MY Oneonta Life Hangout: The Academic Experience
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MY Oneonta Life Hangout: The Academic Experience

(Chimes) (Chimes) (Music) (Music) (Music) (Music) Hello and welcome to the My Oneonta Life Hangout. I’m Brynn Sussman host for tonight’s program. First off I want to congratulate you on being
accepted to SUNY Oneonta. I hope you are just as excited as I was when
deciding on the college I would be attending for the next four years. For the
next hour we’re going to take you on a journey through some of the highlights and
opportunities you will have as a student at Oneonta and introduce you to some
of your fellow future students. I’m joined by 6 current students who are here
to talk about their experiences at Oneonta and answer any questions that you might have.
Tonight you have the opportunity to interact with us directly by asking questions
about the academic experience here at SUNY Oneonta.
From majors and minors, internships, studying abroad, research
opportunities, academic clubs, ask anything you want and we’ll try and answer
as many questions as we can. To ask a question post it in the
Class of 2019 Facebook Group or tweet us using the #myoneontalife So let’s get started. I’d like to introduce
our panel for tonight. Jounia Saint-Juste is a senior Biology major, minoring in Women’s Studies and Chemistry.
She’s from Spring Valley, NY. She is an RA in one of our residence halls
and member of the Beta Beta Beta, the Biology honor society,
ODK, a service honor society, and a tutor for CADE and EOP. Louis Lau is a junior from Staten Island,
NY and is an Adolescent Math Education major. He is a member of the
intramural volleyball and football teams. Maddie SeGuin is a sophomore transfer student from Chittenango, NY and is a Fashion Merchandising
Management major. She’s a member of the Student Fashion Society,
intramural volleyball team, and will be attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in the
fall through Oneonta’s 3 + 1 program. Meaghan Kristol is a junior from Stony Brook,
NY and is a Business Econ major with a concentration
in Finance. She is an Admissions Assistant for SUNY Oneonta’s
Office of Admissions, chairperson for the Student Advisory Council
of the School of Economics and Business, and treasurer for the Colleges
Against Cancer club that runs Relay for Life here on campus. Kevin Sutton is a junior from Afton, NY and
is Mathematics and Theatre major. He’s vice president of the Sanford Society,
the math club, and is involved with Mask and Hammer, an AALANA mentor and a Very Influential Peer
among others. Elizabeth Diaz is a senior from the Bronx,
NY, is a Criminal Justice major. She’s a resident advisor in
a freshman residence hall. and the Student Tour Team Supervisor for the
Office of Admissions. And I’m Brynn Sussman a senior Mass Communications
major, Journalism minor from Monroe-Woodbury, NY. I’m a four
year student athlete and captain of the Oneonta women’s tennis team, a SAAC
representative, and an active member of Wire TV. Welcome everyone. So first off, that leads to my first question
for the panel, why Oneonta? So guys why did you decide to come here. I feel really important for me specifically
to find a school as a transfer student where I felt like I belonged. I wanted to go to a school that gave me opportunities
for personal growth as well as academic. There was just something
about Oneonta that I just loved, and I even put in my deposit
without even having visited the campus, just because it was so accessible. The people
that I needed to get answers from, I always had tons of questions,
you always want to make sure that you’re going to a place you’re going to love. So it was very
important for me to have accessibility to certain people, and all of
my questions were always answered within 24 – 48 hours and I thought that was
great. There was just something about Oneonta and the Office of Admissions
that I loved. After I came, I said “Yes! I’m home”. Yeah, I felt the same way. When I was coming
on tours and I went on tons of tours, and some the bigger colleges
I went to, the tours were really just not up to par with what I expected, and
I came here and I got this immediate vibe that they actually care
about you, wanting to feel like you’re really fitting in and all
that stuff, which I really personally enjoyed. I transferred from a big private school and
I also changed my major which was very hard
me to kind of narrow down on a school because I
knew what I didn’t want and I was being very picky at that point,
so I came to Oneonta and I felt very comfortable and I just felt like I was at home here, it’s a
very comfortable campus. Everyone is very nice, so I definitely felt at home, comfortable. In my program in particular,
it’s a 3 + 1 program, and those are not found in a lot of places that was really important to me as well. I play tennis and I got a personal tour from
the coach at the time, before the real tour from
Admissions and I don’t know if that helped, but he showed me so many things, I was “Oh wow, I
haven’t seen this before”, “Wow they have this here”, it was the warm… I think I was with my dad at the time, cause
I was kind of set on a different school, then I came, I have
to come here again and look at it again. I got that immediate feeling of OK, I could
see myself hanging out with these people, which was nice. I chose Oneonta because, well first I applied
to fourteen colleges and (laughing) I could ignore the second question. You say that if that’s Oh, I applied to fourteen
colleges. I wanted to go to a huge private university
down south particularly James Madison, and then my mom
said, “Do you want to be in debt when you graduate and
try to get a loan,” and I said, “Absolutely not.” She said, “Alright let’s
go to a SUNY school.” We did a SUNY road trip and I went to Binghamton,
Geneseo, Oneonta Stony Brook, because that’s my home town.
