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Campus Conversations: Serena Allendorfer

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Washington chapter.

She is unstoppable – Serena Allendorfer is a game-changer who speaks up for women’s empowerment and environmental sustainability. As a freshman at the University of Washington, she has already found several communities where she blooms as a leader and an inspiration to others. Her pursuit of improving the world in so many ways gives hope for the future generations. 

Courtesy of Serena Allendorfer


Major: General Business (Freshman Direct)

Hometown: Bellingham, WA (originally from Illioni, spent 5 years in Netherland)

Activities/RSOs: UWiB (gold member, procurement committee), ReThink (VP of OutReach), UW Symphony (Violinist)

Favorite Food: Pad Thai (Recommended restaurant: Wedge Wood 2 in Capitol Hill)

Fun Fact: Really like telling bad puns, being a Vegan


What is your passion?

“I’m passionate about expanding opportunities for women in workplace or in general. I think it is very important to make people aware of the gap still exists between men and women, and to get involved in organizations working to address such problem. Every day, I’m just inspired by all the women around me…in classroom and the Seattle community…and realize how powerful women are.”


Who is your celebrity twin?

“People have said that I remind them of Kat from 10 Things I hate About You, because I am extremely sarcastic and outspoken, and talk a lot about feminism and women in general. I can be really dramatic as well.”

via BuzzFeed Community


“ If you don’t eat a pound of beef, you save as much water as if you skipped 32 showers.”


Tell us about the world of Veganism and Vegetarianism. How did you become a Vegan?

“I became vegetarian about 2 years ago. Living in the Pacific Northwest, where a lot of people care about environment, made me realize the negative impacts our common diet have on nature. It was quite easy to become one after that. I’ve been vegan since the beginning of this year: it was my New Year’s Resolution.”


What are the pros and cons of being a Vegan/Vegetarian?

“Not eating animal products really has positive effects on the environment. If you don’t eat a pound of beef, you save as much water as if you skipped 32 showers…(You save so much water by not having meat or dairy products.) This is definitely a good thing about being a vegan: you can contribute to saving the nature in many ways. You can also get to experiment with different combinations of foods and carefully choose what to put into your body: you become more conscious of how the food comes from a farm to your table.”

via Pinterest

“A con would be that there are not enough vegetarians or vegans. I think people need to be more aware of the damaging effects meat and dairy have on the environment.”


“You get what you put in.”


Move on to your school life……What is the interesting thing about UW?

“The most interesting thing is how small this school can feel sometimes. It IS a huge school, but you can find your group of people. There is probably a club for any activity…even your weirdest hobby.”


How would you describe life at UW in one sentence?

“I would say ‘You get what you put in’. I very much support our slogan, Be Boundless, but you have to put some work in to get a result. The biggest failure here would be not pursuing something you are interested in because there are so many opportunities and great connections at this school.”

Courtesy of Serena Allendorfer


Can you explain more about your organization, ReThink?

ReThink is a fairly new RSO under the Foster School of Business, which focuses on sustainability and how future business leaders can contribute. We have an annual case competition and resilience summit. Overall, it is an influential club with a great mission and people. I personally think it is very important to ‘ReThink’ the relationship between business and environment because it does not receive the attention it deserves. Also, American corporations have a great impact on the environments of other countries, such as those in the developing world. If we want the future generation to continue having the same opportunities and resources we take for granted, we need to change our behaviors; and if companies want to survive, they have to change the way we do business, for sure, to be more eco-friendly.”

via Facebook


“My dream was for everyone to love and respect each other regardless of the background they had.”


What was your dream when you were little?

“This was when I was going to an international school in the Netherlands, and my dream was for everyone to love and respect each other regardless of the background they had. In the school, I met so many great people from different countries, and we all got along well even though some of us did not speak same languages. Later I realized, in the real life, people actually disregard or look down on, in some way, those who are not as same as you are: It was shocking to me. But I think everyone is great in their own way. The dream has not changed till today, and I want people to be able to pursue their passion as they wish to.”


Who is your role-model?

“I really look up to Shonda Rhimes, the executive producer and writer of many great TV shows, such as Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. Her TED talk, ‘My year of saying yes to everything’ changed my life: I used to be very self-critical and thought that I was not good or smart enough to pursue certain opportunities. But her perspective on going outside of own comfort zone and challenging oneself truly inspired me, and now I am not afraid of taking risks or breaking rules in a positive way.”


“ I really want to change the statistic.”


What do you see in your future?

“I want to reach the C-suite in a large company someday. Today, only 1 in 20 CEOs are female. This number is shocking low and I really want to change the statistic. We need more women in leadership roles, because women are smart and capable of many things. I want to be one of those game changers who can reflect that to the corporate world.”

via Pinterest


Mark your calendar and visit:

UW Symphony’s performance (April 28): https://www.facebook.com/events/985154651610529/

UW ReThink’s Annual Resilience Summit (May 19): https://www.facebook.com/events/1453095644740828/