Lara Pereira is a freshman marketing and political science double major here at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. One of the biggest reasons why she decided to attend UMass Amherst was because of the abundance of opportunities and resources the school has to offer. She knew in high school that she wanted to attend a big university that had a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, and her previous visits to campus only reinforced the strengths of the UMass Amherst experience.
She knew early on that she wanted to study business but wasn’t entirely sure on the exact major yet. Once she was at UMass, Lara was able to learn more about the different types of majors the Isenberg School of Management had to offer and chose marketing. She knew coming into UMass that she would be able to utilize all Isenberg had to offer in order to make a more concrete decision.
When it comes to political science, Lara chose that after being exposed to some political science classes and also talking to some of the students. She always knew she had an interest in politics and government, so it was a good fit. After realizing how much overlap there was between political science and business, Lara knew taking on political science as a secondary major would be beneficial for her learning and career later down the road.
As for the professors, Lara appreciates how all of her professors engage with the students and are easily reachable. One challenge as a freshman are the large lectures with hundreds of students. This can be intimidating at first, but the professors at UMass Amherst understand this, Lara says. They make the classes feel a lot smaller, and make sure to engage with students as much as possible. On top of this, professors are easily approachable and reachable for any question or problem you have.
Outside of classes, Lara is engaged in community service with on-campus organizations. Specifically, Lara is part of the Partnership for Worker Education, which is a program that helps teach UMass Amherst employees English. She values this opportunity as a chance to meet new people, get engaged with the community, and also gaining experience that may help her in the future. Lara also enjoys exploring Amherst as a whole, and likes to go to downtown Amherst with her friends to check out the local restaurants and attractions.
From Lara’s perspective, if she were to give her high school self some advice about coming to UMass Amherst, she would say, “Try something new and explore.” Her appreciation for the plentiful amount of resources on campus made Lara realize how many new opportunities and experiences she had access to. By exploring, she was able to find her interest in political science, and her enjoyment for volunteering and being involved with the campus community.