Lauren Graziano ’19
Business Management
& International Studies Majors

Growing up in a military family, Lauren Graziano ’19 quickly learned to love traveling and appreciate opportunities to immerse herself in new cultures.

A double major in Business Management and International Studies, Graziano hopes her future career will allow her to do both.

“I’ve always been interested in business and the countless career opportunities it offers in the world today,” Graziano said. “Traveling has become something I’m very passionate about, and I hope to be able to incorporate it into my future career—which is why I chose International Studies.”

Mount Mercy’s study abroad program will also offer Graziano to experience a new culture while getting her degree. She plans on traveling to Italy during her junior year.

“I am obsessed with experiencing different cultures and learning the historical significance of various traditions and landmarks. Italy is very historically rich and will give me the opportunity to study Italian while immersing myself in the culture, which will be an unforgettable experience. Mount Mercy has countless opportunities and programs like this that encourage students to step out of their comfort zones—both in and out of the classroom.”

Because of her love for other cultures, she was pleasantly surprised at the number of international students she has been able to meet on campus.

“The large percentage of international students at Mount Mercy surprised me when I first arrived,” Graziano said. “I wasn’t aware of the diverse student body, but it’s definitely been one of my favorite parts about the university. Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams have a number of international students participating in the programs and many of my close friends are from foreign countries including Canada, Serbia, and Australia. It’s been an eye opening experience that has made me even more excited about my International Studies major and studying abroad.”

Graziano has also found many ways to get involved on campus. She is a member of the women’s soccer team, and works as a resident assistant for the dorms, writing tutor in the Academic Center of Excellence (ACE), and work-study student in the IT department.

“Mount Mercy is incredible when it comes to engaging students in campus activities and various programs. My college experience wouldn’t be what it is today if I hadn’t had the opportunity to become involved in the various extracurricular activities I participate in now. These programs are a major part of college as a whole, and they make being far from home easy because of the family-like atmosphere they create.”

Deciding whether or not to continue her soccer career at the college level was a tough decision, but Graziano believes it was one of the best choices she has made.

“It’s hard to choose a favorite experience out of the countless, memorable ones I have made here at Mount Mercy,” Graziano said. “One of my favorites is being a part of the women’s soccer program. I have spent hours upon hours learning, training, bonding, winning, and losing with this team—and nothing can really compare to the relationships you form with each other.”

Graziano finds it easy to make the connection between her soccer team and the Mount Mercy community as a whole—they both provide a family-like aspect for all members.

“College sports are an entirely different level of competition and commitment, but your team becomes your family and that’s one of the greatest parts about Mount Mercy as a school. The small school atmosphere allows you to really get to know your classmates, teammates, and coworkers and form amazing friendships. I have made friends here that I will have for the rest of my life.”