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You Trust Students to Run Social Media?!?

In life, it can be hard to find a job and it’s even harder to find a job where you are doing what you love. At Juniata College, I have not only found multiple student jobs, but I have been fortunate to work in Digital Marketing, an area I am passionate about. I am the Social Media Manager for the Marketing department so I am in control of the social media channels for Juniata College and coordinate 3 other student workers. Other colleges are shocked by my job, because they don’t trust their students with such a large responsibility, but fortunately for me Juniata is different. We are in an era where everything is digital and social media is often the best way to get the word out to a large audience. My job allows me to show prospective students what Juniata is all about and how unique we are compared to other colleges. Our traditions and student life bring us together, which I show to a multitude of people. We can connect and interact with the Huntingdon community, alumni, current students, and prospective students. At a larger college or university, I would not have been able to take on such a large responsibility, while also having so much fun doing my job.

Myself, and the marketing team at the CUPRAP Conference

Myself, and the marketing team at the CUPRAP Conference

Working in the Marketing department at Juniata allows me to be creative and I get to work for a very open supervisor that loves to hear new ideas and help me to create plans while giving me the resources to implement these plans. I have the backing of all the members in the Marketing department wanting to help me achieve greatness and they all want to give me references to any job applications I need to send. They encourage me to learn and pursue professional development, and gave me the opportunity to go to the CUPRAP Conference in Hershey, PA with members of the Marketing department this past spring break. It is a conference where higher education institutions and marketing companies come together to learn more about what they can do to improve their marketing strategies and collaborate with others to produce these new innovative ways to market their brand. It was a great opportunity for me to network and create connections that I otherwise would not have been able to. I am grateful for the support and opportunities that my department has given me and the funding I was given from Juniata to attend this conference. It is a great feeling to know that there are people helping you every step of the way and to build your career.

Why I Chose Juniata

Being from Florida, you get some interesting questions and looks from other people. When I am asked where I am from I always get this strange look because I chose to move from sunny Florida to bitter cold Pennsylvania. Yes it was a big change and a completely different place that was far away from home, but in the end it was worth it. I got to build my own major at Juniata where I could choose the courses I took and learn what I thing is necessary to build a career. I have chosen to name my degree Entrepreneurial Arts and it is exactly what I want to do. With my degree I can help businesses with their digital media plans.

Thalia blog

A photo I took of an artistic piece embedded in the walls of the Huntingdon community

 

I also got to continue to play the sport that I love and pick up track and field along the way to challenge myself further. I have two families here with me, my field hockey family and my track family. They are completely different and unique in their own way with multiple personalities. The relationships I have built with my teammates and the moments of silliness are ones that have made my experience so wonderful.

It is great that all the professors want you to succeed and want to genuinely help you to get a good grade, but to grow your knowledge and future. It is nice to go to a small liberal arts college where the professors make time to help their students and always have their door open for you to come in to talk. Juniata wants their students to thrive and the faculty help in any way they can to help students in any aspect they can. As a senior, I have many faculty and staff members that have helped me to prepare my resume and network. My boss even brought me to a marketing conference in Hershey, PA where I was able to learn more about marketing strategies for higher education. All this knowledge and experience will help me build the future that I envision and I am happy to have chosen Juniata College to help me do exactly that.

Being Different

I have always been different than the people around me. I have been asked frequently about how I feel about being “different” or about being a part of the minority. It was interesting to be interviewed for the Juniata Diversity Magazine and seeing the view of those considered “different” but I don’t think of myself as different because of the color of my skin. Although I am Jamaican and Chinese, I think of my experiences as what makes me different. Juniata has been welcoming from the start and has successfully been increasing the diversity to our community, which is nice so no one feels alone and they can have someone to connect with from the same background. Yes I am a part of the minority on the campus of Juniata, but that is not all that defines me. I just want to be a young women achieving her goals, who has been successful and created a bright future for herself. I am more than what people see on the outside and there is more to my story than what you can tell from an initial meeting.

The cover of this month's Juniata magazine

The cover of this month’s Juniata magazine

Life is more than first impressions but to those that are “different”, we don’t get that luxury. The color of our skin is seen first, which then leads to stereotypes that people place upon us. The same goes for those with different gender preferences. No one deserves to have expectations or lowered thoughts placed upon them for something that they can’t change. I am not saying that everyone does this, but from experience in my last semester it has happened pretty frequently. I guess it is one of those things that you can’t avoid in life, but Juniata tries its best to help any discomfort and educate people.

My only hope for the world is for those that are “different” to no longer be considered that way based on their appearance. Everyone is more than what meets the eye and it is important to accept that not everyone is the same and that it should be normal. Juniata embodies that through the students chosen to attend this college. There are many different groups of people, but it isn’t like cliché where you have to stick to one group. We are all different in our own unique way and there is beauty in that. There is beauty in everyone, we just need to get passed the prejudice and judgment to see that. Treat others the way that you would like to be treated goes a long way as well as being conscious of the feelings of those around you. So be the change you want in the world and accept those for who they are, not what they look like. I think that Juniata community has begun to implement these changes and encourage others to do so as well.

Underrated Holiday

Thanksgiving Contest - What Are You Thankful For?

Thanksgiving seems like it is the most underrated holiday because it’s between Halloween and Christmas. In which most cases Christmas trumps any other holiday, but my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. The reason Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday is because it solely concentrates on spending time with those you care about. There aren’t any presents or costumes or anything to disrupt its purpose. It’s about giving thanks and recognizing all that you have in your life as well as appreciating the people you have in your life. For me it’s hard to always be away from my family at this time since our break is too short and expensive for me to go home to my family in Florida, but I have great friends with caring families that willingly take me in and treat me as a member of their own family.

