Jenna Calcavecchia '15
What you are currently doing for work and how did you get to this point?
I work as a military undergraduate admission counselor for Southern New Hampshire University's online programs. We are now officially one of the top ten military friendly schools in the country! I work with active duty service members, veterans and military family members. I talk to many different people on a day-to-day basis from various backgrounds and cultures. I learn about their goals and their motivation to continue their education so they can transform their lives in a meaningful way. My interests have always been multifaceted - I enjoy exploring the realms of German language and culture, I understand the value of being a global citizen, and am deeply committed to personal and professional development. I am passionate about language, discourse and all forms of communication. Because my studies and interests are interdisciplinary, this has led to my fulfilling career in higher education.
How did your education in COLA prepare you for life after college?
My education in COLA prepared me to be a global citizen. What does this mean? This means to be keenly aware of how connected the world and its people are. COLA taught me how to use my voice for good and for the betterment of society. I now work with individuals 1:1 on a very granular level and enjoy encouraging them to do their best and be their best.
What person or course most influenced you while at UNH?
One of my career counselors influenced my mindset on how to approach my professional debut after college. Oftentimes, people ask "What do you want to do for the rest of your life?" That is a daunting question, especially coming from a liberal arts background. My career counselor stressed the importance of planning out your life in 3-5 year increments. If you can do this, it avoids overwhelm, and allows you to move forward and take advantage of opportunities using your interdisciplinary skill set.
What do you know now that you wish you'd known while at UNH?
Be bold in how you challenge yourself academically. Try new things. I am nearing the end of my M.B.A. at SNHU. While this path may seem different than my liberal arts background, it has taught me the value of critical, creative and strategic thinking within the scope of business. This type of degree compliments my German language skills — as German plays a significant role in the global economy, and it also compliments my background in international affairs because we live in a global marketplace. I wish I took more business classes at UNH, since business mirrors liberal arts in that it is multifaceted. Business involves science, technology, innovation, human relations, ethics, marketing, government and legal implications, and solving real-world problems. If I could go back in time, I would have 100% taken advantage of UNH's world class business programs.
What advice do you have for students interested in your field?
You are not confined to one area of study or one profession. Branch out. Honor your interests and explore your interests! Have an entrepreneurial spirit. What does that mean? It means to be observant, question and seek out new ways to innovate and solve problems. Take advantage of all opportunities to get hands-on experience. Theory to practice makes all the difference! Make sure to network and build relationships with people that are in your field(s) of interest. Hone in on your “why,” your brand and how you want to present yourself to the world. You have a lot to offer, so let people know that.