by Abigail Fellin
Samantha Hirschman graduated from Buena Vista University just last spring (May 2017) with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Corporate Communications and a minor in business. Below is an interview with Samantha almost a year later.
What did you do right after graduation?
Right after graduation, I moved to Ames, Iowa and worked at Sam's Club for the summer. I was accepted into the Masters of Education in Student Affairs program at Iowa State. I wanted to move to Ames to get acclimated to the city before starting my program in August.
What are you doing now?
I am currently at Iowa State University. I am a graduate assistant in the Student Activities Center (SAC). Though next year, my graduate assistantship will be with Ivy College of Business Career Services. In my current SAC assistantship, I help with the recognition process of student organizations. I maintain the SAC facebook page, help with promotional efforts for our bowling alley, CyBowl & Billiards, and provide support to the student programming organization, Student Union Board.
What about BV best prepared you for life after graduation?
Although my courses taught me the skills to do the work, it was in my extracurricular activities that I practiced my skills and developed as an individual. Outside of the classroom was where I experienced challenge. Where there is challenge, there is growth. During the fall semester of my junior year, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Rome, Italy. I received funding from the institution that helped me pay for the travel costs. Studying abroad was easily the most influential experience I had during my four years.
Do you have any advice for people who are about to graduate? Either from high school or undergrad?
My best advice would be to remind yourself that where there is challenge, there is growth. College is not easy, so be proud of yourself if you are about to graduate. And if you are able to graduate from high school, keep your wide eyes open. Your imagination and excitement will be what helps you throughout your experience. If you are a student who feels you do not have the access to college, I see you. There are resources available to make college happen if you want to attend.
I was told you use to work in the CAE as a writing tutor. Do you think these experiences helped you after college? Would recommend that others who are offered this experience try it?
I was a Writing Tutor for three years. It was and still is the foundation for why I want to do Student Affairs work. I believe that this experience encouraged me to open my mind. It helped me build skills that I may otherwise have not been able to. I do believe students can benefit greatly from being tutors. It can be very beneficial for someone to build their interpersonal skills while learning how to teach and facilitate learning. Anyone who is offered an opportunity to be a tutor, I would tell them that it can be an invaluable experience. It is an incredible opportunity. No two tutors are alike - everyone has their own way of teaching and own style of communication. It is not a position to take lightly however, because your ability to facilitate learning can impact a student's academic life.
Do you have a favorite book/author?
My favorite author is Nicholas Sparks. I have always enjoyed reading his love stories. I am a romantic and find excitement in reading a great love story. I am also a nerd though so I enjoy reading theory in textbooks and articles.