As a second semester senior in biology at SJU, I look back at the last three years and breathe a sigh of relief because I know that I have been given amazing opportunities and resources that are required to succeed. I have attended various seminars with presentations from many inspirational speakers held by each science department. This has exposed me to a wide range of research and perspectives in science. Unique programs like Summer Scholars and the McNulty Scholars Program have led me to conduct research, present posters, and attend international conferences. As an undergraduate, this is not very common but at SJU it is very doable! It takes a lot of hard work and dedication but the whole experience of doing research has improved my problem solving and communicating skills. These experiences have fostered my overall growth and built up my resume.
As a woman in science, I have also greatly benefitted from the John P. McNulty Scholars Program. This program has given me a community of strong women to learn from and bond with. Within the program, there are many local initiatives that I have been able to get involved with, like running a booth for young children at the annual Philadelphia Science Festival. Getting involved in organizations like Sigma Zeta National Science and Mathematics Honor Society, Alpha Epsilon Delta Honor Society, and Sigma Xi has also brought me other helpful resources and connections.
I have built close relationships with professors and with their guidance and mentorship I have been able to make well informed decisions for my future. From deciding what to do over summer breaks to picking classes, it has been very beneficial for me to consult with them. My fellow peers and seniors have also been a great help. They provided me with their unfiltered opinions of classes and gave me tips on how to best study for exams. Late night study sessions in the library or science center with groups of friends also made what seemed like endless studying bearable. This kind of supportive community is not easy to find so I am grateful for the camaraderie at SJU.
Outside of the sciences, service has been another aspect of my SJU career that has shaped me into who I am today. Giving back to the local people has played a vital part in me becoming more integrated into the surrounding communities. My favorite experiences have been with the students at Samuel Gompers Elementary School. I have been a part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for four years, and I have built great friendships with my mentee and the other students. Getting involved in service at SJU has kept me well rounded and connected to the local community.
Knowing all of this, if I had the chance to choose which college I would attend, I would choose SJU again without hesitation. The programs, community, and resources are numerous and valuable. The many unique aspects of SJU have led me on an enjoyable journey to a successful career path and future.
–Lakshmi Narayanam, ’19