UST Explorer

A Blog for Undeclared Students

Category: Student Spotlight (page 1 of 4)

Student Spotlight: Ray Meier

Ray is a senior Environmental Studies major and one of UST’s Peer Mentors. She has studied abroad in Spain and Barbados, which she really enjoyed. And she is a proud foster mom to puppies and kittens.

What did you find most helpful when picking out your major?

I had a lot of help from the UST advisors and they helped me choose a major that was right for me!

What is your dream job and are you on a path to achieve it?

I would like to help combat sea level rise through coastal zone management in tropical regions, and I am on my way!

What are you involved in outside of the classroom?

I intern with the Sustainable Energy Utility of Delaware, I am involved in greek life, and I am the Vice President of Women Ready, an organization that collects and distributes hygiene products to homeless women in the area.

Student Spotlight: Lia Naselli

Lia is a former University Studies student who is now a junior majoring in Communication Studies. She is a member of Harrington Theatre Arts Company and a brother of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity.  She is a proud singer, dancer, and musical theatre buff. She also loves to travel and try new foods. This spring she will be participating in her first UDaB trip!

Describe your process for choosing your major. Were there any resources you utilized to help you?

I mostly used the UD website and online catalog. I dove deep into all the majors that interested me and looked at the courses they offered. I also utilized the Career Center resources, such as Handshake and the career counselors, and took a career assessment test, which helped me understand my career-related values and personality.

What advice do you have for new or prospective UST students?

I have SO much advice! But for now, I’ll just say: Don’t beat yourself up about not knowing exactly what you want to do right now. You will eventually find your way! But if you feel stuck, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There is no shame in needing a little guidance!

What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started at UD?

I wish I had known that ANY major has endless possibilities! I was so focused on choosing the perfect major in order to get the perfect job. But that doesn’t exist. You can construct your major(s) and your career into anything you want it to be!

Student Spotlight: Madelyn O’Leary

As a Delaware in D.C. program participant, Maddie spent the fall 2018 semester in Washington, D.C. attending classes at American University and completing an internship with a small company, Bold in Business.

Being undeclared when you enter college has its advantages because you are able to explore other majors and see what you would like. Especially if you are leaning towards one major, but have something you genuinely enjoy you could decide to minor in that after taking a class that you were excited about. Overall, just having the opportunity to explore other majors and take classes on a variety of things shows you early on what you do and do not like instead of finding out later on down the road. With this it gives you time to decide what you want to do with your life, but some people are lucky enough and go in knowing exactly what they want, not us University studies students though!

An academic area of interest that I have chosen is the business field and am leaning towards international business. This field interests me because growing up I always loved to help others and the business world helps you do that on a larger scale. With the area of interest that I have I could take my hobby for helping others internationally and that really excites me. Above all, I love to travel and if I could do that for work and meet people from all over that would be a dream of mine.

Participating in the Delaware in D.C. program this past semester definitely had its ups and downs, but above all I got to explore my favorite city! As for how it was beneficial, I had an internship first semester of college, not a lot of college kids are able to say that. Also, my internship was with an entrepreneur who developed the business, Bold in Business that was based on empowering women in the business world. Although, it was mostly marketing work that I was doing I was able to realize early on that was not what I was looking to do, but luckily like I said I was able to find this out early on and rule it out!

The most difficult thing about transitioning from high school to college is definitely that you no longer have someone holding your hand as you go along, because it is time to be on your own. At first this may seem overwhelming and scary and trust me, it is, but just like everything else in life you will quickly learn to adjust. You also will begin to meet people right off the bat whether it be your roommate, at orientation, in class, or clubs and they are all in the same position as you or will help guide you. So, although in the beginning it may seem like you are entirely on your own, it is important to remember that every freshman no matter what school is going through the same thing.

Student Spotlight: Isabel Hartenstein

Isabel is an honors student and a member of the marching band. She chose to enter UD as undeclared because she wanted to explore her options before committing to a major. She told us that being a University Studies student during her first year “gave her peace of mind” because she didn’t feel rushed or isolated in the major-selection process.

After taking some core science classes, meeting with her academic advisor, and going to the Career Services Center, Isabel decided to declare a Pre-Vet major with a Wildlife Ecology & Conservation minor. Her advice to other students is, “Don’t be afraid to explore your options. College is a huge adjustment, so make sure to take care of yourself and give yourself time to figure everything out.”


Student Spotlight: Isabella Hsiao

Isabella is a sophomore UST student and peer liaison. She thinks the main benefit of entering college as an undeclared student is having the opportunity to explore your options by taking classes that interest you while fulfilling breadth requirements. Although she is still considering majors, becoming a member of the Evolution Dance Team and Zumba Club helped Isabella decide to declare a dance minor.


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