Dimitra and Grace's story

When Grace Lowden entered Dimitra Manis’ Upper East Side apartment in 2017, she had no idea her life was about to change forever.

By making an unexpected connection with alumna Dimitra, Grace built the stepping stones to a career in New York while still a student at Monash.

As a Business and Arts student at Monash University, Grace had signed up to participate in the Global Discovery Program, an international internship that flies eight students to New York City to meet Monash alumni working in senior roles across industries.

Grace was excited at the possibility of setting up an overseas internship in human resources following graduation.

With her future in mind, she connected with Dimitra - then the Chief Human Resources Officer at Revlon and a member of the Monash Global Leaders Committee in New York - over LinkedIn prior to jumping on her flight.

As the host of the Global Scholars welcome party, Dimitra immediately recognised Grace from her profile.

The rest is history.

"Grace impressed me from the minute I met her," says Dimitra, now the Chief Purpose Officer at S&P Global.

"She was really switched on and energetic. I offered her an internship and eventually a full-time role at Revlon."

For Dimitra, Grace’s passion and eagerness to learn set her apart. "She showed that she was really willing to take a risk to move ahead. She didn’t really know anyone in New York City and she was incredibly courageous to move.

"She’s got a wonderful flourishing career in the US and I’m so proud of her."

"Meeting Dimitra completely changed the trajectory of my career," says Grace, now a Project Associate for the Estee Lauder Companies.

Not only did she offer me my first internship and my first job in New York, but she inspired an interest in different areas of HR and encouraged me to explore different projects."

"That led me to become interested in employee engagement and inclusion and diversity within workplaces. And that ultimately led me to accept a role at Estee Lauder that focused on those two areas."

Both Dimitra and Grace continue to be actively involved in the Monash alumni community in New York, with Grace recently joining the Monash Young Leaders Council.

"When you find yourself in a new place, being able to walk into a community that's waiting for you can be life-changing," says Dimitra.