Advice from Mac Seniors

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Rudy Henriquez

Rudy Henriquez

Daly City, California
English, Political Science
After Mac: Yelp

Set ambitious goals for yourself as early as possible, find a position of leadership on campus, gain professional and leadership skills that will stand out in an the interview.

Do not be afraid to be one of the students who know what major(s) you want to pursue before arriving at Macalester. For me, knowing that I wanted to be an English and Political Science double major helped me plan my four years at Macalester in a way that actually worked to reduce my stress level. Knowing these academic interests early led me to a position of leadership within the English Department. My campus job working as Senior Editor of the The Words, our English Department student newsletter, helped me gain the type of professional and leadership skills that likely made me stand out in the interview process for my future position at Yelp. Set ambitious goals for yourself as early as possible because when you are a senior you will thank yourself for thinking of things in advance.

 

Ben Lavin

Ben Lavin

New York City, New York
Economics
After Mac: Peace Corps

Appreciate it when profs challenge you, take statistics and code and classes that are not in your field, understand different perspectives on a topic, study abroad, let your interests lead you to new places.

The professors at Mac really challenge students, which I appreciated. I became interested in development policy and economics. That prepared me to write an econometrics paper on how money sent home by immigrants affects the economy in a country. I think it’s important to study statistics and code because everyone uses them. Don’t be afraid to take classes that aren’t quite in your field. Sociology helped me view development economics differently. Also, being in a classroom with people from all around the world helped me understand different perspectives on a topic. Definitely study abroad if you can. I studied in India and then became one of the co-chairs for the Macalester International Development Group. These experiences got me interested in doing economic development work in the Peace Corps, which I’ll do in Benin next year.

 

Amy Janett

Amy Janett

Verona, New Jersey
Mathematics
After Mac: PhD in applied math

Take a variety of courses first semester, do research, build relationships with professors and classmates, take advantage of Mac’s location, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

In my first semester I took Arabic, Environmental Studies, Math, Religious Studies, and even Yoga. It was math that I really got hooked on, and when I learned that students can conduct mathematical research, I had to give it a try. Macalester is in the perfect location to do research―during my summer research project after sophomore year, I attended a conference in Minneapolis, where I met applied mathematicians from around the world and heard about the most current research being done in the field. I’m thankful for all the time my professors spent fostering my success and answering my questions. Be patient with yourself during your learning process―remember that nobody understands everything the first time around.

 

Joe Dykema

Joe Dykema

Roseville, Minnesota
Economics
After Mac: PricewaterhouseCoopers

Listen to teammates, meet with professors on a regular basis, do an internship, reach out to alumni, do another internship.

Arriving on campus as a freshman, I did not realize how much friendships with my football teammates would benefit me academically and help build a professional network all over the U.S. Right away, my upperclassman teammates emphasized the importance of meeting with professors on a regular basis. I quickly learned that this helped me to succeed academically and allowed me to know my professors outside the classroom. One of them recommended me for a consulting internship during my sophomore year. It sparked my interest in consulting and helped build my resume. The next year, one of my teammates, a senior economics major, referred me to a professor for a summer consulting internship at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). A Macalester alumnus who had worked there helped me secure the interview. I spent the summer working as an intern at PwC in New York City, and they offered me a full-time position as a risk consultant after graduation.

 

Ruxi Zhang

Ruxi Zhang

Beijing, China
International Studies, Russian Studies
After Mac: PhD in Political Science

Get involved in something that matters to you, take on a leadership role, do an internship, listen to your professors (they want you to succeed), learn from writing analytical research papers.

I found getting involved in a student club really mattered to me. I was involved in Model UN and served as club president during my junior year. This experience was interesting and fun. It also taught me a lot about planning and leadership skills. Doing two internships gave me additional real-world experience. At Mac, professors are committed to their students. I had the chance to write several long research papers in classes with professors who helped me succeed. Writing these really deep and analytical research papers also helped me prepare for grad school applications. After completing my doctoral degree, I hope to teach and do research.