Lauren Soles '09
Randolph-Macon College’s Study Abroad
program offers a world of opportunities. Just ask Lauren Soles ’09.
Soles, who majored in accounting and minored
in economics and
religious studies, took three J-term
trips during her R-MC tenure. In 2007 she traveled to Brazil, where
she and her classmates participated in the Shade and Fresh Water Project, a Global
Ministries of the United Methodist Church initiative.
“We volunteered at a children’s camp and helped with activities including arts,
crafts and music, explains Soles. “Working with those children was the most fulfilling
experience I’ve ever had.”
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In 2008, Soles enrolled in The Heritage of Christianity, a
J-term course that focused on sites of interest from the first century through
the rise of the imperial church, medieval and Renaissance periods, and modern Christianity.
“The professors’ knowledge and experience astounded us as we traveled throughout
Italy,” says Soles, who toured Rome, Florence, Assisi, Venice, Siena, and the Amalfi
Coast. “I’ll never forget the trip to Vatican City. We sat in on an audience with
the Pope, and Randolph-Macon College received recognition for being there.”
In 2009, Soles’ J-term travels took her in a different direction—Australia. R-MC
Chemistry Professor Serge Schreiner and his
Chemistry of Winemaking students traveled to Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney and
toured wineries in the Hunter Valley, Barossa Valley, and on the Mornington Peninsula.
Soles found the winemaking process fascinating.
“We studied the different shades of red and white wine, the significance of aromas
and the effects of aging,” she says. “Now when I drink a glass of wine, I think
about its chemical make-up, the amount of tannins it contains and the geographical
environment in which it originated. I appreciate the cultural, historical, and social
implications behind the different varieties of wine from all over the world.”
Back on home turf, Soles did an internship
during her senior year with Keiter Stephens, an accounting firm in Glen Allen, Virginia.
“I shadowed and observed in an environment bursting with some of Richmond’s most
talented professionals,” says Soles. “R-MC’s Center for
Personal and Career Development helped me prepare for my internships—I drafted
my résumé, brushed up on my interviewing skills and learned the importance of a
professional appearance and attitude.” At the end of her senior year, Keiter Stephens
offered Soles a full-time job in the Business Assurance and Advisory Services Department;
she recently transferred to the tax department. In March 2011 she passed the CPA
exam and became licensed in the state of Virginia.
It all adds up to a lifetime of career success—and strong relationships.
“Randolph-Macon College helped me develop my communication and leadership skills,”
says Soles. “I am honored to be part of the R-MC community.”