Student Success Panel gives insight to the futures of soon-to-be graduates

Samantha Correia
Staff Writer

There is life beyond Bridgewater State University, and current students got to hear about the success of their fellow BSU students last Thursday during an event held by the Center for Multicultural Affairs.

On April 14, students and faculty gathered in RCC 201 to talk about the opportunities that BSU students have, along with the programs that BSU has to offer. The panel was made up of nine BSU students, many of whom were seniors and will be graduating in May.

The students who made up the panel were Jessie Barbosa, Brenda Terrero, Emmanuel Boakye, Georgina Addo, Nnemdi Azubuko, Anay Baez, Destiny Ihenacho, Erin Bergin, and Jinniang Guo.

The panel was organized to help give students a better idea about what might lie ahead after graduation. The students on the panel were able to offer up advice about being a student at BSU. The event was attended by many students and professors, and the students on the panel were able to provide valuable insight.

The Center for Multicultural Affairs, located in the RCC, works hard to provide opportunities to all students and to work towards student success and diversity.

Sydné Marrow, the director of the Center for Multicultural Affairs, hosted the event, which was a question-and-answer discussion, followed by an opportunity for students in the audience to sit with the panel students and ask their own questions while snacking on the food.

Marrow organizes many of the events that CMA holds.

“The Center for Multicultural Affairs fosters an environment within the Bridgewater State University community that promotes the celebration of cultural pluralism. We strive to create a sensitive community that appreciates the history, culture, and traditions of underrepresented students at Bridgewater State University,” according to the CMA page on the Involvement Network.

Students on the panel were first asked about what advice they would offer to freshman or sophomores, thinking back to their time during freshman year.

Terrero, a biology major, said, “put in the hours for what you want to do.”

Each student on the panel had dedicated time and energy toward their studies and activities, which has paid off in the end. Baez, a math major, suggested that students “take initiative,” whether that is starting a new club or going to your professor for help during office hours.

Terrero also said that “the leadership opportunities have helped me become the person I am today.” BSU offers many opportunities for students to become leaders, between organization positions to Student Government Association to internship opportunities.

Networking was emphasized by many of the students on the panel as an important way to make connections, especially with employers. With the Internship Fair being that same day, students mentioned how important it is to talk to employers, even at the freshman or sophomore level.

Barbosa, a criminal justice major, mentioned how she was offered a job at the Job and Internship Fair just a few hours earlier because an employer had remembered her from her sophomore year.

After graduation, the students on the panel all had their own plans for their futures. Terrero and Baez were considering doing a year of service in a program called Americorps, which is a US federal government program that stations people around the US to participate in community service. Boakye recently got a job working for VH1, and Bergin will be starting her masters program in Ireland in the fall. Including the Internship Fair job opportunity, Barbosa has three possible jobs lined up after graduation.

While getting a degree from a university is often a very personal experience, usually for the opportunity to get a job or to increase personal knowledge, it can have an effect on other people as well. This is exactly what the Student Success Panel accomplished. Students in the audience could ask their own personal questions and could go up and talk to the panel students individually. The students in the audience were relieved to find that they had so many options for their future. With her college education, Barbosa was able to inspire members of her family as well. She said that her mother recently started going back to school after seeing Barbosa’s success, saying, “you never know who you might inspire.”

Samantha Correia is a staff writer for The Comment.

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