Hello everyone and welcome to my e-portfolio! My name is Zoe Legato and I’m a second-year Public Affairs Journalism major at The Ohio State University. Reading and writing have been a huge part of my life since day one; I distinctly remember my mom reading to me as a kid and my thirst for more of the written word. Over time, this developed into a drive to read as much as possible and analyze words in a deeper way. I have been fortunate enough to attend OSU and while I am here, I aim to develop my career goals further through work in my rigorous major courses. After my undergraduate education, I aspire to attend one of the top law schools in the country. My love of reading, writing, and precise analytical skills will serve me well as I take steps towards becoming a lawyer and help me through the intense education I still have ahead of me. One day at a time, I’ll make it to where I want to be.
I feel like I’ve changed so much from where I was a year ago. This year has been really transformational for me, in more ways than one. I’ve worked hard to develop my professional and leadership skills and I’ve already reaped some of the benefits of that. But more than that, I’ve developed more as a person. I’m more independent, happier with myself, and more tolerant of others. This has been a year of seeking peace and I’m one step closer to finding it.
I’m more in-tune with my emotions than I ever have been and that has opened wonderful doors for me. I now understand where others are coming from when they’re upset or need help because I can acknowledge my own emotions and see beyond them. It has made me a better problem-solver and more receptive to those around me; skills that will come in handy later.
The experiences that I chose to be a part of this year (IA Leadership Council, OWL-C, my job as an office assistant, STEP) have better equipped me for the real world. I was intentionally more selective of how I spent my time and it paid off. I now have more practical skills and a better understanding of how various organizations operate differently. I’ll definitely be able to take what I’ve learned from each of these things and use them to my advantage in the future.
Looking back on this last year, I feel more confident in who I am and how I can better serve those around me than I did 12 months ago. I can only hope that I can look back at the same time next year and see the more growth.
Zoe Legato Resume
Please find attached above my resume. It reflects my most current academic achievements, extracurricular positions, and work experiences. Further expansion upon many of the items on my resume can be found in the Artifacts and G.O.A.L.S. sections of this portfolio.
I have already detailed many of my most valuable experiences this year in other sections of the portfolio. If you are interested in learning more about those, I suggest visiting the posts entitled “Leadership Development,” “Artifacts: OWL-C,” and “Artifacts: Becoming an RA.”
As you will find in the resume page of this portfolio, I have had many varied experiences that have allowed me to gain different skills. As an office assistant at Ohio State, I have gained practical office skills while also honing my customer service in order to make my residence hall a great place to come home to. In my extracurricular roles, I have had great leadership experiences that have taught me more about myself and what kind of leader I am. As a lifeguard instructor and water safety instructor, I learned how to assess and handle stressful situations in an efficient manner and how to transfer my skills to others in a classroom setting. As a pet counselor, I began to appreciate the beauty in everyday things and how to be more empathetic to people and animals without voices. All of these have had different impacts on me and have helped me grow to be the person I am today.
These skills can all be applied to new roles that I will have in the future and the experiences I’ve had will be extremely valuable. As I move forward in my academic career, I hope to continue to grow and learn new skills through new opportunities.
During my two years in college thus far, my career path has changed several times. At the beginning of freshman year, I came in as a pre-communication major (I had to wait a year to apply to the major) with a pre-law designation. After adding two minors in Spanish and Professional Writing during that first year, I was accepted into the Public Affairs Journalism major in the School of Communication.
However, by the beginning of this, my sophomore year, I had changed my mind. I decided to explore the option of being a literary editor at a publishing house. While I didn’t change my major, I began to actively seek courses that would allow me learn more about publishing. Soon enough, my publishing dreams came to a crashing halt after I sat down and really thought about what I want in life.
And so here I am, at the end of my second year of college, about to change my major to Communication Analysis and Practice in an effort to get back to what I most enjoyed about school: taking classes that I was interested in. After changing my major, I will continue to charge ahead on the pre-law track with the goal of attending one of the most prestigious law schools in the country. I have finally come to the conclusion that what I want out of life and my love of academics will combine well in that setting. So for now, I am moving forward with a clear goal in mind: law school. Beyond that, I’ll need to cross that bridge when I get to it.
Through the International Affairs Scholars program, I have been involved in many short-term service projects. These have included things such as a canned food drive and writing letters to veterans and active-duty military personnel during the holidays. These experiences have been great, but I strive to complete a long-term service project in the future. As I make plans for my third year of college, I am seeking a project that I can get involved in heavily and make a real difference in my community. Right now, I am exploring opportunities volunteering with a local animal shelter or nursing home. I think that either of these would be excellent for my personal growth and allow me to give back to the Columbus community for a longer period of time.
Sophomore year has brought about a lot of development in my leadership experience. First, I am on the Leadership Council for the International Affairs Scholars program (a sort of executive board, if you will). As one of the 11 members on the council, I was responsible for driving the course of the program and creating the scholars experience of about 200 undergraduate students. In addition to being a member of the council, I was one of two co-chairs for the Global Citizenship team, which paired 2nd years to be mentors for the 1st years. My co-chair and I were in charge of matching about 80 2nd years with 60 1st years and then holding them accountable for the requirements we set forth for them.
