When the weight of a global topic feels too big — too daunting, too insurmountable, too entrenched — people often feel too small. Too small to effect change and too small to lead the way forward.
When the weight of a global topic is tackled via a movement of audacious individuals — who are open and willing to share their stories of successes and struggles, collaborations and innovations — a palpable shift can begin to unfold. The shift from “this feels impossible” to “this feels possible” requires a spark. A spark in energy, in mentors, in collective thought and momentum.
“You can’t write six essays, have several free dinners and trek through New York City’s Chinatown in a monsoon without becoming good friends.”
– Haili Giglietti ’21
The transition to college can be hard for any first-year student: adjusting to a new home, new friends and a new level of school work. Mount Holyoke tries to alleviate some of this stress through the First-Year Seminars Program, where students participate in small, writing-intensive, discussion-based courses. Seminar subjects range from Jack the Ripper to Latin American social movements.
Take five esteemed institutions of higher education, located within a 6-mile radius in one of New England’s most picturesque valleys. Add 38,000 students, 2,200 faculty, infinite social opportunities and orgs galore. Connect them with a free bus system.
What do you get?
As I clicked the “Launch Project Now” button, the Kickstarter website for my creation went live. I sat back in my chair and thought about how my journey to this moment — the launch of my ZIRUI Go Case — all started.
The formula for the Learning in Application (LEAP) Symposium remains constant: During a half-day conference, held the Friday of Family and Friends Weekend, panels of students in every major present about their summer internship or research experiences. Students — who worked in 42 countries in every imaginable field — rock PowerPoint, field questions and share insight in classrooms and lecture halls packed with family, friends, alumnae, faculty and staff.
What changes year to year? The stories and reflections. The destinations and growth. The successes and challenges. The surprises and triumphs.
Watch the video.