My time here at PSU has become an incredibly inspiring journey. I have taken the school’s motto, “Let Knowledge Serve the City” and made it my own. Walking on campus one day, I distinctly remember seeing the motto emblazoned on the sky bridge and thinking how incredibly lucky I am. How lucky I am to find myself at such an inclusive and supportive community and to attend a college that has connected me with employers and prepared me for my career.
When I started this journey three years ago, I was a non-traditional international student and English was not my first language. To save the money necessary to come to the U.S. and study for nine months, I had worked multiple jobs for five years. A feeling of pure panic welled up after about six months of being here and I wondered how in the world I was going to come up with enough money to stay at PSU and graduate with a degree.
Luckily, through this difficult time, a community of faculty, mentors and friends supported me and helped me find my way. Over time, I got to know PSU by serving as the coordinator of the International Women’s Group and mentoring freshman students as part of the University Studies program. This community has been incredibly supportive and I’ve found friends for life. I’ve also really enjoyed taking advantage of the incredible opportunities that have been offered to me. Through mentorship programs to networking events, PSU has prepared me to be an incredible professional. I graduated on Sunday with a job offer and an offer to start in PSU’s prestigious Master of Science of Financial Analysis program in the Fall.
My advice for students is to take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way. College is a great time to network and conduct informational interviews with employees from companies you are interested in working for. Personally, I’ve had great opportunities at PSU to grow and learn outside the classroom. One of my most memorable experiences is speaking at the 2015 Simon Benson Awards Dinner and to thank all of the kind people who support scholarships and students like me. It was my first time speaking in front of such a large crowd, more than 1200 people were there! I was honored to be able to thank scholarship donors in person.
No other university works so hard to connect students with each other, staff, faculty, and employers as PSU does. I have found a family and a future here. I think this applies to many other graduates as well. When you graduate you will be able to look around at all the incredible people you’re surrounded by right now, think of how many friendships you’ll create, the love you will find and or the career you will start, all here at PSU.