Raised in Moro, a small rural community in east Arkansas, Lauren Waldrip learned much from that front-porch culture. She was introduced to a strong work ethic as a kid. From driving a tractor to laying polypipe, she was a great help to her dad’s business. Fifth generation of an Arkansas farm family, Lauren was surrounded by row crops, namely soybeans, and grew up without the interference of stoplights or stop signs. Those days taught her that the more time she put into her crops, the more she would be rewarded at harvest time.
Lauren was destined to attend the University of Arkansas, as has every member of her immediate family. Her parents, Mark and Angela, graduated in the late 70s. Lauren, now an MBA student at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, majored in both marketing and public relations with a minor in accounting. “During my first semester, I was undeclared,” she says.
“Then I decided to go with Walton College. I knew how strong Walton College is and what it means to a degree.”
If asked, Lauren’s friends will easily describe her as a sports fanatic. She remembers calling the Hogs at a very early age. She even turned her passion into a professional activity. Lauren’s involvement with the athletic department on both a professional and personal level was something that enhanced her college experience. She knows that the Razorbacks have a positive effect on recruiting, enrollment, the UA campus, and on Northwest Arkansas as a whole.
Lauren is as passionate about her career as she is about the Razorbacks. When she interned in 2011 as a legislative assistant for U.S. Senator John Boozman, she chose agriculture as her focus. She wrote press releases for Boozman’s website, attended legislative hearings and corresponded with constituents. She also served as student body Vice President, and created a Collegiate Membership specifically for students while recently working at the Razorback Foundation. The program garnered more than 2,200 members in its first year.
She is well aware that “a college degree is no longer all it takes to be competitive in today’s markets” and recognizes the significance of a master’s degree to take her place among business leaders. As a native Arkansan, Lauren knows the impact of the Sam M. Walton College of Business in state, national, and international levels and believes this opportunity is a vital step for her future success. She is excited to learn new perspectives on business and problem-solving from a diverse group of faculty whose teaching skills she has already witnessed. The dynamic market of Northwest Arkansas is another reason she chose the Walton MBA. Leveraging the Graduate School of Business’ relationships in area corporate offices, Lauren is gaining practical work experience and establishing a strong business network.
Lauren says she finds her motivation on a daily basis through her relationship with the Lord. She feels she has received many blessings during her time in Fayetteville and strives to glorify Him through all those experiences by sharing the joy of the Lord with others.