And right when I came on the campus, this is actually the last school I
visited, right when I came here I was like this is it, I’m done, I’m sold, let’s put the deposit
in. How about you Louis. I chose Oneonta because I felt like I fit
in once I arrived here. The campus was beautiful and I had a feeling
I saw myself coming here for the next four years,
and the tour guide was very informational and she was also pretty cute
(laughing) so that’s why I chose — but I never saw her again, that
was my loss. Oneonta is a great school, you have a lot
of opportunities and they also have the major I wanted. Now for other people viewing in what’s some
advice that you guys think that maybe could have help to make your
decision or advice you got that helped you make your
final decision? Well for me it was that Oneonta was the first
school that spelled my name right so I felt like they actually know and care
about me. They actually took their time to spell my name correctly so I decided Oneonta
you’re the first school, yes. Deposit… I didn’t even look at the school,
or even get a tour. I got a tour after I paid my deposit, but 3 months before I had to move in. I was like
you could spell my name correctly that means you’re the school for me so that’s
how I chose. Assuming you were suddenly surprised when
you actually came to the school. So that’s basically what happened to me. I
don’t know – advise, if you feel like you’re in the decision where you’re thinking
about which school should I go to you could always call and ask what do you
guys offer, what do you guys have. For me what
sold me was unlimited dining plan. I was like yes! You
know it’s worth, it really is. I don’t want something in one dining hall
well I’m going to go swipe. I don’t have to worry about oh my goodness
I have seventeen swipes this week, oh man I already wasted one. So that kind of helped me make
my decision quickly. I would definitely recommend going to campus
tours. I think I went on five before I came here. Just five? Just five, five here at Oneonta. I always wanted go here but it was from touring other schools that I really
found out that this is where I want to to be. My recommendation would be to tour
as many schools as you can and also come to Academic Exploration
Day Is that a plug? Yes. Coming up on April 11, and if you’re interested in clubs, being able
to talk to students was a huge selling point for me, so I would really commend
that. How many tours did you go on? Total, to all colleges? Yeah. I went on the most here at Oneonta. I think
I was on eleven tours, twelve maybe. That’s not as bad as I anticipated. I thought
you were going to say around twenty-five or thirty. My high school tennis coach said you’re just
going to know, and I said yeah, I’m just going to know – what
does that mean? But then I got here and I knew this is what it means. You have that
feeling – I’m going to graduate from this school. You
just see it. Did you guys feel similar? I would tell people follow your gut instinct. It’s the moment that I, I had put in my deposit,
I already made my decision that I was coming here but as soon as I stepped my feet here, I said
this is my home, I want to be here right now. This
was in April We weren’t moving until August, but I wanted
to be here now, now. And I saw it and the people were just so nice and I was
able to relax. You’re coming into a brand new environment. Is this going
to be for me? So just follow your instincts. It’s very important to get that feeling. You
feel like home, then it’s probably going to be home. An advice I would say is you think of this as the end of the world when you’re coming
to college. If I’m not happy what am I going to do. There’s options for
everything and everyone, so and you will be happy. Everyone that you’re
coming in with is in the exact same boat as you and I think that was the most comforting thing.
When you come in the first day you’re really just not by yourself. You have
all these other people who are on your floor, your roommate doing the exact same
thing as you. So I think that was helpful for me at least. I didn’t know that,
people were telling me that, but to understand that and realize I’m not
doing this by myself was comforting. Do you guys have similar things? What really what really sold me was the residential
halls, FYE dorms, the First Year Experience. Right
when I got into that dorm and saw how clean it was, how organized, and brand new, I felt this
is where I’m going to sleep at night, this is going
to be my next home. And coming home from spring break just a couple of days ago, my roommates, I
said to them in the car, right when we got on Main Street I said the
feeling, the vibe that I get when I get on campus, not even on campus yet, on
Main Street. Yes, I’m so happy to be here. I feel like that’s
the most important feeling right when you get on campus. Like
you said what is this feeling? There’s actually feeling. So we have our first question from Alley. She asked “What surprised you most in your
first week at Oneonta?” in the Oneonta Facebook group. So what surprised you the first week the most
at Oneonta? I had this immediate panic after I moved in.
I think that’s normal, to panic a little bit, being your
first time away from home and I’d already been to college, but being
away, away, 3 1/2 hours away. I can’t just take a bus right home away. so
the first day was total panic and shock, and there were
some tears and then it was this is great. We did Walk
Through the Pillars and toured the quad, they were
giving us free nachos, and I thought this is the life. It surprised
me how at home and comfortable I felt after that initial shock.
