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Before coming to college I was a very dependent person who didn’t really understand what it meant to be an adult. It hit me on high school graduation day that I wasn’t going to go back to Lakota East High School as a student but as an alumna. To be honest, the idea of going to college and living on campus really scared me. I had no idea of what was going to be introduced to me in the new school year. I had to go to a new city and get used to knowing my way around a whole entire campus instead of just a building. I knew of the vast amounts of programs and internship opportunities that were going to be available to all students on campus, but I did not feel mentally and physically prepared. It was a little bit frustrating knowing that I would have to make my own choices for once. Knowing that my signature actually mattered and that I was in full control of my future was a little bit too much for me to take in. Although terrified, there was still a little part of that was excited about becoming independent. Coming to college, meeting new people, and getting a wonderful education really made me a more confident and outgoing person.
When I first entered the STEM EE Scholars Program, I thought I was academically prepared for what was going to be thrown at me in my class. Little did I know, I was not going to be in the top of my class all the time and that college was going to be filled with geniuses and talented people. I also definitely did not know that socializing could be so easy. Everyone was so nice and open to meet new people. I was reassuring to know that I could get help from anyone at any time when in college.
I have met some of my best friends in just one year. Making new friends in college was surprisingly easier than I thought it would be. For the first couple weeks of school, it was really nice to have casual conversations with strangers that would become friends in the future. Since no one really knew each other, it was easy to mingle with different groups of people and clubs to find where I fit in. the amount of on-campus events and clubs (that I found during the involvement fair) was very eye-opening. There would always be something going on every day. It was basically impossible for me to be bored.
The STEM EE Scholars program helped me a lot when it came to socializing with people whose majors were also STEM related. All scholars’ groups require their students to live together and this was probably what kept me alive through freshman year. Complaining and suffering through the same classes at the same time was what brought the group together. Late night studying and casual game days on the weekends were probably some of the most memorable experiences of my life. There is always someone to talk to no matter what time of the day it is. This experience definitely gave me the chance to find my OSU family away from home.
STEM also helped me understand what it was like to be a peer-mentor and student leader. Being the Trip and research coordinator of the Scholars group, I have to learn how to plan my time out properly so that I can finish my academic homework, service requirements and event planning. I have also gotten much better at small talk and conversing with professionals in my field through internship applications and emails for STEM-related Scholars trips. I feel that I have become a more independent person throughout this school year and I have learned how to achieve my deadlines and goals without the help of others.
I learned how to look outside of my initial expectations when something wrong was going on. I have become more willing to evolve my ideas to make something work. STEM made me realize that there are multiple different ways to solve one problem. Just because someone has different idea than me doesn’t me that it’s wrong.
I have learned and matured so much in this school year and it’s sad to see that it is coming to an end now. I am excited to see what STEM has in store for me for the next three years of college and I hope that the experiences I will have in this program and university will continue to be just as good as those of this year.
Oh the Places G.O.A.L.S. Will Take Me
Going through my freshman year as a STEM EE Scholar at Ohio State University really helped me understand the meaning and purpose of G.O.A.L.S.: Global Awareness, Original Inquiry, Academic Enrichment, Leadership Development, and Service Engagement. All of which are important for my future professional and personal goals. But the G (Global Awareness) and A (Academic Enrichment) in particular are the most applicable to me in the context of my future career and individual goals.
Global Awareness is probably the most important item in G.O.A.L.S. for me. Personally, I love to travel around the world to be more aware of what it is like to be a global citizen. The different cultures and languages that exist simply amaze me and I would love to experience what it’s like to live in a totally different environment. Being more knowledgeable of my surroundings will definitely allow me to become a more successful person in the future. The vast amount of unknowns and studies that are available for students to discover and work on outside of college is simply fascinating. I feel that these opportunities will allow me to further develop my listening/speaking skills through interacting will people from a different region/country, cultural understanding by getting to experience different traditions or formalities from elsewhere, multicultural engagement through studying and interacting with people from all over the world and teamwork ability by learning to work with strangers that I have never met before. Not only will my interpersonal skills be developed, but my personality skills will also mature. Traveling abroad will boost my self-confidence through communicating with people who grew up in a different environment. Furthermore, I would become a more responsible person in the process by having to plan out my studies and finances on my own.
I plan to incorporate Global Awareness in my life over the next year by taking advantage of study abroad programs, research opportunities or even internships abroad to get a worldwide view of the fields I plan to join. This will broaden my horizons by giving me the chance to understand what actuarial science, computer science and economics are like around the world. It would be so cool to meet professionals in my field from around the globe. There are many opportunities that are offered to me through the university and tons of events that are going on daily on-campus that I could be involved in. This is definitely enough for me to accomplish my global awareness goal.