In addition to being on the Leadership Council, I was also an OWL-Coordinator for move-in day at the beginning of autumn semester. After going through intensive leadership training for 2 days, I was given my own “flock” of OWLs (Ohio State Welcome Leaders). I was responsible for training them and, since 13 of my 15 OWLs were freshman, introducing them to the university. I was the first face that they saw for OSU and I made sure to make the most of that. For more details about this position, please see the post entitled “Artifacts: OWL-C.”
I recently found out that I have been selected to be a Resident Advisor for the 2016-2017 school year. I’m ecstatic to be taking on this new leadership role. I think that it will greatly add to my personal development and allow me to challenge myself by being a leader in a new setting that is very different from the positions I’ve held thus far. For more about the future of my RA position, please see the post entitled “Artifacts: Becoming a Resident Advisor.”
Because of all of these leadership experiences, I have learned a lot more about myself. I am a strong and charismatic leader, but also have the ability to encourage the ideas of others and make everyone safe and included. Not many people that I have come across handle this balance of being firm and friendly in quite the same way as me, since everyone has different leadership styles. I have the unique ability to be as caring as a mother and as authoritative as needed depending on the situation.
I have learned so much about myself through the courses that I took this year. At the beginning of autumn semester, I was accepted into the Public Affairs Journalism major but I thought that I wanted to be an editor at a publishing house. This was a confusing time. It only got more confusing when I realized that I wasn’t enjoying my journalism courses because they were too specific to job training and I knew that I didn’t want to be a reporter. I became frustrated autumn semester.
In spring semester, I signed up for Intro to Literary Publishing, which is what I thought I wanted to do. However, I quickly came to realize that while I enjoyed the rigor of the class, it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Because I took such tough journalism courses and then spread out to a publishing course, I realized that my future path really lay with graduate school, most likely law school. If not for the intensity of these classes, I would not have been able to come to that conclusion about my future career.
However, I would like to make a note of the fact that even though these courses were creatively exhausting and extremely intensive, I never gave up on the courses themselves. Yes, I learned wonderful lessons about who I am, but I also knew that my grades mattered to me. Despite the changes that I’ve gone though this year, I am proud to say that I have been on the Dean’s List every semester of my college career and expect nothing less from myself in the future.
While I have not participated in research this year, I have created original content for The Lantern in my journalism courses. I believe that the stories that I have been able to tell and the information that I have provided the student body and my fellow classmates is valuable and original.
In this way, journalism has been my own form of original inquiry. I have asked questions that others often overlook, sought out new information, and listened attentively to people tell their stories so that I could record it and share it with the rest of the world. The newsroom has been my laboratory as I learned the ins and outs of how to write a good story and how to get subjects to trust me with their personal stories.
The lessons that I have learned in these courses has allowed me to expand and begin to ask my own questions and explore human nature in a deeper way than ever before.
This year in International Affairs Scholars has really increased my global awareness. While all of our events are globally focused and encompass many issues, some have really stood out to me. First, I got the chance to learn about the Syrian refugee crisis from the ground up. A History department faculty member came in to teach us about the beginnings of the issue from a historical perspective. Then, we had another faculty member from the Political Science department talk more in-depth about how the refugee crisis has been handled by different countries, such as the U.S. and Canada.
All of this talk about the Syrian refugee crisis finally culminated for me during the IA trip to Toronto, Canada. We had the pleasure of hearing from the Special Assistant to the Premier of Ontario for Syrian refugees, who elaborated on how Canada was able to take in 25,000 refugees in just a few months. His perspective was so informative and I really enjoyed hearing him speak about his direct influence in such a large issue that I had learned about for the past semester.
Also, traveling to Toronto itself really raised my global awareness as well. It was my first trip outside of the U.S. and I learned so much by being there for just a few days. I definitely plan on traveling abroad more in the future and this was a great way for me to dip my toe in the water, so to speak.
At the end of my freshman year at OSU, I applied to be a Resident Advisor but unfortunately was rejected. Over the course of my sophomore year, I sought to improve my involvement on campus and strengthen my resume for this year. When the application came out this past fall, I knew that I had a much better chance of getting the position that I so desired.
During my sophomore year, I gained a lot of valuable experiences that are applicable to the RA role. I am currently an office assistant for the Office of Residence Life, which has given me more knowledge about how residence halls are run and also allowed me to develop relationships with the Hall Directors so that they would be more likely to hire me in the future since they know me.
I also had more leadership roles through being on the Leadership Council for the International Affairs Scholars as well as being an OWL-Coordinator. These positions gave me immense insight into how I operate as a leader and how I can be valuable on a residence hall staff.
Because of these excellent experiences that I’ve had this year, I was fortunate enough to be hired as a Resident Advisor for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year. I am currently in the RA class, where I am continuing to learn about myself and what I can bring to the role as a leader in my residence hall community. I look forward to next fall when I will begin my position and have the chance to put all of my skills and experiences to work.