It was great. For me I think what surprised me most is when
you envision college I mean everyone has their own vision, people
on the quad, hanging out and playing frisbee, and actually
walking through and seeing that, I want to come to college
right now, this is happening, this is real, just actually
being here and that setting in that you’re walking through a movie, that’s your real life, that was what
surprised me most. I think the thing that surprised me is that
when I did my tours it was always during break, I don’t know what I was thinking
when I did that, so seeing people I thought “oh my god, hey”, and people were
so friendly, looking at you and saying hi. Strangers were
saying “oh my god, come to my room” and I thought “wait a minute, what”. People were that nice,
and I get the free stuff in the beginning, I was collecting stuff,
so I was exited. I thought “wow, Oneonta loves and appreciates me”. I
got free cups the free food, the walking the pillars, shirts
too, what else am I going to get. I felt this school
invested so much in me I decided to go to this school, but in return
look how much appreciation they have for me. I felt very
important in the first week. Classes started I was exited, so that’s what
impressed me. I was going to say what surprised me was how everyone in my residence hall, I lived in
Littell, by the way, everyone had their door open and I wasn’t
expecting that. I knew I was coming here with a friend from
high school, they didn’t live in the same building as me
but it was right next door, so I knew I had at least
one person to contact, but I didn’t know that everyone was going to be so open, everyone
was walking down the hallways. They were giving out candy saying “my name’s”
– I don’t remember his name right now – freshman year, he gave me candy and we hung
out for a couple hours and we really nice. Everyone was just talking and
hanging out getting to know each other the first couple days before classes started. I think that’s one of the most important things
when you first come in and you think that you’re only person going through
the kind of homesickness period, and you’re not. As a
freshman or even as a transfer you come and there are people that come in
with you with those same fears – am I going to able to ok here and I feel that
as the FYE, or the First Year Experience residence hall there is such a good example of that and of
how everybody’s together and we’re all here together, so let’s all open
our doors together. I love that, because – there’s four First
Year Experience residence halls right? Plus a section in Hulbert. If you opt for that living style then you’ll
be around all the freshmen. I really liked that, it was
very comforting to know that I wasn’t going to be right next door to a senior that
already had their group of friends, everyone was in the same boat. Louis do you live in the FYE as well? I did, I lived in Golding Hall. What surprised
me was what everyone said, everyone was very friendly. In the first couple of days I walked around
with the whole building, introducing myself, I’d knock on the doors,
a lot of doors were open so I knocked and walked in, “Hey, I’m Louis,
I live on the second floor” and “nice to meet you”. Everyone’s friendly. I
made a social, I didn’t know that I made a social, I made
everyone watch “Pretty Little Liars”. The season finale’s tonight, I’m excited to
watch that. Freshman year it was the season finale for
that too. I’m surprised people came because I saw a
big TV in the lounge, but maybe I could get people. I didn’t know
thirty people would show up, I thought it was like one or two including
my roommates, they don’t watch it but I made them come that was great, everyone’s
very friendly. And now Maddy you had a different experience
because you’re a transfer. What about your first week, what was most
surprising for you? For me being a transfer student, in my old
school, it was such a big school I felt like I got lost in it. I really did
just feel like a number there. So being at Oneonta, which is a much smaller
school, I knew I would see familiar faces, but my biggest advise would be to say hi to
people that you know because everybody says hi here. Even if you’ve
seen them once, talked to them once, seen them in the library,
everybody says hi so put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to
make friends, don’t feel like it’s going to be awkward or
uncomfortable because everyone here is really accepting, especially if you’re a transfer
student. I’ve never been to a school or seen a school that has had
so many transfer students. So I definitely feel comfortable and I feel
like there’s a lot of other people who can relate to me also being a transfer. I definitely
felt at home, comfortable. The first week wasn’t bad at all. I can’t
complain. I think it was also emotional, I felt like
I didn’t hate the dining hall food. Everyone said “Oh the dining hall food, you’re
never going to eat there”. The first week I felt like I can live like
this, this is fun, there’s options. I was expecting to go in and call Mom, “What
am I going to do. I hate the food.’ But I didn’t have that experience. Well we have three dining halls here so even
if you get burned out on one, which I don’t even know, it might happen to
someone. I go to Mills every single day. Which station? I don’t know what it’s called, they have rice
and chicken. Asian Cuisine? Asian Cuisine, yeah. I then realized that
you can also go to the salad station and just ask for a bowl of popcorn chicken
and then you can take that with the rice from the Asian Cuisine station
and make your own chicken and rice. I learned a little late, at least that was
my freshman year, but luckily I was on campus again the following year so I had more dining
hall experiences to come. We have Willsbach, I went there if I preferred
having a salad, I’d always go to Willsbach. And then there’s always Hulbert which is close
to Littell. I always thought Hulbert was the healthy dining
hall. I lived in Hulbert my freshman year, I have
to say I loved being able to just walk downstairs in my pajamas and go for breakfast. I didn’t
have to put on sneakers to go outside. I loved that. I lived in Hulbert my whole time in Oneonta. Being an athlete, we do have athletes in Hulbert,
we have transfers, international students, we have a lot of different
types of people so if you want to make sure of everything
Hulbert’s the place to be. I spent the time, and I sometimes felt bad
for people who had to walk in the cold, but I was in
my PJs, right downstairs it’s right there. I loved going there. Now
we have all healthy. Especially the weekends when you don’t have
to leave for class, I can really not leave my building. You don’t have to walk far, so that was the
best. I have to mention that every time I’m on a
tour, I say “When I used to live in Hulbert I could just roll downstairs in my PJs man.”
It’s such a selling point Speaking of going to class and food, we’re
going to take a little break and next we’re going to be talking about academics
and everything you can get to know about that. We’re going to get
to know a little bit more about our panel and discuss some of the academic opportunities
available to you as incoming freshmen. So don’t go away, the My Oneonta Life Student
Hangout will be right back. … a really large range of colleges. When I visited, and got my acceptance letter
and got my scholarship it really impacted my decision, and I knew
in the back of my head the whole time that I wanted to come here. (Music) I’m actually Music Industry and Business Economics
major because as much as like to work in the studio and
make music and perform I also want to take on a career of management. In high school I did a student teaching with
my Latin class and I loved it. I taught a second grade at elementary school
and I felt that I could do this for the rest of my life.
