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Faces of Santa Clara
What’s next? Law school. Work. Medical school. Seeing the world. Volunteering full time. An exclusive internship. Every year, Santa Clara graduates go out into the world and do all of these things. No matter what you want to do, life at SCU is excellent preparation for life after SCU; 92 percent of our students have told us so. The opportunities to explore the world around you and the chance to connect with others will open you up to great success. So when you graduate, you’ll be ready for anything, too.
Umang Desai ’09 “Learning at SCU is not a means to an end for entering the work force, but rather a way of life. We are active in the process; we take what we learn to the world. There are so many opportunities and great companies here, but there are also causes for concern, and we are taught to seek solutions for them by getting out in the world.
Combined Sciences/Management majors
Chief Justice, Associated Students of Santa Clara University
Community Facilitator, Xavier Residential Learning Community
VP of Recruitment/Selection and Scheduling, One in Four sexual-assault peer education group
I knew Santa Clara was the right fit for me because I thrive on human interaction. Every time I visited, people naturally made me feel at home. Despite not knowing I was a prospective student, I was instantly a part of their community; as a high school senior, I knew that was a feeling I wanted to cherish for my undergraduate years.
Students from outside the area should know that the weather here is literally perfect practically year around. Being an SCU student makes it easy to stay connected to the larger world and still have your personal space. While some people may see California as liberal or hippie, the majority of students do not match the stereotype; we do not all surf, and almost half the student body is actually from outside California. No matter where you come from or what interest you possess, you are guaranteed to find friends and fellow enthusiasts.”
Michelle Luxton ’09
Communication major, general business minor
Defensive specialist, SCU women’s volleyball team
Just a few months into her freshman year, Michelle went to the NCAA semifinals with the Bronco volleyball team—and so did her older sister Kristen Luxton ’06. And a few months after that, Michelle joined the women’s tennis team, too, even though she hadn’t played competitive tennis since her sophomore year of high school.
In 2006, the volleyball team had a 20-8 record and made their ninth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance; Michelle was named "Most Inspirational."
“The experience I had as a freshman was better than I could’ve asked for. In the beginning of the year we sat down as a team and set goals for ourselves, like making the tournament, winning our conference, and going to the final four. To see our goals become reality because of the hard work we put in to them was awesome.
I’m so fired up and ready for our season next year—we all come back in July to start our training and working camps. We’ve put in so much hard work in the off-season this year, and I can’t wait to start competing.
Outside of my major, my hands-down favorite classes are in history. I’m in love with Greek and Roman history. I also took a class about Religion in America, and I think it’s fascinating to learn how our country’s cultural history can be so closely linked to its religious nature.
After I graduate I really hope to travel to Europe; if it weren’t for my athletic commitments, I would have loved to study abroad. After that, I plan to move back home to Hawaii and start working with my mom in real estate.”
Olga Kuskova ’04
B.A. in Philosophy/English
Stanford Law School Class of 2007
How did your experiences at Santa Clara help prepare you for law school? I had the opportunity to take fantastic challenging classes, but also to develop wonderful relationships with faculty, to cultivate my public speaking and argumentation skills through the debate program, and to maintain a healthy dose of fun through programs like the Children’s Theatre program—which really had nothing to do with law school but kept me sane, happy, and active. This is a very flexible program; you make of it what you want. I learned how to balance different kinds of work, and that has been invaluable in law school.
What are some of your favorite memories from SCU? Working with Professor Judy Dunbar—she was my honors thesis advisor, and I was her peer educator and research assistant. We did parallel work together: she analyzed performances of a Shakespeare play in a Russian theater, I did an analysis of a Russian translation of Hamlet, and we had an absolutely amazing relationship. I also had a fantastic time competing in intercollegiate debate and touring with a small group of students performing plays for local elementary school students. I also thoroughly enjoyed every philosophy class I ever took—some of the most memorable conversations of my life took place in those classes!
Why did you choose to attend Santa Clara? It was recommended to me by people who attended it. I put a lot of significance into what I am told by real people; that information is even more useful, as far as I am concerned, than numbers and statistics.
What are you planning to do next? I take the California Bar Exam in July 2007 and will begin a job at a labor and employment law firm in San Francisco in September.
Abel Cuskelly ’04
B.S. in Finance
Wealth management, Merrill Lynch & Co.
I chose Santa Clara over Duke and U. Penn- due to the small size and collaborative nature of the classes and the caliber of the faculty, as well as the location and integration with the Silicon Valley business community- without even visiting the campus. This is an active environment that creates leaders and builds the teamwork skills that are necessary in the vast majority of work environments.
There are a multitude of internships available at SCU, whether you go through a school program like ACE business honors program, through the career center, or by networking with the plentiful Silicon Valley alumni on campus. Having an internship [at a financial management firm in Los Gatos] did give me an advantage, and it provided opportunities from the valuable learning experiences I gained and the connections I made. Even more helpful was the powerful SCU alumni network that helped me reach out to influential alumni for information, informal interviews, and introductions. I gained a position at Merrill Lynch via an introduction by David Dali, an SCU alumnus who is a founding principal of OneWorld Investments, L.P. in Boston.
To prepare you for work, there are lots of programs in place. To highlight just one, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a great resource for alumni and current students who are interested in starting a business or who have already started one. They provide interactive learning, advice, support, and resources to help them grow their dreams.
I'd tell any student looking to work in this area to get an internship and make as many connections as possible in your field of interest, and read a lot.