May 1st, is the day that high school seniors look most forward to during their time in their high school career. You’ve been pondering the idea of what is the best option for you; academically, financially, etc. and you want to be sure that you make the right choice for you. The weeks prior, you may have been visiting all the schools you already got accepted into to see the campus again, one last time, before you put down your deposit. After all, today is college decision day!
It is natural to feel stressed, overwhelmed, and unsure if you are making the right choice. But you should know, that you are making the choice, and in your gut you know it will be the right decision. I was in your place three years ago. I had narrowed down my list from 8 schools to 3 schools. With these three schools, Loyola being one of them, I conducted a SWOT analysis. For those who don’t know, a SWOT analysis is frequently used with advertising and marketing where you analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a certain scenario. After completing this exercise, I realized that going to Loyola University Chicago would be the best university for me to attend. I have not looked back or ever regretted my decision to enroll at the school.
From my time in college, here have been some of my highlights of my journey, so far:
- Being a part of the Interdisciplinary Honors College: Here, I learned a truly diverse style of education that incorporated Loyola’s culture of educating the entire person. From learning classic epics like The Iliad and The Aeneid to learning about the adjustment of Hmong culture in an American hospital to learning about the Augusto Pinochet regime and the advertising campaign that aided in bringing him down; I have truly developed and enhanced my worldview.
- Work Experience: Building connections and relationships with fellow classmates and faculty members is always important. My sophomore year of college, I was fortunate enough to get a job as a Peer Advisor for First and Second Year Advising. This was the same time that I found a job as a blogger and a member of the social media team in the Undergraduate Admissions office. During my junior year, I kept my work as a blogger as I took all of you up the CTA red line to explore different neighborhoods throughout the city of Chicago. I was able to get a job as the Marketing Program Research Assistant where I helped plan events, create curriculum, and assist in special projects for Marketing faculty. This job has been truly fulfilling as I continually build connections and learn new tools and skills.
- Declaring an Advertising/Public Relations major: During the beginning of my junior year, I declared a major in Advertising and Public Relations. This was to add on to my International Studies and Marketing minors. It is with this major that got me to recognize what I want to do when I graduate college, becoming an advertising strategist. By being the branch between right brain and left brain (account and creative), strategy covers the best of both worlds. By enhancing my worldview with relevant coursework in Marketing (international/political marketing, consumer behavior) and International Studies (encountering Latin America/Asia, People of Latin America), I will be able to provide a global perspective. This is because all people deserve to be represented equally and properly, so they too can see themselves in ads.
- Studying Abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica: During the summer between my sophomore and junior year, I joined the USAC program to study abroad in the city of Heredia, Costa Rica; a city 20 minutes away from the capital of San Jose. Here, I studied Tropical Conservation and Development as well as learned some cooking skills in Latin American Cuisine. I was able to make a ton of friends from different universities (with surprisingly no Chicago or Loyola students). I got to explore the rainforest (with a guide of course); went on a river boat exploring various ecosystems (with snakes, crocodiles, and sloths); zip-lined across the highest and longest zipline in Latin America; and went to the black sand beaches on the Atlantic side of the country at Puerto Viejo. However, my favorite experience (besides all the good food), was my welcoming and loving host family, Mama Yolanda and Papa Humberto, who made me feel like I was their own son. Mama Yolanda would accompany me for almost every meal, take me on excursions to the open air markets (and help me haggle for the very best price), and did my laundry and ironing everyday. I am so fortunate to have both of these wonderful people in my life and we are still on touch with WhatsApp and are Facebook friends as well!
- Amazing Friends: During my time throughout university, I have been truly lucky to have an amazing group of friends that I can depend on. From my first friend in college, Norm, who reached out to me during the end of my senior year of high school. I’ll just say we bonded easily over tea and broadway musicals. It also helped that we were in the same international studies class during our freshman year. There is also my friends Fran, Barb, and Gayatri, the “brunch bunch”. I was friends with Fran and Barb because of the honors program and was introduced to their roommate Gayatri, with our mutual love for Indian food. I have also forged incredible friendships from my Loyola 360, Alternative Break Immersion in Washington DC, my other classes, Wind Ensemble, and Kapwa (Filipino Student Organization). From moments like these, I have been able to create new friendships and find inspiring mentors during my time here at Loyola.
Plans for my Senior Year of College:
- I have become an Account Executive at Inigo Communications, a student run Advertising/Public Relations agency here at the School of Communications.
- Besides being a Research Assistant for the Marketing Department, I will also become a Teaching Assistant (TA) for the Fundamentals of Marketing course. Both positions will be for next year.
- I will be taking the last few courses in my major and have finished up my marketing/international studies minors by fall. I will be taking courses in Media Planning, Political Marketing, Special Topics in Advertising/Public Relations, Moral Responsibility Capstone, and Peoples of Latin America.
- I will be all set to graduate for May 2019!
Thank you all again for an amazing two years! I hope I have provided you with all the tips for making your Loyola experience a fun one, gave you enough restaurants to explore as you go throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods, and so much more. As you make your final decision of where you want to go to college, please know that a Loyola education is like no other. By educating the entire person, you will be able to go forth and set the world on fire.
All of this, will allow you, to live Life El-evated.