Academic Enrichment is the second most important item in G.O.A.L.S. for me. In order to gain the experience that many companies and industries are looking for, getting involved in internships in college is a must. To get in to the profession I love (actuarial science) it is important for future actuaries to take and pass many exams such as probability, financial mathematics and more. Excellence in academics and being involved in rigorous curricular activities both in and out of class will definitely allow my dream of becoming an actuary in the future to come true.
I plan to incorporate Academic Enrichment in my life over the next year by being more involved in clubs and activities that relate to my field and apply to more internships and jobs so that I can learn more about my major and become more experienced. The internet will be a great source for me to find jobs/internships that interest me. I could also do more research really get a feel of what I will be doing in the future and be more knowledgeable about it. Next year will be a great time for me to perfect my resume and make sure that I am getting more involved on-campus so that I can take off most of my high school experiences.
Although all portions of G.O.A.L.S. are important, global awareness and academic enrichment are going to be the most valuable goals for me. These two goals are the most relevant to my future professional and personal goals and will further develop my success and involvement in actuarial science and computer science. I plan to incorporate both of these goals into my life by applying to more study abroad research programs and internships throughout the next year.
My leadership and community service involvement was greatly developed through STEM Scholars. This will give me more experience for the future which will help me when I am searching and applying for jobs/internships in the future. The leadership skills that I have gained over the past two semesters has assisted me in becoming a more organized and reliable person. Community service involvement kept me engaged on events and allowed me to be more knowledgeable about the neighborhood around me. I was also involved in the Actuarial Science club during the autumn semester of 2015. Through this program I learned about more opportunities that were available to as a growing actuary. I got the chance to participate in interviews and use my resume.
This is a picture that was taken after a Floor 11 STEM EE Scholars’ While Elephant Gift Exchange that happened before finals week of first semester. It was a nice de-stress event.
I remember being so nervous about my college experience during the summer after my senior of high school. I never knew that I was going to experience the best year of my life with some of my favorite people. Making new friends has never been easier. I honestly had no idea that I people on my entire floor were going to be best friends with each other. It’s been a wonderful experience getting to spend all day and all night together with friends and working through all of our struggles together. The ups and downs are so much more exciting and every one of them brightens up my day to make bad days more bearable.
This event is one of the many events that we planned together, but it’s the only one where we actually got a group picture with everyone in it. Words cannot explain how much I will miss this group of people next year. Housing forced us to live apart, but the friendship that we had will last forever.
I have always been interested in STEM fields ever since I did a class project in third grade on Emmy Noether. Her ambition and determination to make her contribution to mathematics and physics, even when those fields were frowned upon by society for women to enter, truly inspired me. My passion in STEM fields actually began when I heard my father’s complaints to insurance companies about the increasing cost of his premium every time we had to renew our insurance policies on our house and cars. I know it is part of my father’s efforts to lower our cost of living under today’s economic environment, but it does trigger my curiosity on the STEM world. How do these companies do business? How do they calculate their cost? How do they avoid risks and make a profit at the same time? What theories and algorithms do they use in their business operations? I was curious and wanted answers to all of these questions. I need to know what happens behind all of the bills and paychecks.
While taking many career quizzes to find a profession in the STEM field that matches my interests, I came across Actuarial Science. This field includes so many of my obsessions and strengths: probability, mathematics, statistics, finance, economics, financial economics, and computer programming. My friends make disgusted faces when I confess my career of interest. They think I have gone mad for adoring such boring and difficult topics and classes, but I disagree. To me, math is a universal language that almost everyone speaks, and graphs are explanations of many important economic laws and mathematical theories.
Mathematics has always been my forte. Math became my life and blood not only because I had never gotten anything below an A in the class, but also because equations were my sentences, numbers were my letters, and equal signs were my commas. In addition, economics also prompted my goal of becoming an Actuarial Scientist. I was awestruck by how the complexity of it could be captured in a downward sloping demand curve and an upward sloping supply curve. The fall of Socialism in the 1990s and the Great Recession during the end of the 21st century further induced my passion to be involved in the business field. It made me realize the effects and the importance of marketing equilibrium internationally.
Choosing to study as a STEM EE Scholar at THE Ohio State University is truly a good starting point for me to get the right knowledge and training in related fields. It will not only help me to find answers to my questions, but also allow me to make contributions to the global economy and the well-being of the people in the world.