You Can Be Dynamic - Olivia Allen ('22)
“You Can Be Dynamic” — Olivia Allen (’22, Major in Economics-Finance)
When it comes to Olivia Allen’s interests and involvements here on Bentley’s campus, they run the gamut from athletics to sustainability initiatives. In high school, Olivia’s interests were wide-ranging, from playing the violin to having a role in student government to discovering a passion for economics—which led her to Bentley. It was a project she was assigned in her economics class her senior year that connected her with Bentley professors, leading her to apply and eventually enroll. In her first year, she says, “I signed up for everything and was involved in too much—I didn’t really want to be a part of them, I just wanted resumé builders.” It wasn’t until after her freshmen year that she sought involvement in the organizations she was genuinely interested in, which include the cheerleading team, the Office of Sustainability, Project CI, and the Bentley Democrats.
“Be the change you want to see in the world—embody what you want to see.”
Olivia was always into politics and for someone who leans so heavily to one side of the political spectrum, it isn’t always easy on a college campus where political beliefs are so diverse and can be so charged. But as President of the Bentley Democrats, she couldn’t be happier with the opportunity to seek a leadership role in a political organization. Normally, as President, she has various duties pertaining to the overall operation of the club as well as acting as a liaison between College Democrats of America and College Democrats of Massachusetts—but she was especially busy this year with the recent Presidential election. This past semester, Olivia formed an action committee within the club to do phone banking and campaigning for, then candidate, Joe Biden. Olivia says she was drawn to the club and to take action in this election because of a “desire to make the world a better place,” adding, “we are going to achieve change through policy and legislation.”
“Allow yourself to grow and let go of what you think you should do and dedicate yourself to what you are passionate about.”
Similarly, Olivia is also passionate about acting against climate change and promoting sustainability. She worked alongside the Bentley Office of Sustainability as part of the Student Sustainability Leadership Program to help promote sustainable initiatives. One of the initiatives she helped lead this semester was one that helped educate students about environmental racism. As part of the initiative, she helped do a Student Center take over, in which her area of focus was the California wildfires. In speaking about the project, she says, “the research I did over the semester culminated into something very tangible—which was really fulfilling for me.”
With Olivia being a very creative person in high school, she was looking for an organization that could fulfill her creative needs here at Bentley—needless to say, she found her outlet in Project CI. Currently, Olivia serves as the treasurer, in which she would normally deal with budget related matters as well as allotting money to the events that they hold each semester. However, with the onset of the pandemic, all events were virtual, which subsequently did not require any funds. Olivia praises her time within the organization, allowing herself to step away from her academics—which are strictly concerned with business—and embrace her creative side, saying, “all creative stuff has been super cathartic for me.”
“It’s important to never be afraid to ask for help—even if you hold a leadership position and you feel like you have a lot of responsibility.”
Throughout her time at Bentley so far, Olivia has pursued a variety of interests, from politics to creative outlets. In discussing her time here at Bentley and the choices she has made in terms of the organizations she has joined, she says, “Do what you want to do, not what you think you should do,” adding, “give yourself room to change because you are not going to be the same person you were in high school.” Olivia’s personal philosophy has allowed her to be dynamic in the different roles she serves in and has allowed her to do what she loves while getting the most out of her time on campus.