Warrior Woman Wednesday: Leila Shevins
While under a full-ride scholarship, Leila involved herself in leadership roles for multiple clubs, fashion internships and two jobs! As the end of the semester approaches, she prepares for graduation this May. Meet Warrior Woman Wednesday, Leila Shevins!
Having an East Coast mentality always influenced Leila; she was born in NYC and raised in New Jersey. Growing up in a large city impacted her
“Maybe, it’s the water. Maybe, it’s the fact that my dad is a lifetime New Yorker,” Leila joked. “But, having my favorite city in my backyard exposed me to fashion, creativity, individuality, and expression from a very young age.”
Leila originally planned on attending two schools to study fashion and supply chain management, but then shifted her plans when she received a full-ride scholarship to to the University of Arizona for being a National Hispanic Recognition Program scholar. She flew out to visit UA and discovered she could study both information systems and retailing on the same campus.
“It was really easy to fall in love with the campus,” Leila said. “I remember driving through campus, eating on University, and falling head-over-heels with the environment.”
Leila spent the last four years at UA triple majoring in Management Information Systems, Entrepreneurship, and Retailing and Consumer Sciences.
“I took nine classes at once, which was crazy, but I’ve sworn by a
to-do book since high school and that’s how I get through it all,” Leila said with an encouraging smile.
Some of her semesters were tougher than others which required her to take more than twice a normal course load. Education alone wouldn’t have been so difficult but Leila also held involvement in clubs, activities, and work.
“I think taking so many classes was the toughest because it forced me to forge actual relationships with my professors because I sought out help more often, but I was also able to learn more by seeking the help,” Leila said.
She takes on anything she is passionate about, which also included two jobs. She found growth in each but most of all, enjoyed the impact her work made on others.
Leila’s first job is through Take Charge Cat, an organization whose mission is to teach personal financial literacy to middle and high school students in Southern Arizona. Most schools do not require personal financial literacy despite it is important to receive from an early age. Leila said she’s proud to take part in an initiative that cares about it so much.
Her second job is a Student Coordinator for Diversity Initiatives in the Eller College of Management. She works with the diversity clubs and their students to fulfill their goals and missions throughout the college.
Leila only continues to excel outside of the classroom and her jobs. She pursued multiple internships across the country. She said she’s been more than fortunate to work for incredible names in retail over the summers through internships:
- Gilt.com: Her freshman year she received an internship at Gilt.com for the following summer. She was greatly inspired by Alexandra Wilkis Wilso.
- Walmart: Leila landed the competitive Walmart internship in Arkansas her sophomore year, an internship mostly juniors and seniors receive.
- Fung Global Retail and Technology, a subset of Li & Fung: Leila continued to use her work ethic as she hustled during her internship. I remember when I lived in NYC last year she would tell me about how much time she was putting in. She succeeded in working hard to make a lasting impression.
“As much as I have loved every single second as a Wildcat, and I will continue to love it as a Wildcat for life, I am looking forward to heading back east after graduation,” Leila said.
Leila hopes work in New York after graduation, and hopefully around the world, as
fashion is a global industry with much to offer.
“I want to work with the best emerging designers to help them bring their visions to market,” Leila said. “I will help them with their execution and use my knowledge about big data and information to monitor how the market is responding to their offerings.”
Q&A with Leila Shevins
1. What motivates you to succeed?
Being a role model to others motivates me to succeed. I wish to be a positive role model and I hope that my successes will inspire others to persevere. Through positivity, I am able to continue forward towards success because there is nothing greater or more satisfying than a positive chain of people supporting and motivating each other to greater heights.
2. Who inspires you?
My biggest inspiration over the last few years has been Alexandra Wilkis Wilson. I met her my freshman year and had the chance to watch her work up close at my internship at Gilt.com. Alexandra is a serial entrepreneur, board member, mother, and mentor. She is doing it all, and with style and grace! I hope to one day follow in her footsteps, beginning with attending Harvard Business School.
3. Your biggest achievement?
My biggest achievement was getting my black belt. It took me eight years to get to the big test, and it was the biggest lesson that I have had in the power of perseverance. Regardless of how long it takes, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
4. Goals for the future?
I really want to move abroad. Both of my parents are extremely well-traveled – my mom was raised in Peru and lived in France for many years before moving to the US – and I want to have my chance to explore the world and its cultures.
5. What advice would you give to others?
Stop making excuses. I am sometimes guilty of making excuses; many people are. But, instead of crafting reasons why not to do something, you should do it. You only need one reason in support of an action to pursue it. Would you rather make excuses or live your life?
6. What do you do for fun?
I absolutely love dancing. I recently took up salsa dancing and I always have the best time when I am dancing, so I jump at any chance I get to go out dancing with friends.
7. Favorite quote or Bible verse?
“Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.” – Desiderius Erasmus