Undergraduate institution: Merrimack College
Undergraduate major and minor: Major: Psychology | Minors: Interpersonal Communications & Sociology
Graduate studies (year, institution, degree): Master of Education in Higher Education Administration
Merrimack College, 2014
What have you been up to since attending Umbra?
After my time at Umbra, I returned to Merrimack College to complete my undergraduate degree. During this time I started working in Career Services, which ultimately affected my professional path moving forward. I continued to work in the Career Center at Merrimack throughout the completion of my graduate degree.
Following this, I moved back to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to open my private practice with my mother, who is an LICSW. In 2015, I took a job in the Career Center at Roger Williams University, and moved to Rhode Island. Beyond working in the Career Center I have had the opportunity to teach First Year Experience classes to freshman, became a Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC), and am currently in the process of becoming a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach.
Since moving to Rhode Island, I have met some wonderful people and made an amazing life for myself in the smallest state in the U.S.!
How has studying abroad impacted your life both personally and professionally?
Studying abroad is one the best things that I have ever done. It taught me to be independent, resourceful, flexible, and pushed me to try new things. This foundation has touched so many different aspects of my life and helped shape who I am today.
Knowing that I successfully pushed myself to travel abroad for the first time, without knowing anyone, for an extended period of time has instilled a terrific confidence that I am grateful for every day.
Professionally, the research internship that I completed while abroad was extremely beneficial for me. It taught me to weigh my research interests and prepared me for my undergraduate and graduate thesis development. My study abroad experience also came up in quite a few interviews during my job search, and set me apart from other candidates.
What are you doing now?
I am currently a Senior Career Advisor at a University in Rhode Island, helping students figure out their interests and professional aspirations. I also have a private practice blending career coaching and mental health counseling. Outside of work, I am a board member of a few different networking organizations and volunteer with a local non-profits.
When I actually have down time, I try and travel and spend time with my family and friends, especially my little dog Freddie Mercury.
Are you still in touch with the friends you made in Perugia?
Yes! This study abroad experience lead to some amazing friendships and lifelong travel companions! I plan a yearly trip with my closest friend from the program, where we can explore new places and reminisce about our time in Perugia.
What is one piece of advice you would give to prospective students thinking of studying abroad?
There are few times in your life when you have the ability to participate in an experience like this, and it will be remembered for a lifetime. There are also few other experiences that teach you more about yourself and help you grow as a person. You can see the world, be immersed in a new culture, and meet amazing people that you may miss out on if you don’t go.
The only thing that I regret about my study abroad experience is not going for two semesters! I wish I could go back now!
What is one piece of advice you would give to students studying abroad (during or after their experience)?
Be independent and experience as much as possible. Use your time wisely and explore every day. It is difficult to return home and be expected to go back to your old routine, when you were just jet setting across Europe, so make the most of it while you are there!