So I chose education, and I was good at math, so that’s how those two
clicked. I did research with Dr. Bachman and we basically
do research on the role of heat shock transcription factors
on mouse cells. I was able to present at the cell biology, it’s the big
cell bio conference. My relationship here with the faculty I have
to say has definitely been a positive one. I was
doing research with Dr. Zhang and we were building a parallel
cluster which essentially is a supercomputer. That research led me to
obtain another internship through the Brain Network
of Excellence where I was doing computational neuroscience work. My internship at News 12 provided me with
the tools to enhance everything I do here at SUNY Oneonta, from
being the president of Wire TV to everything in the classroom.
News 12 has given me organizational skills, a go getter
attitude. (Music) I think studying abroad was by far the single
most significant and influential decision I’ve
ever made in my entire life because the experiences that I gained and
the people that I met, none of that could have been achieved if I’d
just stayed in Long Island or if I just stayed in Oneonta, if I just stayed in America. The administrators make this joke a lot, you’re
representing 6,000 people right now, what are you going to say. Being president has completely changed my
perspective on life. Even though it’s just a college you get to
know a lot about how to negotiate, how to deal with a certain type of people. It’s taught
me a lot about myself, too. I’ve grown a lot as a person. Oneonta’s exceeded my expectations. Everybody
understands that you’re a student first, but they also want you to be able to be involved. That definitely encouraged me to realize that
I can do it all. (Music) (Music) (Music) Welcome back to the My Oneonta Life Hangout.
With over seventy majors and minors and seven pre-professional programs,
we have a wide variety of academic options. SUNY Oneonta is split into five schools
of study. Arts and Humanities, Social Science, Education
and Human Ecology, Natural and Mathematical Sciences, and Business
and Economics. So I present this question to our panelists.
Did you know what you wanted to major in before you came to Oneonta,
and how has your experience been so far? Did you guys know what you wanted to do for
the rest of your life when you were seventeen or no? I wouldn’t say that I knew what I wanted to
do for the rest of my life. When I was first looking at colleges I knew
I wanted to do math because I was good at math in high school, I’m thought
I’ll figure it out when I get to college. So I’m still a mathematics major now, but my freshman year
I actually auditioned for a play, because you don’t have to be a theater major. I’d never done theater
my entire life. And I stepped into the audition, and I actually
got cast as a minor role. And after my second semester, which was the semester
of the show, I added the theater major and I’ve been taking theater
classes and finding ways to bring the two fields together for me now.
I’m kind of figuring out what I want to do in the future. So I did figure out when I went to college
but it wasn’t immediate for me. Anyone else? Did you guys know what you wanted
to do? I’m a transfer student so I graduated from
SUNY Westchester with an AAS of Criminal Justice, so I knew that I definitely wanted to come
into the criminal justice field. I thought that the greatest advantage that
SUNY Oneonta has is that their Criminal Justice program is not solely based
on applied science and there’s a lot of background to it based a
lot in sociology and that really attracted me to the program itself. So far the experience
has been just amazing. All of the faculty and staff that I’ve had to interact
with, they’ve been super helpful with anything and everything. Luckily I’m
a senior here, but I’m going to miss it. It’s so amazing so far. Did you know that you wanted to do that before
Westchester, or did you figure it out then? Yes, I’ve always wanted to be a cop. Or somewhere
in the law enforcement. OK. I came in as a Secondary Education Mathematics and I realized teaching is just not for me
at all. I don’t have patience for kids, so I thought ok what can
I do that’s something related to math but still interacting with people
and my mom suggested business economics, and I thought Oneonta
has it, so let’s go for it. I took up the major and I don’t regret it
at all, I’m majoring in business and I’m concentrating in finance, but what
I want to do with it is, not really… my career objective is to work in human resources, to be a recruiter, like a head
hunter, so that kind of ties with business, so that’s
my goal. In high school I ran track in high school,
so I wanted to be a physical therapist, because I wanted to rejuvenate
the athletes and get them back going, but then when I came
to Oneonta, I thought do I really see myself doing this
for the rest of my life. I always knew that I wanted to work with kids
and I couldn’t see myself doing physical therapy, so I chose the teaching field, because the student teaching when I was in high school we had to take a
Latin class and then they offered student teaching so I did that and I remember I had a great time with the second graders
and I thought let me give it a try. I loved the
program and I love math. So I’m math and education. How about you Maddy? You’re doing FIT. For me at my old school I was studying to
be a physician assistant which is the polar opposite
of what I’m doing now. I had always been between the two so I feel
very lucky that I was able to completely cancel one of
them out. At my old school I realized it wasn’t what
I wanted to do. Now I’m 100% sure. Yes, I’m doing the 3 + 1 program so to be
in that you really need to be dedicated to your schedule
because everything is very organized in order to make everything
fit in that you want to. I’m 100% for my major. Fashion Merchandizing
is always something I wanted to do.. So, yes, coming into Oneonta before this year
I definitely knew that that was what I wanted to do. But if you don’t know what you want to do
this is a great school for that because it’s affordable, which definitely helps, so
you feel like you’re not spending too much money to not be 100% sure about something. But there’s
a lot of development centers, and the professors in general are always willing to help you
try and figure it out. Now for people who are viewing and don’t know
what is the FIT 3 + 1 program? The 3 + 1 program is three years you get your
bachelor from Oneonta, and then you get your AAS from FIT in a concentration that
you choose. You can either go to FIT through the design
or merchandising route, then once you get to FIT you choose a category
to specialize in whether it’s design, marketing, something
along those lines. You have to apply to the FIT program and you
have to apply with 100% the major that you want to do there. The classes that I’m taking now are gearing
me toward picking the major that I want to do at FIT. I’m starting to feel it out and figure out
what I want to do there. For me, I came in to Mass Comm, Mass Communications, I wanted to
that – I wanted to this, I knew what I wanted to do from when I was
a lot younger and it’s going really well. We have a question from Antoinette from Facebook.
