Meet Emma Cafiero, a senior architecture major with a minor in building construction technology here at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the secretary of the new Women in Architecture club, an active member of the American Institute of Architecture Students and Alpha Phi Omega, a fraternity dedicated to community service. Senior year, for both high school and college students alike, is a time of change and reflection. To help make this transition clearer (and hopefully less stressful), here is Emma’s advice for high school seniors preparing to embark on their college journeys, from one senior to another.
What made you decide to attend UMass Amherst when you were applying to colleges?
I decided to attend UMass Amherst for their architecture program and the school’s location. As an out of state student (I am from Connecticut!), I wanted to be away from home and experience life somewhere different, while also having the ability to still be within driving distance from home if I needed to go back. UMass provided just that, which initially drew me into the university. Additionally, since I applied knowing I wanted to major in architecture, I was impressed by the program here and felt right at home the minute I stepped into the Design Building (which also sold me into attending UMass, having a great and beautiful workspace was important to me!)
How did you decide on your major?
I raised the possibility of becoming an architect in eighth grade, but decided to go into architecture during a summer architecture program before my senior year of high school. When I presented my first architectural project to students, professors, and architects from the surrounding area, I knew that architecture was a great fit for me.
What is your favorite UMass memory?
My favorite UMass memory was my first hockey game. The school spirit that UMass students have for hockey games is unmatched by anything I have ever seen. The games are always incredibly fun to watch and an amazing way to create lasting memories with your friends.
What are your prospective post-UMass plans? How has your time at UMass prepared you for this?
After UMass, I am planning on going into graduate school for my master's in architecture. The UMass undergraduate architecture program has prepared me very well for this because I have gained software skills, presentation etiquette, a complex understanding of three dimensional modeling, and time management, all of which will serve me well in graduate school.
What advice would you give to a high school senior interested in attending UMass Amherst?
The advice I would give to a high school senior interested in attending UMass Amherst is to take advantage of the clubs and opportunities. You can start by attending the activities fair and seeing what interests you the most, explore all of campus for study spots (there are many), and form relationships with your professors right from your first year as student. You can do this by asking questions and attending office hours. Forming these relationships could help you receive connections, advice about the future, and potential job opportunities.