What drew you to apply and enroll at Minerva?
What truly captivated me about Minerva was the unparalleled opportunity to travel to so many countries around the globe. This, coupled with the prospect of immersing myself in diverse cultures and forging connections with individuals from various backgrounds, made Minerva an irresistible choice.
What are some professional opportunities you participated in that have complemented your Minerva education and influenced your career aspirations?
Over the summer, I was privileged to be part of the business team at NASA's L’Space Academy. My responsibilities there encompassed streamlining processes, managing budgets, leading weekly meetings, and acting as a bridge between the science, engineering, and business teams. While NASA is often associated with science, my time there provided a rich business-oriented experience. Collaborating frequently with the engineering and science departments, I worked to understand their progress and incorporate their inputs into our business strategies. This cross-functional interaction required me to step out of my comfort zone and grasp unfamiliar concepts. Thankfully, Minerva's cornerstone courses from the first year, which emphasize a multidisciplinary approach, equipped me well for this challenge. Engaging with diverse academic fields at Minerva instilled in me a versatile understanding, allowing me to thrive in my role at NASA. This experience has inspired me to seek roles in cross-functional teams where collaboration and a broad understanding of multiple domains are crucial, further influencing my career aspirations.
How has Minerva’s experiential learning influenced your future career goals or aspirations?
Before joining Minerva, my academic focus was predominantly on STEM subjects like Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. Minerva's experiential learning approach opened up a world of possibilities for me. Rather than simply following a predetermined path, I was encouraged to explore diverse fields. This led me to the realms of business operations and finance, which truly resonated with me. A pivotal moment was realizing that I had been pursuing science more out of habit than genuine interest. Minerva's dynamic learning environment empowered me to discover my true passion, reshaping my academic and career trajectory toward business.
How have the active learning and seminar-style classes influenced your academic development and professional readiness?
Minerva's emphasis on active learning and its seminar-style approach ensures that every student is consistently engaged. The mandatory pre-class assignments, combined with the strict punctuality requirements, have cultivated a sense of discipline and preparation in me. This has not just been confined to the academic realm; it's transformed how I approach professional settings such as interviews and meetings, and even personal engagements with friends. The practices at Minerva have made me punctual, proactive in my preparations, and more adept at anticipating and formulating responses.
Can you share an example of a challenging project or assignment you have encountered at Minerva and how it has contributed to your growth as a critical and creative thinker?
One assignment that stands out was a Financial Analysis assignment in my B111 - Financial Planning, Budgeting and Modeling course. While data and numbers can seem endless and overwhelming, this assignment honed my ability to extract the most relevant information. It required me to weave together numbers from financial statements and relate them to the broader narrative of the company. I learned to discern how a subtle change in one area could ripple across and impact numerous financial ratios. This assignment refined my analytical skills, teaching me to be more critical and discerning in interpreting data.
In your opinion, what sets a Minerva education apart from traditional universities, and how do you envision the value of your Minerva degree in your postgraduate and professional journey?
What truly distinguishes Minerva from conventional universities is its unwavering commitment to professional development. Every course I've engaged with is grounded in real-world applicability. Minerva doesn't just groom students for final exams; it equips them for their aspirational careers, startups, or future ventures. As effective communication increasingly becomes a coveted asset in the globalized world, I believe employers will prioritize candidates who not only communicate adeptly but also thrive in cross-functional teams. Minerva's unique immersion across global cities champions this ethos, and I'm confident that this edge will be invaluable in my forthcoming professional pursuits.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying to Minerva?
I would say, "Don't hesitate, just go for it!" I admittedly applied on the final day of the Regular Decision II cycle – though I wouldn't suggest waiting until the last moment! Engage with Minerva's Enrollment team to gain clarity and fuel your excitement. One of the distinctive features of Minerva's application process is its Challenges, ensuring a bias-free selection.
Tell us about a funny experience that happened to you during your global rotation.
Minerva collaborates with Sookmyung Women's University in Seoul. One evening, I was dining in Itaewon, a renowned gastronomic district in Seoul, with two friends. We conversed in English, attracting the attention of an elderly Korean gentleman. Complimenting my American friend on her English, he inquired about our place of study. Wanting to simplify the explanation, given his limited English proficiency, I mentioned Sookmyung University. He looked at my female friends and then gazed at me perplexedly, asking, "You, woman?". It was more hilarious than embarrassing!
If you were inspired by Shazil's story and are seeking a college experience that will teach you valuable pragmatic skills that will enable you to change the world, apply to join Minerva today.