If you want to plan a trip to Iceland or South America, then you have something in common with Lea Glazer, 22, of Pikesville.
The recent University of Maryland graduate studied finance and marketing and was involved with Maryland Hillel, UMDChabad, and MEOR Maryland. She also took part in a virtual Torah learning project called 25 for 25. She is working remotely until she moves to northern Virginia to work as an audit associate at Capital One. She hopes to eventually go back to school for an MBA.
Why did you study finance and marketing?
I’ve always been a people person. I wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to build meaningful relationships. The process of decision making has always fascinated me, so I became interested in consumer behavior.
Can you share a favorite memory from your time at UMD?
I’ll never forget my first Shabbat dinner at Maryland Hillel. It was so much fun to connect with all of those strangers at the time through shared tradition. I remember feeling so happy to be part of a community on campus. The people I sat next to that night are, to this day, some of my closest friends.
What was it like to have a virtual graduation?
It was definitely interesting. As much as I looked forward to walking across the stage with my classmates, there was something really special about celebrating with my family on our living room couch. Maryland Hillel truly elevated the experience as well by giving each graduate a personal shoutout in a separate virtual ceremony. It was an honor to represent my graduating class by giving a speech and to be able to share my experiences with all of the families watching.
What are you looking forward to as the country reopens?
I like to look for silver linings in challenging situations — unexpectedly being at home these past few months has given me the chance to spend lots of time with my family. As the country reopens, I am really looking forward to traveling again. I want to visit the West Coast!
What do you like to do in your free time?
Growing up, I loved to read and I’ve recently gotten back into it. I also love discovering and trying new recipes on Instagram. If I’m looking for some inspiration, I’ll listen to Guy Raz’s podcast called “How I Built This” — highly recommend.
What does your Jewish identity mean to you?
Judaism has always been a key element of my personal identity. I attended Krieger Schechter and Beth Tfiloh, and my parents taught values and traditions at home. To me, being Jewish means being a part of a community. It means understanding where you came from. On both sides of my family, my grandparents survived the Holocaust, escaped oppression in Soviet Russia, and eventually moved my parents to Baltimore. My Jewish identity is deeply rooted in family history and I am so proud of who I am. I love connecting and sharing experiences with other Jews, whether at UMD, in Baltimore, or across the world.
Is there a particular story from any Jewish texts that stand out to you?
The concept of Tehillim is so beautiful. I love that we can turn to these texts for the widest range of emotions, in good times and in bad. Every morning in high school at Beth Tfiloh, our prayer group would recite Psalm 121 all together, keeping in mind those who needed healing, solace, or just some extra strength. It was really powerful. That will forever stick with me.
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