsibilities. Currently, I am the lead student director, as well as the student publicity chair. I supervise all other work-study students, create the work schedules and train new employees. Part of the job also includes interacting with patrons from the community and interacting with our part-time community workers. As the student publicity chair, I write most of the articles for upcoming Lenfest events and performances.
Q: What is it like balancing academic commitments with your extracurricular involvements?
Balancing extracurriculars and academics is always challenging, but there is no better place to do it than W&L. To stay on top of everything, I have to be very disciplined with my time. Having such a supportive community where everyone, from my professors to my peers to my boss, is supportive and encouraging is really what makes the balance manageable.
Q: What other extracurriculars are you involved in at W&L?
I am involved in a small quartet on campus, and this year I am playing with the choir in a small group of instrumentalists for their performance of “Considering Matthew Shepard.” I play with the Waynesboro Symphony for about one concert per semester. I am also involved in Intervarsity.
Q: How has your experience as a lead director in the Lenfest Center enriched your time at W&L?
The most enriching aspect of my job is the number and scope of people I get to interact with daily. It has been an immensely rewarding experience to work with a multi-generational staff, who span from pre-1946 Silent Generation through Generation Z. The older part-time staff members have stories and advice to offer us, and we also get to share our daily experiences with them. In addition to the staff, I get to interact with all of the local patrons from across town. This job has given me the chance to collaborate with and manage a staff with a wide diversity of age and experience. The leadership skills I have gained as lead director will certainly help me in all of my aspirations, both musical and medical.
Q: Has anyone on campus served as a mentor to you?
My boss, Lenfest Center Assistant Director Susan Wager, has been a huge mentor for me. She has not only helped me to refine my managerial and organizational abilities over the years but has also been there for me when I have needed encouragement and advice. There are many ways in which I have grown because of her mentorship. Associate Dean of the College Fred LaRiviere has also served as a mentor to me. Both as my advisor for nearly four years and as my biochemistry professor, he has provided crucial guidance, which has helped me succeed in the sciences at W&L.
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More About Allie
Q: What’s your personal motto?
“Just keep swimming” ~Dory, “Finding Nemo”
Q: Favorite place to eat in Lexington? What do you order?
The Palms, haystack burger
Q: What one film/book do you recommend to everyone?
“12 Rules for Life” by Jordan Peterson
Q: Favorite W&L memory so far?
Sledding on the hill behind the Science Center with friends on a trashcan lid and some cardboard at 2 a.m.
Q: Favorite W&L event?
The Winter Wonderland reception—it combines my two favorite things: dessert and Christmas!
Q: What is something nobody would guess about you?
I have only one and a half lungs
Q: Do you have any post-grad plans yet?
I am taking a gap year before medical school, and am hoping to either be working as a medical scribe or as a clinical research assistant at a children’s hospital.