She says, “What are your study habits and how do you stay on top of
your work”? This is possibly one of the most difficult
questions. Me, personally, I have a schedule on my phone.
I have a planner on my desk, I have an at-a-glance
month, like a monthly calendar on top of my desk.
One of those expo boards, I have a large one. I’m constantly checking
my schedule to make sure that I’m on top of everything.
Especially for students like me and Jounia, being resident advisors, and all of us who
are so well involved on campus, being student leaders, staying
on top of work is hard but being constant and being good about not
only planning out things, but actually doing them
the way you’re supposed to be doing them, that really gets you a long way. And then
taking little breaks for mental health that really helps a lot. Do something fun
also, just throw that in there, that way you’re not schedule, schedule, schedule, because that
can become very stressful. What I found coming as freshman, in high school,
I thought I was doing a lot of homework and then I came to
college and I thought this is actually what doing work is, which is fine, it was a little bit of adjustment. What
I found works for me, and a lot of other people as well, is if I
got assigned something that was due next Friday, I actually did it that week it
got assigned and not wait until Thursday. And, like you say, I have too many planners,
post-it-notes all over my desk. But then when it’s done, you take it out,
throw it out. That’s the most rewarding feeling. Definitely invest in a planner. 100%. Especially if you are a dual major so for me my rehearsals run late at night and my math classes and work are during the
day, so I only have a couple hours every day to plan out my homework and get
it done then. It’s really important to have a planner and
do your work. I made it through high school, I was valedictorian,
without having to… This might be bad – I did not do very much
home work in high school at home. I could do it in class or at study hall and
it was easy, it was done and I had all this free time.
I was expecting college to be like that and it was not. I struggled with my first
class I took here, Calc II and it really… That was your first class you took? And I came here for Calc II and totally thought
I was going to just breeze through it, did not happen at all, I struggled,
I had to study every night, I was at office hours. That was probably a new experience for you. Yeah, I’ve never struggled in a class my whole
life and I thought college was going to be a little harder than high
school and it was a game changer. And for someone that doesn’t know office hours… Office hours, every professor is required
to have this time that they’re in their office for students to come to with questions. You can
come with questions with home work or if you say I didn’t really understand what
you were saying in class, it gives you a chance to communicate with your
professor. So I like doing it for all my classes because it makes the professor
know you, even though the classes are relatively small anyway. It
really helps clarify. I would really recommend going to it. What about you Jounia? For me, I’m a Bio major, so a lot of the classes
don’t require me studying by myself. Some of them it’s actually helpful to have
study groups. Some of my classes I do have to have study groups with people so we could discuss stuff.
Basically asking each other questions and basically saying we know the material,
how can we apply it in a question, how can we talk
about, so we have discussions about stuff to help us to see whether or not we
understand it. When I came here I was an athlete, so I had
athlete, RA, all of this on me, so I had to learn to do my homework at a set
schedule, at a set time. I spent a lot of time with my different planners,
different color coordinated planners and studying differently than how I studied
in high school. In high school it was more of me coming home, doing homework,
but now I had to figure out if I do homework for twenty minutes, give myself some break and then do it again. For me, giving myself some me time also helped
me out. Absolutely. After this break we are going
to dive into the topic of… OK, I’m sorry, no we’re not. We’re still going
to be talking about academics and how we study. I’m sorry. Back to academics.
Like you were saying, there’s so many different outlets to get help
from professors. One of my classes I was struggling with, I’ll
say it, I was struggling with Organic Chemistry, that was really tough,
it’s not easy. People will think oh, it’s Chemistry, I was
really good in Chemistry so I thought it’s normal Chemistry, just higher
up, but no it was really hard. I had to go to CADE, which is the Center for
Academic Development and Enrichment. It was tutors there, they tutored me, I went
there every day, I went to the teacher’s office hours, I had a study group, so I was doing a lot
of stuff outside of class. That’s a lot of things, I didn’t know that
because in high school I didn’t… Outside of class? We have class, so I just
go. But when I came to college there was a lot of work that was needed to
be done outside of class for you to understand a fifty minute class. I did a lot of that
and watching videos, those help a lot, making study guides, writing things down.
I did a lot of that. It helped me because then I was able to tutor
somebody on that subject which I would never have I would be able to
go tutor. So now we are going to take a break and coming
up after this short break we’re going to dive into the topic of Study Abroad. I’ll
talk about my experiences studying abroad last spring semester in Italy and we’ll be joined by associate
professor of Biology, Florian Reyda. Stick around and we’ll right back I always kind of wanted to study abroad because I love travelling.
