The College of Humanities and Social Sciences at UVU hosted a lecture series entitled “Degrees to Anywhere” on Oct. 18. The series is “designed to engage UVU alumni, faculty, staff, and community members to share their stories with UVU students,” as stated on the website. Having previously hosted speakers such as UVU’s own Bart Poulson and President Astrid Tuminez, the series encourages people to come and share their career experiences with students and how their education helped them reach success.
Emily Gappmayer Rowley, president of sales and production at First Colony Mortgage, has been in the mortgage business since 2004. But Rowley began by sharing her story before then, telling the audience of her early struggles as a teen mom and the fear of prejudice that she faced. It was not until years later, when she was 23, that she would enroll at UVU. Rowley said that her time as a student expanded her perspective and allowed her to learn a few important lessons that she loves to share.
One of the major talking points of her presentation was about making opportunities “plan A.” Rowley shared that there were moments when she felt she was on a cliff’s edge, unsure of whether to take an opportunity that had arisen or stick to what she was already doing. Rowley, in a short interview after the presentation, told The Review that taking risks is important for growth and that while it is important to have a plan B, changing plan A to plan B and taking the risk can be life-changing.
Rowley is a fan of challenges and encourages students to learn to be the same.
Another piece of advice Rowley shared was the importance of understanding other people’s “why.” Her position at First Colony Mortgage allows her to engage with teams around the nation, and she found the best way for her employees and people in her life to reach their highest potential is to learn why they are there. Rowley also asked students to learn their own “why,” as she found it important to learn what drives them so that they too can reach their highest potential. For her, as a struggling teen mom, her “why” was survival and building a life that did not rely on minimum wage pay. That reason helped elevate her to where she is today.
If students missed her lecture, it will be available on the Degrees to Anywhere website. There, students can learn more about upcoming lectures and watch previous speakers’ presentations.