There are many things to be grateful for, but I am grateful for the love that I receive from all the people I care about. The joy of knowing that someone will always be there and no matter how long it has been or the distance that separates you, nothing changes. A bond made from memories that grow with time to fortify a lasting friendship that can’t be broken. To have that type of love from more than just family is a great experience and when you grow so much with a close friend they become family. I am so grateful to have people in my life that may not be blood to me but are still family and I cherish them for all that they do for me.

Needless to say this has been the most interesting Thanksgiving that I have had away from home. I learned how to shoot a gun so I was able to conquer my fear and dislike of them. Being with a family with a lot of energy and generosity was heart-warming. It is also fun to hear the stories from different generations and how things have changed. We may not realize how much we take for granted the things we have and being able to spend time with great friends and their families makes me humble. It makes me sit back and soak it all in as to how much I have in my life compared to others. Material things can’t beat time with those you care about, nor can it bring the same joy because memories can be made and never replaced.

So to those reading this, enjoy the time you have and show or tell the people you care about just how much they matter to you. Cherish what you have because there are people out there that aren’t so blessed to have all of what you do. I make sure that I express the love and appreciation I have for my friends and family because they are too important to go without knowing just how much they mean to me.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Gooble Gobble!

Senior Day

Juniata College Field Hockey

Juniata College Field Hockey

It’s Senior Day for Juniata College Field Hockey. It is still weird to know that it is the last time for many things regarding my college career, including my athletic collegiate career. I have grown with this team for over 3 years and thinking to part with what my class has built within our time at Juniata makes me feel sad, but I can leave the team with confidence that the girls will continue to fight to be the best. These girls have become my second family, which provided me with the support system that I needed since my family is more than 16 hours away in Tampa, Florida. When I am down, I know that I have 25 other girls that will lift me up and that kind of support is one that helps you survive in your darkest times. Not many people can say that or experience that kind of love and friendship. So I regard myself as lucky to have this atmosphere every year.

Even though we all are all trying to find out who we are and shape our futures, there is one thing that will always connect us. Hockey.

Our team has struggled and fought to stay on top in the Landmark Conference every year, pushing each other to our limits to get better everyday. You may have friends that push you but for me there are 25 other girls pushing me to give it all that I have out on the field in practice and in games. The drive that any athlete has and the willingness to play with others to achieve a common goal is an inspiring story that is unique to each team. The joy and frustration from being on a team is complex, but it is something that will always stay with you after college. The relationships and memories that you make will be what you carry with you later in life. There is no end to JCFH because JCFH is family and family never goes away.
As much as I love my team, I am excited to have my mother here to support me on my special day. She will be cheering from the stands and probably yelling at the umpires for bad calls because she is still protective of her child. Thanks to her I started field hockey and was able to go to college. If it weren’t for her pushing me everyday, I would not be at Juniata playing field hockey with this energetic group of girls. I also wouldn’t have played with an amazing group of adults from different countries that would help me to develop into the player and person that I have come to be. Field hockey is not just a sport, it is more than that. It gives you a family and a fire to fight for what you want no matter what the odds. You learn to depend on others and to put your faith in them. It is not about the individual but what is best for the whole and overcoming hardships together. That is what field hockey is to me.

The Real World

TJ The Real World webThe semester is starting to go by fast just like everyone said it would and as a senior it is typical that my mind is racing to figure out what I want to do after I graduate. Will I find a job? Will I be happy at this new job? Should I go to graduate school instead? All of these questions and thoughts are not unusual so I don’t feel alone. Every senior goes through this with all their worries and hopes to have a bright future. My class, like any other, will be entering the real world with its infinite possibilities and possible failures. However, it will still be something to learn from that I am both nervous and excited to experience. Although I have learned many things from Juniata College, Professor Wei-Chung put it correctly when he said, “We are in a little protective bubble that is Juniata”. We are in this protective bubble that shields us from the outside world and the harsh reality that we are not yet prepared for, maybe we will never be prepared for it until we have to actually go through it with all of its unpredictability. That is why I am glad that Juniata has a variety of professors that will nurture their students and the ones that will tell you the brutal truth.

It’s the best of both worlds. The professors at Juniata have real world experience in the field that they are teaching so it benefits the students to learn what they need to know in order to succeed. It isn’t about just learning the general ideas and pushing the students on their merry way so they can cruise through college. The professors care about what they are teaching and want to provide us with the skills we need and can utilize once we enter the real world. Some professors incorporate a “Learning Experience” into their course, which means we get real experience with business, people, or programs as if it were a job that we need to know results for. It helps students by putting the knowledge from the course into action because what better way to learn then to experience things first-hand.

I’m not extremely worried about life after college because Juniata has provided me with many opportunities in regards to experience and I have built numerous connections through traveling and events. Career Services provide students with chances to attend seminars, meetings, and trips to job fairs so that we have resources and ways to improve ourselves. Juniata is so focused on providing every aspect possible to help its students not only through course work but with life. The curriculum requirements let you look at different subjects outside of your major so you can get a wide variety of knowledge. There is no limit and I have customized my major to my needs. I take the courses I want that will prepare me for the type of job I want or suits me in the future. Not many colleges allow you to do that, but Juniata does. I didn’t imagine that a college would provide so much to my future and care so much about it until now. Everyone at Juniata wants to help you to improve your future and that type of support is needed when trying to build yourself.

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