I’ve been all around the US and Canada I’ve even been to Indonesia. Travelling has
always been a part of my life and something I like to
do. Looking through the programs Australia really stuck out to me as this great
place. They everything. There’s big cities there’s beaches, there’s mountains, there’s
deserts, there’s even glaciers, there’s skiing there. There’s pretty
much everything you can think of, you can do in Australia. So that became where I wanted to go. I ended up getting lucky with the classes
I was able to take over there. I’m a Mass Comm major and they had production classes there that
I could take and classes studying films. It was cool because
we got to study films that we probably wouldn’t get to study here
in the US. We studied a lot more foreign films, and even some Australian films I’d never seen or never heard
of before. Definitely a cool experience. I went on several
trips to the Blue Mountains which is this huge mountain range right outside Sydney. We did
a bunch of hiking. I ended up going on a road trip with a couple other Americans.
We went all the way up the coast, to the Gold Coast. That was really cool. We saw a lot of the country, and what’s great
about the road trip, we didn’t have a GPS, we had
a map, and we went, we had no plan. That was great, we didn’t
have a cell phones, didn’t have GPS, didn’t have computers with us and it was a cool experience. I’ve never done
that before (Music) You know there’s probably a million reasons
why not to go, but there’s a million reasons to go. We’re
here in college, you’re probably never get a chance to do this
again. When are you going to be able to go spend six months in another
country. It’s an unbelievable experience and I wouldn’t trade it for the
world, I would do it over and over again if I could. (Music) (Music) Welcome back. Students have the chance to study abroad through over six hundred Study
Abroad programs across the SUNY System. If an entire semester abroad is intimidating,
you can also participate in numerous short term faculty led trips throughout the
world. Joining us tonight is associate professor of Biology, Dr. Florian
Reyda, to talk about his faculty led trip to Peru, and the study abroad experience.
Dr. Reyda welcome to the Hangout. Well, thank you, thanks for having me here. Tell me about Peru, this sounds awesome. Peru is a course that includes an on campus
component. It’s a Biology course, so Biology majors or Environmental
Science majors are the ones who enroll in it. They start
off with a semester on campus with class a couple times a week to get background
information in the topic of tropical biology and also
to get oriented to the trip. Then it culminates in a twenty-two
day intensive trip ending up in the heart of the Peruvian rain
forest. So we progress from the Andes Mountains, see Machu Picchu, which you must
see when you go to Peru, the Inca ruins, and then we progress from
the Andes Mountains to cloud forest and down to low land rain forest. As we can see on the screen we have some footage
of one of your trips. They’re processing specimens they collected
in the field during one of the class exercises. They’re looking at a bunch of different insect
species right there and sweating. Is this over the summer that you go, over
winter break? It’s late May to early June, so it counts
as a spring semester course, and it’s part of their spring
semester enrollment and aid. They still have the summer afterwards to do
other things. I’m assuming some of the stuff you learn during
the year would apply to some of the things that you do on
this trip. Yes, they get background as part of the class,
but they also get introduced to a lot of things as part of the Biology curriculum.
It brings to life a lot of the things they’ve read about
in text books. If you could explain to us some of the things
that are going on in these videos. There’s some students who are walking along
on a highland, well we stopped off during a long bus ride
on some pretty steep slopes, it’s a hair raising but exciting ride. They’re there looking at alpacas and llamas
at one of the animal shelters that we visited while in the highlands. That’s in the first
part of the trip while they’re still up the highlands. In Peru they raise guinea pigs, not for pets,
though, they do eat them, but for special occasion. There we’re on a bus ride. Here’s one of the tour guides and we’re taking
a train ride here on our way to Machu Picchu right next to a pretty rapid river. Students
had to carry their luggage in very unusual places, like the edge of the
river to get onto the boat which we used to travel inland. And there is the classic ruins,
Machu Picchu. One of our students right in the lower right
there. You leave the trip full of memories. And you get to know new people, the students
you travel with. Are you the only faculty? It’s done with one other professor. I have
done it the last couple years with a bird guy, and next year I have another co-instructor,
I have to narrow that down, I have a couple
different people who are interested in coming along with me. It’s really good as a faculty
member when you’re abroad and you have a group of students in your care that you have a second
person with you, not only to help with instruction but to help if someone’s not feeling
well or just to have a second person along to help
out. What do you students will gain from this experience? I think any college student should go abroad
whether it’s for a short course, or, like what you did, for a semester or anything
to get out of town, to see how other people, how other cultures, are
living. I think it also enhances what they’ve already learned in the classroom.
In cases can make it more relevant, because they go
out there and see what’s happening to the rain forest for example, or they see
that it’s a complicated problem conserving the rain forest, you have to take
into account the people that live there. I think when students come back to campus
and tell their friends about it there’s a value to that too, for this community and SUNY Oneonta. I completely agree. Learning about things
and then being immersed in them and having to surround yourself with it, it’s
completely different. It really changes your outlook on things for
the better. You had that experience too. I did, luckily. But I think this is great
for someone it’s too long but they still want to do something where
– if it’s a shorter term it’s harder to learn
as much but this gives them that opportunity because they’re
hands on in it. It’s not the same as living abroad like you
did but it definitely is a step in the right direction. For Bio students are there any prerequisites
they have to do to go on this or do they just have to apply?
