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Life as a student is short, so why not get ahead in the short time your here? What have you been doing to be more prepared after life as a student is over with? If you answered nothing to that question, then you seriously need to get on your A game.
This is the time to learn and grow: as an individual and professionally. CUNY SPS hosts a lot of webinars that help us improve on those soft skills vital for being successful in life.
Join a club: research a club that will help jump start your career. If your majoring in media/communications/journalism a good club to join is the National Association of Hispanic Journalist. They offer fellowships and internships. They also send out great networking events and career workshops. I recently just went to one of their networking events, where I got to mingle with people that work for the New York Times, CNN, ESPN, and BuzzFeed, just to name a few.
Internships: don’t wait until the last semester to intern! Start right away if you can. Internships are a great way to gain exposure in different areas of your major firsthand. The more exposure you get to different professional environments, the more confident you will be when you graduate about what area in your field you want to go in.
Develop your mind: all of these things are great ways to get ahead but they’ll just be a waste of time if you’re not mentally prepared. If you’re the type of person who’s always second guessing themselves or don’t think they are good enough or smart enough, stop, you are enough. You don’t need to be the smartest, or the fastest, you simply need to be the best you can be. If you need a little extra push listen to motivational speeches, read books, and/or have little pep talks with yourself.
“You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.”—Les Brown
Yerelyn Nunez is a native New Yorker with Dominican roots in her blood. She loves to read, write, and is pursuing acting. She loves lending a helping hand or words of encouragement to those in need of it. She is majoring in Communication & Media at CUNY SPS.
Alexandra Chang is a student in our online Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (R.N. to B.S. in Nursing) program. She shares some of thoughts about her future as a nurse.
1. Why did you choose to continue your education at CUNY SPS?
My brain kicks in at the strangest times 9pm, 12am… 2:37 pm and 47 seconds – rarely when other “normal” humans go to school. I appreciate that I can work when my brain is most active; my work is of better quality and more enjoyable to complete. Also, it gives me the flexibility to work any schedule.
2. What is the single most important professional or personal goal that you would like to achieve during your studies at CUNY SPS or after graduation?
I aspire to be a traveling Trauma Registered Nurse. CUNY SPS gives me the opportunity to be more marketable to employers because I can work any shift and location. Because it’s online, I may even be able to start taking travel assignments before actually graduating from the program.
3. How have you grown intellectually as a result of your studies at CUNY SPS?
I rave about my studies—I’m not even joking. The research required for SPS allows me to learn about topics that I’m not only interested in, but can apply to my career TODAY! I find myself sharing what I’ve learned with my colleagues and patients all the time. CUNY SPS has made me more competent in my career.
4. What advice would you offer to someone considering applying for admission to the program?
While I find the research refreshing, it definitely requires time and commitment. If you’re the kind of self-motivating person who does independent research “for fun,” then CUNY SPS should be the perfect fit.
Alexandra also shares some fun facts about her life.
1. Place of residence: Harlem.
2. Favorite CUNY SPS course: NURS301 (so far).
3. Weirdest place you have studied: Tattoo Parlor.
4. Your favorite music to play while studying: Trip Hop.
5. Best thing about your community or NYC: Everyone belongs.
You studied in a tattoo parlor! That’s too funny. Our only follow up question is whether or not you were getting a tattoo while studying?
In February I started my Masters in Disability Studies in SPS. Unlike most of the other programs it’s not as heavily based on the web. All the classes meet in either the Graduate Center or the CUNY Central building. I will disclose that I am a person with a disability at the beginning because it’s relevant to my blog as well as who I am as a person. I was born in Egypt and I started losing my vision at the age of four. I’m also a straight male of the middle class. So that makes me not one of all these qualities, but all at once. I’m a person first, and then I am Egyptian, blind, straight, male, and a middle class member. I’m also an aspiring musician, writer, student and the list goes on. What I’m getting at is that as a person I cannot be defined by one quality. Instead, I am at the point where all these different attributes intersect. And that’s what I learned in my Disability and Diversity class. Each individual person is made up of a complex mixture of characteristics and it doesn’t do them justice to define them as simply “African American,” “queer,” or “disabled.”
This leads me to my next point. Before I started the Disability Studies program I wasn’t really sure who I was. I was definitely sure that I was blind, but I didn’t really identify with any of my other qualities. The more I learned, the more I realized that I wasn’t just a part of the blind community. I’m also a part of the disability community. I wasn’t just a New Yorker. I’m an American. I’m not just Egyptian. I’m Arabic. My studies helped me realize that I was a part of all these bigger communities. This resulted in me understanding myself better and forming a more wholesome identity. It has also improved my ability to relate to others. Because of that, I’ve made a lot of close friendships since I’ve started my graduate degree.
Throughout this semester I will show you the world through “my eyes.” I’ll talk about what it means to be a blind student. Which is mainly the same as being a sighted student. The main difference is that I have to always make sure that I get my books and readings in an accessible format so that I can read them. I’ll talk about exploring my identity as an Egyptian and an Arab. I’m sure there’s more to it than smoking hookah and getting free Halal food. And I’ll also share my insights about the other facets of my identity.
Walei is pursuing a masters in Disability Studies in the School of Professional Studies. He has blogged for the Accessible New York project in the past and continues to do so. Walei is also an aspiring writer, musician, and advocate for people with disabilities.