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Samantha Jeannot, Class of 2020

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Name: Samantha Jeannot
Major: English
Minor: Digital Communication, Information, and Media (DCIM)
Year: 2020

Sam JAE04196How did you decide on your major?

When I was a child, I had a profound love for reading and writing. Whenever I had time to myself, I would be furiously scribbling in my journals, creating vivid stories and songs. Through my early childhood years and my adolescence, my passion for writing followed me which soon led me to declaring English as my major after one year at Rutgers. As nerve wrecking as it was to make that decision, I knew it would open many doors for me in the long run.

What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?

What drew me most to the English major and department were the array of opportunities that both brought. While I was in high school, I took a special liking to journalism. Because of this, I began writing for the school newspaper, became an editor, and worked as an intern for an online newspaper. These experiences allowed me to see the joy in being a published writer. At the same time, I had a deep passion for teaching which led me look into becoming an English teacher or professor someday. While I was torn between the two career paths, I was met with many opportunities through being in the English department. Throughout my time in college, I had the chance to experience both fields by taking a few education courses as well as studying global journalism in Bologna, Italy one summer. With both experiences under my belt, I learned that the English major suits my career path because it is broad in nature yet so lucrative. As embark on my job hunt, I now notice that I endless paths to choose from.

Do you have a favorite class/professor within your major?

While all my classes within my major were amazing, I would have to say my favorite was Milton, which was taught by the fabulous Anne Coiro. Before I started this class, I was worried that studying John Milton would be arduous and lack luster. But to my surprise, this class helped me develop as a person and writer. Professor Coiro’s passion driven teachings brought each of Milton’s pieces to life, enabling me to fall deeper in love with literature. Professor Coiro was also a great mentor and support system when I was making decisions for my professional development. Her strong words of encouragement and wisdom helped me work through some of the most important decisions in my college career.

What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?

One of my favorite academic experiences outside my major was studying abroad in Bologna, Italy the summer after my first year. There, I had the opportunity to study global journalism and documentary skills. This was such a life changing experience because I was able to learn about subjects that I was passionate about in a whole new environment. With being immersed in such a distinct culture, my perspective of the world and writing had completely transformed. I loved being able to make new friends from all over, traveling to famous cities, and eating so much delicious food! Italy quickly became a home away from home, thus giving me the room to learn so much about myself.

What are your other Rutgers activities?

Throughout my time at Rutgers, I was very involved in extracurriculars. My first year I joined the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and the Rutgers Performing Dance Company (RPDC). When I first stepped onto campus, I had a strong urge to get involved with the community and be a resource to my peers. Therefore, RHA was a perfect fit for me because I was able to make my residential hall a space where my peers felt safe, entertained, and comfortable. After 2 years of serving RHA, I was inducted in to the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH), the honors society of RHA. Joining this organization gave me an enriching experience because it enabled me to grow so much as a leader and professional. Through serving executive positions, I grasped many skills that prepared me for life in and outside of school. Ultimately, the close knit community of NRHH soon became a family to me, which made my involvement all the more memorable. As for dance, I had been dancing for 5 years before I attended Rutgers. When I attended my first involvement fair, I was pleased to find out that there was a dance company I could join. From my first rehearsal to my last, dancing in this company was an amazing experience. I was able to create long lasting relationships and expand my creativity while strengthening my skills as a dancer.

What are your hopes and plans following graduation?

Moving forward, I have so many visions and goals for my life. This moment in time, I am looking for positions in the journalism and publishing industry. I am very open to any opportunity that comes my way, so I do not want to confine myself to a specific career path just yet. With the pandemic rewriting our future, I am taking this time to do my research, plan, and prepare myself for what’s to come. While this time of uncertainty may be daunting for some, I am seeing this as a time to learn about myself and what I want for my life. I haven’t had the opportunity to do so in the midst of the constant hustle and bustle of college life, so I am taking advantage now.

What are your recommendations of how to get the most out of Rutgers to the class of 2024?

Life in college is a period of growth, self-realization and learning. There is this misconception that one has to have everything figured out before entering college but that is not necessarily the truth. Attending college should be a space where students feel comfortable to create a path in life that will lead to their vision of happiness. Therefore, my biggest advice to students is to follow their passions. It’s easy to go for a major that is going to provide a promising and stable future. However, if conventional career paths are not attractive, then there is no harm in choosing something that is different or unorthodox. The best thing about Rutgers is how diverse it is. With a variety of courses, majors, programs, and resources, the possibilities are endless. By this, it is important to embrace and enjoy the journey that comes with finding the best career path even if it takes a few turns and detours to get there.