A freshman economics major, Laura Balinski decided to attend the University of Massachusetts Amherst because she loved the campus and community atmosphere when she toured as a high school student. Walking around campus, Laura enjoyed seeing other students and how friendly they were, and she also really liked the layout of campus. After her tour of campus, Laura immediately knew she wanted to go to UMass Amherst, and was accepted as an economics major.
One of Laura’s worries when first coming to UMass Amherst, especially from New Jersey, was that she wouldn’t like the experience. After starting her freshman year, she realized how much she really loves college and that she wasn't the odd one out, and that a lot of people were nervous about starting school. If she were to give advice to anyone thinking about coming to UMass Amherst, it would be to “Go with Your Gut.”
"The nervousness is totally normal but being confident with your decision will only help you begin to enjoy your college experience even more,"she adds.
Laura chose a major in economics because she has been interested in business, and learning more about the world. From her first experiences with classes at UMass Amherst, she said that she really values the lessons taught because they apply to the real world. Being able to connect the dots in the classroom, and also with what’s going on in society, is very valuable. A big part of this is due to the professors at UMass Amherst. Laura explains that in all of her experiences with professors, they all “love what they are teaching.” The passion and engagement of her professors during lectures made a big impact on Laura, and she has realized how they genuinely care about students, the learning experience, and engaging with students both inside and outside of class.
One of her current goals is to be admitted into the Isenberg School of Business. The fact that students are able to transfer between colleges within UMass Amherst was a draw for her, and she hopes to take advantage of that option. After getting into Isenberg, Laura hopes to add a major there to her current economics major, as there is a lot of overlap between business and economics.
Outside of her studies and classes, Laura works as a tour guide on campus, and enjoys providing the same experience to prospective students that she got when she first visited. She really likes how the campus is located so close to the center of Amherst, and nearby Northampton is easily accessible, and Laura likes to explore them with her friends. Another favorite activity is going to to UMass Amherst Athletics events like football and hockey games.
Laura plans to continue being a UMass Amherst tour guide and encourages any student to appreciate all the great stuff the university has to offer. When not studying at UMass Amherst, Laura lives close to New York City and will be looking for internships there in the coming years to gain more professional experience. Her goal for life after graduation is to work for a reputable company in the business world, and she hopes to use the next few years as a UMass Amherst student to grow her skills, knowledge, and network.