Member Spotlight: Lara Lukman

Member Spotlight: Lara Lukman

Lara Lukman, a New Jersey native, is the Marketing Manager for SESI Consulting Engineers. A graduate of Babson College, she double majored in Marketing and Legal Studies. Her 14 years of experience include CPG, entertainment, and construction. In Lara’s free time, she finds it rewarding to work with rescue animals, support victims of abuse, and volunteer with the spectacular AMA NJ team.

If you could write a book about your life, what would the title be, and why?

I would title it: “True to You, The Only Successful Path in Life.”

I spent too long feeling that each career decision was right or wrong. A choice would set my future on the right path or derail it. This mindset impacted me negatively. It felt that a misstep was imminent, and it was more debilitating than empowering.

I’ve learned that life, part of which is one’s career, is an experience, and sitting on the sideline serves no one. Even unpleasant times can be made into a lesson or a redirection. Success is not a job, a salary, an item; it is embracing opportunities to step out of a comfort zone, meet people, learn new things, and evolve.

Tell us something about your professional journey.

I started working for a paycheck when I was 14. Experiencing a wide array of management and work styles, I’ve learned plenty about myself and my ideal work environment. My expectations were set in college when I was fortunate to have a manager who led by example- setting a high bar for quality, work ethic, and establishing and maintaining team synergy. Not only did she make an impression while working together, but she supported me and connected me with my first corporate job – a difficult feat during the 2008 recession.

Since then, I’ve seen the value of a healthy team and leadership. In my early career, I sought effective leaders, and now I have the opportunity to be one of those strong leaders.

Why did you get involved with the AMA-New Jersey chapter? Why is this organization important to you?

My first corporate job consumed too much of my time and, more importantly, my energy. When I committed to a career change, I found AMANJ. I began attending their events and met another young professional, Max Rivers. He was asking around about volunteering, which I had never considered. AMANJ President-Elect, Michele Davis, brought both of us to meet the current President, Michael Fleischner (now an AMA PCC), Immediate Past President Talib Morgan, and other leaders in the organization. They made a great impression and gave me time to think it over. Soon after, I joined the team; a year and a half later, I was asked to be President.

I have met incredible, dedicated, and inspired volunteers in my six years with the organization. I’ve had the opportunity to explore my own personal and professional avenues of growth and have seen others through various stages of their life and career. I feel fortunate to be part of this organization and want to share it with as many others as possible.

What is the best advice you would give to professionals in your industry?

Get Involved. Find ways to connect with organizations, people, and information outside of work and family – when possible. Volunteering is a great way to accomplish this, especially when the role has flexibility. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve run across is to have multiple roles at various levels of responsibility.

If you are a CMO and a parent, you are constantly responsible for important deliverables. Beyond the time and energy related to these positions, you may also get lost in that mentality of leading others. Taking associate-level roles gives you the ability to be involved without a large commitment, and it allows you to relate to situations from that perspective. You may find you value a certain type of communication you receive as an associate, that you pull into how you communicate with the team you lead or the language you use with customers. 

If someone wants to connect with you, what is the best way to reach out to you on social media?

You can connect with me at LinkedIn

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