How does the process work? There is a competitive application process.
They have to write an essay explaining why they want to go. They have to have a couple
recommendations from faculty members so they need to be working hard academically
because that does figure into whether or not they get to go.
Any student who’s had the general Biology core courses is eligible to go. We end up with about the right number of students
to go, the ones that are really interested that can
find the funding to go. Like I tell students here on campus, whether
it’s Study Abroad or some other experience, research, internships, the more
you can do to set yourself apart from the rest of the population the
better, to get those individualized experiences with professionals or faculty
members, and so on. Aside from Study Abroad for incoming freshmen
that are hopeful Biology majors what’s some advice
that you can give to them? To work hard, besides working hard is to talk to their peers,
find out what they’re doing, what they’re experiencing. I think
students learn a lot from one another about what classes did you enjoy, and maybe I’ll take
those classes, but to also do some outside reading when possible. If a professor says there’s this one book,
you don’t have to read it that might be a good opportunity to explore.
Ask questions, talk to faculty. I want to see students reach
out to faculty more and interact more with faculty members. Thank you so much for being here and sharing
your experience with Peru. I hope the next time you go that you have
an amazing time. I wish I could go. Next year, 2016. Maybe I’ll come back for the year. Thanks for having me. Thank you, of course. You guys are doing a great job and have a
fun evening here. Yeah, thank you. Now I’ll talk about my Study
Abroad experience. I studied abroad in Florence, Italy. I went
there last spring and I didn’t know anyone. The first picture, this is me , I’m in Florence
on the top of the Duomo, which is the main cathedral in
Florence I didn’t know anyone, I go and I was a little
hesitant because, like I said I’m on the tennis team here, I
didn’t really want to miss any tennis but I decided to go anyway obviously. It was
probably one of the best experiences, had to have made my college career that much
better. Just like Florian mentioned being immersed
in these different environments, different places really changes
your outlook on things. This picture I’m in Positano with one of my friends, she
goes to University of Towson. I met her there, she’s one of my best friends
now. You get to meet a lot of new people. Once you’re abroad you get to visit tons of
different places and it’s a lot cheaper than it would be to
go from here, there, back, because when you’re over in Europe it’s a lot cheaper
because it’s so much closer. This is in Barcelona, Spain It’s in La Sagrada
Familia it’s one of the famous churches that Gaudi built or created. This is on my spring break. We hit 5 countries
in ten days. This is in Paris, France. The whole going
abroad… This is Interlacken, Switzerland. I paraglided… You get to do all these awesome things, having
the opportunity to do this. I actually went through Stony Brook. Going to a SUNY school and being able to go
through all the SUNY schools you have a lot of programs you can choose
from and there’s a program for everyone. I know you are potentially studying abroad. Have you thought about any of the places you
might want to go? For fashion in particular they really recommend
going to Milan, it’s the fashion capital of the world. They do have a program through
Oneonta, but being in the SUNY system, you get to choose from any Study Abroad program
in any SUNY school. Even with that, also all of your SUNY credits
transfer to every other SUNY school. Everything transfers, it’s a great system. My choice to go to Milan was based on the
experience that I knew I would be getting there. The Study Abroad
programs are very involved. They try to give you as much experience as
they can while also letting you go off on your own
a little bit and do what you want to do. There’s a Study
Abroad meeting next week coming up. They try to get
everyone as involved as they can and give everyone
equal opportunities to get the information and figure out where they want to go. I definitely
would recommend studying abroad and if you’re not sure, go to the meetings,
or make an appointment and they’re definitely willing to help you figure out where you want
to go and what you want to do there. Speaking of studying abroad, for me studying
abroad on my resume helped a lot in getting internships.
Internships are a great way to gain experience in your field of study.
Students at Oneonta have spent thousands of hours in their hometowns
and across the country and the world. I’ve had internship experience. Has anyone
else had any other internship experience? I was a sophomore last year and since I’m
a Business Economics major the School of Economics and Business has this
great program called Backpacks to Briefcases. I went to the meeting thinking what is this.
I sat through the meeting and I don’t regret going at all because it’s a trip to New York City and you meet with
all Oneonta Alumni. I went to the trip, I was really young and
intimidated. I had to get professionally dressed up. I had to read about
all the businesses and companies I was visiting. I
went to three alumni, uptown, midtown and downtown. It’s a one day event, it’s really tiring,
but it was all worth it in the end because I got to reach
out to all the alumni and in the end two of them
came back to me and said I have to have a junior status,
and I completely understand that. They said get back to us next year. But then
there was one guy, his name’s Lawrence Kirshner, who graduated
in 1987, he offered me a job at Frenkel Benefits, an
insurance broker in downtown Manhattan. It was one of the most
amazing experiences this past summer for me. I travelled into
the city everyday through the LIRR, and being in the city and
in the work environment was awesome. During my lunch breaks
I went to see the 9/11 Memorial, I went to Washington
Square Park, I walked all of Hudson River It was really cool. On top of that I made
a lot of connections and it helped me towards what I want to do
with my career. I agree, I had an internship this summer as
well in the city and being in the city is awesome. I interned
for Bruce Beck at WNBC, and he is the sports broadcaster there. I got to follow
him around and be his production assistant, personal assistant.
