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To improve my global awareness, I worked last summer as a camp counselor in Toledo, Spain. This experience vastly improved my Spanish skills, inspired me to change my Spanish minor to a major, and gave me many opportunities to leave my comfort zone. Through my time in Spain, I am a better global citizen. I am more competent working within a diverse group of individuals, have a greater appreciation for cultural differences, and developed relationships with people from different countries and language backgrounds.
I am continuing to work toward this goal through a study abroad program. I have been accepted to International Studies Abroad program, which is approved by the Office of International Affairs that allows me to earn credit for my Spanish major. I will be spending five weeks in Chile taking classes at a local university. This program will give me the opportunity to improve my Spanish skills in a unique way by communicating with native speakers and learning through an immersive cultural experience.
To achieve the goal of original inquiry, I have been involved in two orchestras at OSU. I played in the First-Year Undergraduate String Orchestra last year, and this year I am a member of the Columbus Community Orchestra. Unique to these two orchestras is the fact that no one is a music major. These groups allow those who still are passionate about music to have the chance to continue their love even though they chose to pursue careers outside of the realm of music.
I am also interested in pursuing research in either Math or Spanish before I graduate. A requirement for my Spanish major is to take Senior Seminars, where I will further investigate a topic of my choosing and expend upon that topic through a paper. While this will not be as labor intensive as an undergraduate thesis, I will still be able to complete a small amount of research to complete the project adequately. If I decide to participate in research in the realm of mathematics, I would like to work on a problem that has real world applications. Using data and technology to improve aspects of health, education, and industry has expanded in recent decades, and I want to use the skills I have developed through my courses at OSU to make a difference in the lives of others.
Though I am still not entirely certain what my future career will be, my double major in Math and Spanish provides me with a degree of freedom in terms of career choice that is not always seen with other majors. By studying Math, I will be able to hold any number of jobs upon graduation. My courses at Ohio State have helped prepare me to take the preliminary actuarial exams, the first of which I am planning to take in May. By sitting for these exams, I am taking the first steps toward becoming an actuary. If I decide not to pursue a career as an actuary, the logical skills I have gained through my coursework have prepared me for a career in data analytics, statistics, or finance.
While I am very passionate about Spanish, and this love led me to major in it, there are many professional benefits to speaking another language. No matter the area I decide to pursue for a career, I want to be able to use Spanish to communicate with a wider range of individuals, and to potentially work outside of the United States. The applications seen through my two majors are endless, and regardless of what I decide, I know I will be able to apply the skills developed in Columbus to help others.
My selection of General Education classes also reflects a strong dedication to academic excellence. The courses I have selected cover topics I have never seen before, allowing me to learn new material and become a more well-versed and knowledgeable individual. In addition, they are in topic areas that are genuinely interesting to me. I will never again have the opportunity to take courses which allow me to learn about Folklore, Early Modern European Witch Crazes, or Human Evolution, so I have chosen to make the most of the wide variety of courses that OSU can offer.
Ohio State provides its students with numerous ways to improve their leadership skills, and I have already taken advantage of a few of these opportunities. I am involved in One Able World, a newly formed service organization on campus where I serve as a Trip Coordinator. One of the organization’s goals is to plan trips to countries in West Africa and provide service to the communities there. As a trip coordinator, my role is to organize every aspect of this trip, from flights to accommodations to service opportunities. This would be a large undertaking for just one person, so I lead a committee of individuals to make ensure that we are meeting our needs and deadlines.
I am also employed as a tutor through SASSO. Though I primarily work with small groups of individuals or with students one-on-one, my ability to communicate has vastly improved. When I explain a topic or homework problem to a student, I need to adapt my methods of explaining so it best suits their needs. In a larger group, a leader needs to be able to adapt to the needs and qualities of their group. There is no one way to lead that fits all projects and individuals, and as a tutor, I have been given numerous opportunities to perfect this skill.
Over the last two years at OSU, I have been involved in many different service opportunities, and I plan to continue to do so over my final two years. I began my journey at OSU through Buckeye Service Connection, a First Year Experience trip that allowed me to meet other service minded first years and spend time with them before classes started volunteering at different organizations in Columbus. I have also been involved in many of Pay It Forward’s initiatives, such as Community Commitment, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day of Service, and two of their one-day service trips. These opportunities have allowed me to get to know my Columbus community and spend time making my home a better place for those who live here.
In addition, I am involved in Scientific Thinkers, an independent organization where OSU students make two visits every month to Innis Elementary School to lead science experiments with the students. This opportunity is incredibly rewarding because I get to develop relationships with the children, mentor them, and help foster their love for science. While I plan to continue the short-term service opportunities, such as those organized through Pay It Forward, I want to remain a member of Scientific Thinkers until graduation. Instead of stepping in and making a difference in the short run, I am making a long-term investment in service. I will get to see these children grow up and will hopefully make a long lasting impact on their lives.
To work toward the goal of Global Awareness I will most likely study abroad. Even though study abroad is not required for my Spanish minor, I think it is an important part of learning a second language since it will help improve my skills. Through my own experience, and through listening to others experiences, there is so much to learn when we go outside of our own country. It is critical that we learn about and meet people from cultures different than our own. Alongside with Service Engagement, I believe that the goal of Global Awareness is the most important. While the other goals will help advance me academically, these two goals help me to become a well-rounded individual.
In terms of achieving the goal of Original Inquiry, I would like to participate in some sort of research over the next four years. Although not many Math nor Actuarial Science majors complete research whilst they are completing their degree, perhaps I can work with a professor in a topic that interests me, regardless of connection to my major. Or perhaps I will engage myself in some sort of creative production. I am currently a member of the First-Year Orchestra, but I would like to work on a theater production. My acting skills are lacking, but working on the crew would be enjoyable for me.
For the goal of Academic Enrichment, I am planning on taking difficult classes. While I chose my major(s) and minor because they are logical and easily employable, I truly enjoy the classes I have to take for them. In order to give myself a break from the difficult classes, I am planning on taking interesting GE courses that are not necessarily relevant to my major or minor at all. My first semester I took a Folklore class, and I did not know what to expect from it. However, it was a fun experience and I am glad I took the class. For the rest of my GE requirements, I will be taking classes on topics I will never have the opportunity to learn about again in a classroom setting.
To develop my leadership skills, I would ultimately like to hold some sort of leadership position in a club at OSU, preferably a service organization. Currently, I am not involved in any activities except the Orchestra, where I am the assistant section leader, but I would like to become more involved as the years go on. However, simply holding a title that says I can “lead” does not automatically mean that I can lead well. I would like to have internship experiences that allow me to work observe leaders in the field of work I would like to pursue, giving me real experience in seeing leaders work every day.
Being involved in volunteer work and giving back to your community are both very important to me. To work toward the goal of Service Engagement I want to be involved in a service organization on campus, especially one that works within the Columbus community. Although I would like to take a Buck-I-SERV trip sometime over the next four years to help a different community, I believe helping the community of which you are a part is more important. Earlier this year I participated in the Buckeye Service Connection and the Community Commitment, both of which focus on service work within Columbus. Being engaged in service to others not only helps the community, but it can help me grow and learn more about people who come from different walks of life.
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