Blog post and photos provided by Samantha Gates, Business & Technology ’14
To give a little background, I am from Wilmington, North Carolina- a beachy, southern area. I had never been to NYC, or anywhere northeast before visiting Stevens. For majority of my life I swore I would go to University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) just like my mom and dad, who have taken me to football and basketball games since I was 3 months old.
So how did I end up at Stevens?
As I got older I really got in to playing volleyball and decided I would want to play in college. As my recruiting process started, I still swore I wouldn’t go north of Virginia, west of Tennessee, and south of Georgia. I was staying down South where I could always get sweet tea. Randomly, NJIT sent letters to myself and a couple of girls on my team so my mom asked a lady she knew about the school. The lady is actually a Stevens alum and suggested I look into Stevens rather than NJIT because of the location and education.
After a few phone calls and a trip to NYC, I was set. Everything I always stood by and imagined for myself completely changed. However, this decision became the best I could ever make. Being on the volleyball time, I have truly made friends for a lifetime.
Also being on the volleyball team I became a part of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) which has representatives from each varsity team to make decisions on NCAA rulings as well as to meet with and have a good relationship with the Athletic Department to make things better for athletes.
I also decided to join a sorority (another thing I thought I’d ever do) to make more girlfriends. However it’s been more than just making friends, it helps me get more involved around the school and even gives opportunity for community service as well as more sources for help when it comes to school and jobs.
Being over 500 miles away from home was definitely a hard adjustment at first, especially with no family or friend connections and I only met a few girls on the team on my recruit visit. Luckily it didn’t take long to start passing familiar faces and for professors to say “hi” outside of the classroom. Plus, it’s always surreal to look across the water and realize one of the biggest cities in the world is so close. Especially when your professors tell you all of their connections to businesses in the city and their start-ups.
I know I want to concentrate in Finance and am currently, really enjoying accounting. This summer I hope to get my first internship and I know Stevens has the resources to make it possible.