Grove City, Ohio
Major: Business Management with minor in Human Resources
Exchange a couple sentences with Alora Conner and you’ll find it difficult to imagine she was ever tentative about anything. But this Grove City, Ohio, native — one of only nine Distinguished Service Leadership Award recipients — says one of the major differentiators between who she is today and who she was as a first-year student is this: Confidence.
It’s a characteristic in demand by nearly every young leader charting their career path, and an ever-growing body of evidence points to a confidence gap among women, no matter how accomplished. But not Conner. She’s more independent and confident in her decision-making, she says, due to her strong business education, and because of important influencers and leadership opportunities she’s enjoyed at Capital. But it all started with one important decision to make a change.
“I was admitted directly into Capital’s nursing program,” she recalls — not an easy feat given the high admission standards. “But I took my first nursing class, and I knew it wasn’t for me. So I changed my major to business undecided and then chose management. When they added the human resources minor, I knew that was the right path for me.”
Conner credits mentors and professors like Dr. Keirsten Moore and Dr. Elene Kent in Management and Leadership, and staff supervisors like Director of Human Resources Theresa Feldmeier and Ashley Huff, assistant director, who groomed her for leadership while she was a student employee in that office for two years. Again and again, Conner was encouraged to step out of her comfort zone and take a few calculated risks.
As a result, Conner has built up an impressive student-life resume, serving as recruitment and membership chair for Phi Sigma Sigma, president of the Panhellenic Association, helping to establish and lead recruitment for a new student organization, called Changing Health, Attitudes, and Actions to Recreate Girls, and serving as a peer advocate and orientation leader.
Putting herself out there has paid off. After graduation, Conner will begin a new position as the sole human resources assistant for DoubleTree Suites by Hilton hotel, located in Downtown Columbus.