News: Featured Stories

May 7, 2017

On the cusp of Commencement, UMass Lowell seniors look back and ahead

  • Lowell

They’ve taken exams, pulled all-nighters, made lifelong friends, redefined their comfort zones, worked hard and learned much. They’re members of UMass Lowell’s Class of 2017. As they prepare for Commencement, several graduates shared their perspective on the most important takeaways from their time at UMass Lowell; what they’ve learned and how they’ve changed. And they filled us in on what comes next. For all the details on the day, see the Commencement website.

Driven by aspirations of greatness and making a difference

Clint Perry, Electrical Engineering with a minor in STEM teaching

THE MOST IMPORTANT thing that I've learned during my time at UMass Lowell is that learning is an ongoing process. I need to apply what I've learned in my classes, make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. Learning is driven by the aspirations of greatness and making a difference. 

After graduation, I plan to seek positions in engineering and teaching and follow where my heart leads me.

Learning to look at adversity as a challenge to overcome

Isaura Jimenez, Nursing

WHAT HELPED ME me through school was learning how to look at adversity as a challenge to overcome instead of a roadblock. Help is available at UMass Lowell whenever you need it. We don't have to do things alone. I also learned that the way you look at a situation can really make a difference in your experience. 

I currently work as a nurse at Mary Immaculate Health Care Services in Lawrence on a rehab floor. My goal is to work in a medical surgical floor at Lawrence General Hospital and give back to my community. I also want to go back to school and earn my master’s degree to become a geriatric nurse practitioner.

The amount of knowledge out there is so vast

Bill Provencher, Math

THE MOST IMPORTANT thing I learned was humility. Even though I did very well, no matter how much I learned, the amount of knowledge out there is so vast that I basically just dipped my toe into this big lake. It was intimidating but learning never stops, so I’ll always have interesting things to explore. 

I am enrolling in the College of Education in the fall to earn a master’s degree in education. I hope to be teaching high school math in a year and a half.

No one's path is linear; it's OK to take a break

Selena Tran, Psychology, Honors College

I’VE LEARNED THAT no one's path is really linear. When I started, I was the kind of person who had to have a five-year plan and a 10-year plan, and that was definitely to go to graduate school. Then I realized it's OK to take a break and that I have to figure out what I really love if I'm going to do it full time. 

I'm moving to the Washington, D.C., area after graduation. I want to work in a lab before I apply to graduate programs in neuroscience.

I told myself when I came to college, I was going to be different

Christina Michel, Biology

ONE THING I really took away is the importance of social interaction. I used to be very, very shy in high school, and I didn’t have a lot of friends. I told myself that when I came to college, I was going to be different. UMass Lowell sets up an environment that’s very welcoming and encourages students to break out of their shells and try different things through student leadership opportunities, innovation, networking and more. 

I will spend the summer doing research at Harvard on star formation, taking a class in immunology and studying for the Dental Admission Test. I plan to apply to dental schools for fall 2018.

Learning to take risks and moving beyond your comfort zone

Yefry Matos, Finance 

I LEARNED THAT taking risks is actually a good thing. The only way you can become self-aware of your strengths and weaknesses is by going outside your comfort zone and executing under unfamiliar conditions. I remember being extremely nervous attending my first career fair, but I decided to take a risk. I had researched companies that I wanted to intern for and had a productive conversation with a recruiter from one of them. That brief interaction ended up in an internship offer. 

I am moving to Wilmington, Del., to work for JPMorgan Chase & Co., doing analytics and business strategy.