ADVICE FOR STUDENTS
Q: Why did you choose to attend Penn State? Are you glad that you did?
I couldn’t be happier with my Penn State experience! I chose Penn State because I knew the program’s reputation was excellent, the faculty and alumni network would be extremely supportive, and University Park just felt like home!
Q: What advice do you have for potential students considering attending Penn State and EMS?
Visit the campus and connect with some current students or faculty in EMS as early as you can. Learn about all the resources that Penn State, and the College of EMS has to offer its students, you will be surprised as how many resources and opportunities there are! EMS offers amazing opportunities to help you get used to college life and learn about the university before you even start classes, like EMEX and TEEMS and I highly recommend both!
Q: Who was your favorite EMS professor or the one who had the greatest impact on you and why?
My academic advisor, Jodi Vender, had the greatest impact on me and the direction my career has taken. Jodi helped me discover Geography as a major and was instrumental in helping discover my passion for GIS. She also taught a seminar that was focused on professional development, resume building and other helpful information. I believe without I would not be where I am in my career without her support and guidance.
Q: Did you career turn out as you planned?
a. It has turned out better than I could have planned for. The technical and soft skills I developed through my coursework, clubs and activities at Penn State have really helped me throughout my career so far and have allowed me to keep my work diverse and have helped me be successful in the various positions I have held.
Q: Did you participate in any extracurricular activities like student clubs, organizations, internships, sports, study away or study abroad? Did they have any impact on you/your career? How?
I was very involved the Taekwondo Club, eventually becoming the President my senior year. I was also a student supervisor in the Club Sports Program my senior year. My involvement in both organizations was extremely helpful to me throughout my career because of the leadership skills I developed. I learned how to manage my time effectively, lead teams, resolve conflict, honed my public speaking skills and so much more.
Q: What one piece of advice would you like to give to students who are graduating?
Find a professional organization in your area and become a member. Get involved early, start building your network and volunteer as much as you can. The exposure, experience and opportunities you will get from being involved in a professional organization are extremely valuable, especially as you are getting started. It’s a great way to set yourself apart from all the others entering the workforce at the same time. Plus, many of them have groups dedicated to supporting emerging professionals!
PENN STATE TRADITIONS
Q: What’s the best thing about being a Penn Stater?
The Penn State Family! No matter where you go, you are bound to run into a fellow Penn State alumnus, and we are always willing to help each other out.
Q: What is your favorite memory of your time at Penn State?
Celebrating the Taekwondo Club being selected as the co-Club of the Year at the Club Sports program awards banquet my senior year with my teammates. My entire team worked so hard the whole year to put us in a position to be considered for that award and thankfully we were selected!
Q: How do you show your Penn State pride now?
I like to give my time back to PSU and EMS however I can. I have participated in the EMS mentoring program; I have also attended TEEMS as an alumnus for the last few years to speak to the incoming students, and love speaking with students and recent graduates who are looking for advice and mentorship as they seek opportunities in the workforce! I have received a lot of support and encouragement from PSU Alumni before me and love paying it forward!
Q: What’s your favorite weekend activity?
Anything outdoors and with friends and family! Hiking, kayaking, camping, playing sports or practicing my photography skills.
Q: What’s something about you that might surprise people?
I’m a 4th degree black belt in Taekwondo.
Q: What sports teams do you root for?
The LA Lakers, FC Barcelona, and anything Penn State of course!
Q: What’s your favorite quote and why?
“Set a goal so big, you can’t achieve it until you grow into the person who can.” I believe to truly be successful, you need to push yourself past your comfort zone and challenge yourself to do things you wouldn’t normally do, and sometimes things that others wouldn’t normally do either. Setting a goal beyond what you are currently capable of achieving ensures you always have something to work towards and keeps you motivated!