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Student Spotlight

Leaving Space for Grace

Flexibility is the key to success for Lulu Gilbert, a new Student Leadership Advisory Council (SLAC) copresident at the BYU Marriott School of Business. Her busy schedule requires an alternative take on a balanced schedule that helps her prioritize the most important parts of her life.

Lulu Gilbert standing on the roof of a building at sunset, smiling at the camera. The Washington Monument is in the skyline behind her.
Lulu Gilbert is in her senior year at BYU Marriott.
Photo courtesy of Lulu Gilbert

Gilbert is from Scottsdale, Arizona, and is an accounting senior working toward her bachelor’s degree. “When I was growing up, my grandpa told me that accounting is the language of business and that it would open a lot of doors,” Gilbert says. “The slogan in the program is to go anywhere and do anything, and I really feel like that's true.”

The adaptability that the SOA’s education provides is important to Gilbert. “It's just a really great program with a lot of attention to detail, and it teaches leadership skills that are centered in Christ,” Gilbert explains. “The School of Accountancy really prepared me for all the kinds of jobs that I'll have and a lot of roles I could fill in the future—including the one that I'm in now with the SLAC.”

Gilbert joined the SLAC to enrich her experience at BYU Marriott and to show gratitude for the program. “I heard about the SLAC at the end of my junior year, and I really wanted to get more involved,” Gilbert says. “I'm so grateful to BYU Marriott for everything that I've learned here and the community that I found. I wanted to be able to give back and make the most of my senior year.”

Lulu Gilbert and Jacobo Ignacio Grimaldo Alvarez stand next to each other, smiling. They are wearing collared shirts and their SLAC nametags.
Lulu Gilbert and Jacobo Ignacio Grimaldo Alvarez are copresidents of the SLAC.
Photo courtesy of Lulu Gilbert

Now that she’s in the SLAC, Gilbert is staying true to her goal of giving back to BYU Marriott. “Something that my copresident and I are really passionate about is bringing together this sentiment of 'One Marriott' within the business school,” Gilbert explains. “The goal is to try and bring everyone together and foster this feeling of community and belonging within the Tanner Building. We have a very diverse student body.”

The SLAC hopes to connect students in all stages of their education. “The School of Accountancy and BYU Marriott are uniquely placed to bring together people from all over—internationally, and across the states,” Gilbert says. “We want to make sure every student who walks through the Tanner Building doors knows that they belong here.” Along with the other members of the SLAC, Gilbert hopes to encourage students to put in the time to build connections with peers outside of their own cohorts.

Gilbert’s role in the SLAC is in addition to her accounting schoolwork, so she has to be intentional about her use of time. “When I first started working with the SLAC on top of everything, I had this idea of finding a perfect balance and always being able to do all the things that I needed to do,” Gilbert says. “I've shifted my mindset since then. I think work-life balance and school-life balance and school-work balance really ebb and flow.”

Gilbert has learned that expecting life to balance perfectly doesn’t work for her. “During midterms or finals, my work-school-life balance is a lot heavier on the school side. During big times for work when we have events or I'm working on a project, it shifts more toward the work side. Then if I'm coasting really well at work and school, then I can spend more time going hiking or hanging out with friends.”

Lulu Gilbert stands on the far left of a group of five friends outside of the temple doors. All five are wearing shades of blue and smiling at the camera.
Gilbert enjoys hanging out with friends when she has free time.
Photo courtesy of Lulu Gilbert.

Gilbert admits, “I don't feel like my schedule is balanced on a day-to-day basis. There are days where I come home and I'm just exhausted and socially drained. But giving myself the grace to have different balances at different times enables me to feel more whole in general across all the areas of my life.”

This unique take on balance has helped Gilbert gain perspective on the many different ways people can find balance for themselves. “The right kind of balance looks different for everyone,” she says. “We need to give people the space to make their own decisions and plan out their time according to what is important to them.”

Time is a limited resource, and Gilbert shows her dedication to improving experiences for all students by choosing to prioritize her work with the SLAC. Together with the staff and faculty, she is working to make BYU Marriott the best it can be. “It's been a really amazing experience to be able to see the impact that BYU Marriott can have on students,” Gilbert says. “The deans and everyone are so invested in making it a great place to study and learn.”

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Written by Melissa Een

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