I got to meet tons of professional athletes. That’s what
I want to go into. It was a great experience. Working in the city, making those connections,
and doing all that, it’s awesome. It couldn’t better. How about you
guys, are you looking into internships? I haven’t done an internship, but I did do
an Independent Study. I was approached by one of my Mathematics
professors after taking his course freshman year. He’s my Math advisor now. What he did, he knew I was a Math and Theatre
major, so he came up to me and said, “I want to find a way for you to incorporate
your math skills into your theater mindset”. What I’m doing him is working with two Computer
Science majors that are making a word processing program
and we’re counting word frequencies in plays and graphing the data using math
in my theater realm. That has probably been my favorite experience
at college, being able to do that. I’m getting course credit for it, it’s going
towards my math degree. I did that last semester and this semester it turned into a fellowship, so I’m getting
paid to do that now. That’s great. I have an internship on campus
which I’m getting credit for this semester with Tracey Ranieri, she’s
the Athletic Director here. I worked with Todd, who’s the camera guy right
now, and we put together this PSA for the Athletic Department, it’s on the
web sight if you want to check it out. There’s so many opportunities for internships
on campus, off campus, credit, getting paid if you’re lucky. There’s tons
of different outlets to do that here. We have had a couple questions about internships. If we haven’t answered all your questions
about clubs and everything we have another broadcast this Sunday where we hopefully
will be answering questions, but keep them coming because we love them. Lisa on Twitter asked when are classes held
and are they on Saturday. No they are not on Saturday. There’s sometimes
trips on Saturday A side note, Jounia left, she has to go to
RA duty, Jounia had to leave. We couldn’t say bye right when she was leaving. Classes are held Monday through Friday, 8am
is the earliest, I’m not really sure when they end at night. Ten, but Friday the latest is three or four
I believe. I know on Saturday there could be potential
field trips or something along those lines. I’ve never heard of a class on Saturday. I
don’t think that’s a thing. Study on Saturday, don’t go to class, don’t
do work on Saturday. We hang out and go to Mills for waffles. We hang out, relax on Saturdays. So a lot of the questions about clubs and
housing we’re going to answer on Sunday for the My Oneonta Life. But keep the questions about everything
else coming in as well as clubs because we can answer those
on Sunday. Are you planning on doing an internship in the city,
because you’re going to be living there I’m assuming? I’ve done a few internships already. I also did some job shadows when I was doing
Physician Assistant. Whatever you can do to get experience is the
best thing you can do to put yourself ahead and make yourself stand
out. Anything you can do whether it’s a week long shadowing someone
in their field or if you’re spending a summer
with somebody anything like that is great to get your name
out there. Any recommendation from someone whose in your working field that you can get
is great. I have an internship this summer with a fashion
photographer in Miami That worked out perfectly. I’m going with one of my friends for a month,
we are going for a vacation. It worked out that her aunt that we’re going
to stay with knows a guy who is a fashion photographer.
That worked out perfectly and I also did an internship with a boutique owner She was just starting up her business, that
was nice to see it from the ground up. Whatever you can do I really recommend it. Final notes here for the panel. What’s everyone’s career goals, aspirations for after college. I’m graduating and I’ve applied for an internship with the
United States Marshall office in Washington, D.C. I’m really hoping that’s a thing, I’m really
set on going down the law enforcement path. I’m really looking
forward to that. If they’re watching this, hire me , please. You’re a senior – Jounia’s back everyone. What are your aspirations, post grad goals? I was in the premed concentration track. I
decided to take a year off to get more experience, increase my opportunity
of getting in. During that time I’m hopefully getting a job
and getting some certificates. That’s what I’m going for. I’m hoping to be on screen someday. You guys
can all watch me and say “Oh, I saw her at the My Oneonta Life
Hangout.” Maybe. I know you guys aren’t seniors yet. I’m not a senior. My goal in life has always
been to be an actor on General Hospital. So, hire me. That’s what I want to do, but I might do something
with math. I haven’t figured it out completely yet and
that’s ok. Final advise for students. Ask the questions, there’s no questions, there’s
no dumb questions, there’s no anything. If you
don’t know ask someone. Somebody knows, somebody has to know. Make the connections and just ask. I feel take a deep breath because it’s ok.
College is so great. that it’s the angst up to it – it’ll be ok. You’ll get the work done, you’ll figure it
out just like everyone else that comes and you’ll have a good time. You don’t have to have it all together It’s ok, you’re still in high school, we still
don’t. Step out of your comfort zone. I chose Oneonta
to step out of my comfort zone. I was very quiet and didn’t
want to do anything. Challenge yourself by stepping out of your
comfort zone. Take risks do something different, outside
the norm. That’ll be beneficial to you. Does anyone else have any last things that
they’d like to add? Have fun. Audition for a play. Join clubs. Be the next tour guide. For all the people that are out there and
the questions that we didn’t answer we will try to respond to them
if they’re on Facebook and Twitter. For other questions we can come back to them
on Sunday. For now that’s the end of our show. I would like to thank the panelists for joining
us tonight and thank you for tuning in. Our next hangout will be this coming Sunday,
March 22nd at 7pm where we’ll have a new panel of current students
talking about campus life Until I’m Brynn Sussman. Have a good night
and happy St. Patrick’s Day. (Music) (Music) (Music) (Music)

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