UST Explorer

A Blog for Undeclared Students

Category: Student Spotlight (page 1 of 5)

Student Spotlight: Zizhuo Xu

Zizhuo is a former UST student who is now a senior Statistics major. Upon joining UD, Zizhuo didn’t know what he wanted to do in the future or what major he was interested in. Fortunately, he knows the importance of having a clear direction to enhance decision-making. He knew that he was good at calculations but not so much with writing. He considered majors like Mathematics, Computer Science, Finance, and Statistics.

“UST provides more opportunities for students to learn about their interested majors to help them make a suitable choice. It gives them more chances to get in touch with knowledge that they are interested in, and they will have a clearer idea about what major they want to choose. “

Being in UST helped him to explore his interests and learn where his strengths are. He determined that even though he liked using computer software like Python and R to aid with data analysis and building models, he decided that computer science jobs were not for him. He had also realized he didn’t enjoy Finance. He chose Statistics because he enjoys working with and analyzing data.

Zizhuo was recently featured on UDaily. You can read the article here.

Student Spotlight: Sarah Blum

Sarah is a sophomore honors student majoring in Cognitive Science with a Pre-Professional Speech-Language Pathology Specialization and minoring in Psychology and Disability Studies. She is one of our peer liaisons and an active member of NSSLHA (the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association). She also works on south campus in STAR tower as a research assistant in the SLAM lab, which studies child language acquisition, and as a substitute gallery attendant on campus on the weekends when she has the time.

Tell us about an experiential learning experience you’ve had while at UD.

I work as a research assistant for course credit, so I would definitely consider that an experiential learning experience. I get to work closely with individuals such as my PI, Giovanna Morini, who know a lot about some of the disciplines I hope to continue studying. She and others have given me great foundational knowledge in research areas I am interested in, as well as some experience in the field of communication disorders.

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

Make use of your advisor! I didn’t know about a lot of majors that I considered before I consulted with my advisor. With her help and the guidance of other students, I was really able to narrow out my search.

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

The truth is that, even though a lot of people will say they do, nobody knows exactly what they want to do for the rest of their life when they start college. I felt super pressured to know what I wanted to major in as soon as I started my freshman year, and I was so worried that I was going to be behind other people. Now I’m actually ahead of some of the people who declared their majors early on, and some of the people I know who were certain they had it all figured out have switched majors numerous times since they started college. Take a deep breath—you have time!

What’s one resource you think UST students should utilize more?

Their Peer Liaisons! I feel like some students may be afraid to reach out to us, but we really are here to help! I love when I get an email from a student and I can give them advice. Don’t hesitate. 🙂

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.

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