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Drake Alum Encourages Students to say “Yes”

Drake University graduate Adam Lathan (‘20) encourages current students to say yes to new opportunities and try new things in order to grow.
Lathan grew up in Aurora, Ill. and after graduating high school hoped to continue his education in the Midwest. Lathan decided to check out Drake somewhat late in the college applications process.
“I didn’t visit Drake until April (a couple weeks before decision day) for an impromptu music audition and it was ultimately the staff in the school of music that really made me seriously consider Drake as an option,” Lathan said. “I had been heavily involved in music during high school and was looking to continue that in university without necessarily majoring or minoring in music; seeing the multitude of options available to do so really helped me in my decision to attend Drake.”
Lathan started as an actuarial science major but changed his plans several times over the course of his tenure. 
“In total, I probably changed my major 5 or 6 times while at Drake,” Lathan said. “After bouncing around among data analytics, actuarial science, and information systems I changed my majors one final time (senior year) to data analytics and computer science which are what I graduated with.”
During his time at Drake, Lathan had eight different internships through six different companies, including Principal, Humana and Farm Bureau Financial Services. He found and secured these positions in a variety of ways. Some Lathan applied for after finding them on the internet, three of which were thanks to departmental newsletters. Another was through a scholarship awarded to Lathan which included the opportunity to interview for a summer internship.
Spending the 2019 J-Term in Chile is one of Lathan’s favorite memories of his time at Drake. The trip gave him a chance to meet new students and learn in a new environment. He also spent a semester studying abroad in Argentina, where he worked for a local company.
Lathan attributes much of his positive experience at Drake to his involvement with extracurricular organizations.
“Being involved at Drake helped me make connections to get involved in the Des Moines community, which led to opportunities for scholarships, networking and just meeting new people beyond Drake’s campus,” Lathan said. “Say yes to new opportunities. Especially if it’s something you’re nervous about and takes you out of your comfort zone. It’s a great way to grow, and also prepares you to continue doing so after your years at Drake are over.”
Upon graduation, Lathan was offered a position at the company he spent his senior year interning for–Principal Financial Group. He now works with the company full-time as an Actuarial Assistant based out of Denver.

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